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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2005

Contact: Alescia Teel
(609) 984-1795

DEP and Bergen County Partner to Acquire Property
to Expand Historic New Bridge Landing State Park

(05/136) RIVER EDGE - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the acquisition of the BAPCO Holding Co., Inc. property located in the Borough of River Edge, which will become part of the newly designated Historic New Bridge Landing State Park.

“Historic New Bridge Landing State Park is an integral part of American history that adds to the richness of our State’s heritage,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “This acquisition restores and preserves a key Revolutionary War site, where the public can walk in the steps of our founding fathers.”

The BAPCO Holding Co, Inc. property is being restored as part of the historical state park, which now covers nearly 30 acres. The park spans the Hackensack River at the border of River Edge, New Milford, Teaneck and Hackensack. The State, Bergen County, Bergen County Historical Society, and Teaneck Township each own portions of the park.

“We are transforming the BAPCO property from a contaminated site to a place that honors New Jersey’s history,” said Commissioner Campbell. “I commend the efforts of Senator Weinberg and County Executive McNerney in their steadfast commitment to this site as part of the Historic New Bridge Landing State Park, a place of national historic significance in our state.”

Operating for many years as Bergenfield Auto Parts, the property was used as an auto parts recycling and storage business since before1940. In April 2004, DEP conducted a remedial investigation on site, which included soil and sediment sampling, ground water monitoring, an ecological evaluation and wetland mapping. Using these results DEP developed a cleanup plan to remove contamination and restore the site with funds collected from the responsible party-the previous owner.

“This journey has been sometimes a little arduous; sometimes a little slow, but always rewarding and enlightening for me," said Senator Loretta Weinberg. "We are now finally seeing our collective work coming to fruition at Historic New Bridge Landing. It is my hope that we can now move ahead toward the building of a Visitors Center honoring D. Bennett Mazur, whose vision and perseverance laid the groundwork for the preservation of this historic area that we are dedicating today. Such a Visitor's Center would beautify and complete this project as it welcomes thousands of visitors to this important historic Bergen County landmark."

“The acquisition of the BAPCO property will allow us to showcase this important historical site that helped shape our nation," said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. "Being here today is a testament to everyone who understood the significance of this location and who worked tirelessly to secure this property."

This acquisition is the first parcel for which DEP will seek reimbursement up to $600,000 of federally allocated funds for the expansion of Historic New Bridge Landing State Park. DEP purchased 1.3 acres of the BAPCO property to expand the park for a total cost of $821, 873. Bergen County purchased the remaining portion of the property (.353 acres) to expand a county road that will not be part of the park.

Historic New Bridge Landing State Park began with the building of a “New Bridge" across the Hackensack River in 1744, creating a crossroads for travel between New Jersey and New York.

The “New Bridge” was a battleground for the American and British armies that repeatedly fought for control of the strategic hamlet.

In 1995 efforts to preserve the historic site were unified with the establishment of the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission. The Commission created a partnership between the Division of Parks and Forestry, the County of Bergen, the Bergen County Historical Society, the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation, the Borough of River Edge, the Borough of New Milford, and the Township of Teaneck

The DEP Green Acres Program together with public and private partners has acquired and protected more than 590,267 acres of open space.

New Jersey has preserved almost 400,000 acres as State Parks, Natural Areas, and Historical Sites. Statewide there are nearly 1.3 million acres of protected open space.

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NJDEP-Division of Parks and Forestry (pdf)
http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/

NJDEP Green Acres
http://www.nj.gov/dep/greenaces/

 

 

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Last Updated: December 21, 2005