Preserve Overpeck Area IV

Preserve Overpeck Area IV

September 11, 2022
Petition to
County Executive, Bergen County James Tedesco
Signatures: 1,848Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Alec Melman

We, the undersigned, insist that the county replace all the trees that were removed from Area IV of Overpeck Park.

We also oppose the creation of any lawns, through roads or car traffic in Area IV and demand only unpaved walking paths throughout this area of Overpeck Park.

We demand:

  • Overpeck Area IV be left a natural area with all removed trees replaced immediately
  • The removal in any plans for a lawn area, which requires water, chemical treatment and provides no shade or natural beauty
  • A steady communication and dialogue between Bergen County officials and our community leaders (who have been completely left in the dark on this entire process).
  • Cars be banned from all sections of Overpeck Area IV except for emergency vehicles, with no paved through road. 


Dear Bergen County Board of Commissioners and Executive Tedesco:

We the undersigned are deeply concerned about actions that have been taken, and those that may be taken in the future in the project to develop Overpeck Preserve (Area IV). The reasons for our concern are:

●  Lack of transparency and citizen involvement in planning
●  Clear cutting of the area
●  Capping of the area with contaminated material
●  Plans to replace trees with a Great Lawn and paved surfaces
●  Plans to widen the creek and build permanent structures

Overpeck Preserve has been a refuge for humans as well as diverse native flora and fauna While the desire to remediate the area is admirable, it has been carried out without substantive public input and is environmentally unsound.

Widely accepted research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that reforestation is the number one climate change solution, and conservation, or the avoidance of forest conversion was second. Trees absorb carbon, protect against flooding and storms, provide shade, help soil retain moisture, and support biodiversity.

On the other hand lawns are bad for the environment because they require maintenance that uses energy (often fossil fuels) and fertilizers that can be toxic and end up in our water and food, as well as discouraging biodiversity. Paved roads and paths increase traffic, air and noise pollution, while nature trails improve mental health and well-being.

Therefore, we request that:
●  all further development of Overpeck Preserve be temporarily halted
●  that existing plans be shared publicly and with our Coalition, and
●  that representatives of our Coalition become meaningful collaborators in any further planning on this project.

We invite you to a meeting with us within the next two weeks. Please provide preferred dates, time, and place. We look forward to hearing from you.

Leonia Environmental Commission, Christoph Hesterbrink, Chair North Jersey Sierra Group, Buddy Jenssen, Co-Chair EmpowerNJ, Ken Dolsky
Bergen Audubon Society


NJ Tree Foundation, Crystal Wessel, Coordinator
Food & Water Watch, Matthew Smith, NJ Director
Environment New Jersey, Doug O’Malley, State Director
Don’t Gas the Meadowlands Coalition, Ken Dolsky
Northern NJ NOW, Diane Scarangella, President
Resistance Cafe, Bob Weiss, Organizer
Sculpture for Leonia, Mary Martire
Leonia Action Alliance, Lauren Pecoralo, Chair
Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, Anne Wallman, Social Action Chair


Support now
Signatures: 1,848Next Goal: 2,500
Support now