At a Glance
Ecological function, public use, and beauty are restored to one of the last remaining pieces of open space in Bergen County.
Located less than 10 miles from New York City, the 46-acre Teaneck Creek Park is one of the last remaining open spaces along Teaneck Creek. While the site provides birding and other recreation opportunities, it has been dramatically altered over time by human impacts and its adjacency to the surrounding heavily urbanized landscape.
The site was once dominated by a tidal wetland system, but due to the installation of a tide gate downstream and alteration of the creek channel and surrounding areas, its hydrology was changed. The site now receives water inputs primarily from six storm drains. Erosion and degradation has been so severe at one outfall that it has been dubbed “stormwater canyon.” The site has also been altered by years of dumping.
Biohabitats is helping the Bergen County Department of Parks and the Teaneck Creek Conservancy restore both ecological function and safe public use of this evolving urban oasis. Biohabitats is crafting a plan to restore fully functioning freshwater wetlands on site, while also replacing invasive plant species with native vegetation appropriate for this riparian wetland system. Building upon a concept created by Rutgers’ Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability, Biohabitats is developing a design that uses the site’s existing topography and hydrology to retain and treat water before it enters Teaneck Creek. The design focuses on restoring wetlands within the original creek bed and riparian areas.
In addition to bringing habitat, recreation, and water quality benefits, Biohabitats’ design also saves money and time by minimizing excavation. Tasks for this project, which include creating the design, obtaining the required final permits, and supervising construction, also include collaborating with the County, the Conservancy, and other stakeholders to ensure that the park meets the needs of its many users, preserves their conservation efforts, and celebrates the ecological art spread throughout the site.
For the second phase of the project, Biohabitats will develop a management plan that incorporates the community’s strong commitment to stewardship. Through a citizen science monitoring initiative, community members who regularly visit and enjoy the site will be able to take part in the monitoring of the restoration’s success.