The State of New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, making our preserved parkland more vital than ever. Yet the Township of Edison is considering giving away one of our preserved regional resources to benefit a politically connected developer. If allowed to do so, this giveaway will set a horrible precedent – potentially placing every State-preserved site in New Jersey at risk.
A private developer is proposing to pave over ecologically sensitive wetlands and bulldoze woods in the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area at the end of Alexis Lane in Edison to build a sprawling center. The property is land-locked and the land leading to the property is preserved as state-protected land – as designated by the State’s Green Acres program for protecting our little remaining open space forever.
The Edison Township Council is proposing to pass an amendment removing this property from the Edison Recreation and Open Space Inventory, thus undermining its protection. If this project is approved, it will significantly increase traffic and parking problems in neighboring residential developments, vastly expand flood damage for neighboring families, risk danger to children who play in the area, and destroy the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area, which provides our crowded region’s only nature trails and significant wildlife habitat.
Known as the “Everglades of Central Jersey,” the 1,240-acre Dismal Swamp Conservation Area is the largest natural area remaining in northern Middlesex County, spanning portions of Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield. The Dismal Swamp is home to over 175 species of birds, and two dozen species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, as well as a dozen threatened and endangered species, such as the American bittern, bald eagle, American beaver, and spotted turtle.
Don’t give our preserved parkland to politically connected developers!
In such a densely populated area, this land was protected by state taxpayers because of its importance in flood control, wildlife habitat, environmental education, and improving the quality of life for thousands of nearby families. To instead give that land away to a private developer would set a horrible precedent for all the incredible natural acres that New Jersey voters have protected through Green Acres for the past 50 years.
The Dismal Swamp is a hidden gem that is beloved to Edison residents and families, providing our crowded region’s only nature trails and significant wildlife habitat. Yet, not only would this proposed development take away open space, but floods that already plague nearby neighborhoods will worsen drastically.
I ask that you deny the request by Edison Township to extend Alexis Lane by removing designated parkland, which would hurt many while only benefiting a private property developer. Please take the health, safety, and quality of life of the families of Edison and Middlesex County into consideration when making your final decision. Most importantly, please do not single-handedly undermine 50 years of New Jersey taxpayer contributions to our State Green Acres program.