Overpeck County Park, from the 1950s – onwards: From Landfills to Green Hills
Hello, my name is Aaron Leu and at the time of writing this, I am a fourth-year Information Systems student at NJIT. I am mainly interested in the topic of this article because I have witnessed the effects of environmental pollution having lived in North Jersey my whole life, and this environmental topic occurred almost right in my backyard.
The story begins around the 1950s in Overpeck Creek, located in Bergen County, NJ. An area that was once a diverse wetland ecosystem became a miserable dumpsite filled with toxic sewage and municipal garbage through corporate abuse facilitated by the county. Eventually, local organizations, such as the Teaneck Creek Conservancy and the Bergen County Parks Department managed to transform this massive landfill into a beautiful, sprawling park that leaves almost no trace of its unsanitary past. Through this article, I would like to get to the bottom of why this expansive area near local communities ended up becoming home to endless amounts of garbage. Moreover, I plan to answer the question of how local efforts were able to overcome environmental degradation to create a safe area for generations to come. In exploring the fascinating history of this location, I also hope to use this as a success story of positive environmental progress and to show how communities across America can fight back against unjust pollutive practices.
Water Pollution, Recreation, Public Health