“And my tires were slashed and I almost crashed but for Lord-have-mercy. And my machine she’s a dud, all stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey” ~Bruce Springsteen
Those swamps of Jersey are known as The Meadowlands, just outside MetLife Stadium and the Izod Center (what was referred to as Giants Stadium and the Area growing up) and despite their bad rap in movies and by the NFL’s negative opinions regarding the upcoming Super Bowl, the ecosystem has made great strides in recent years and deserve great respect.
It was referred to as “The Meadows” by original Dutch Settlers in the 1600s and was full of white cedar, the Hackensack River flows through the area the Lenape people called the land Lenapakoking and they called the river Atchensehaky – the “River of Many Bends.”
Since then, there have been many changes to the area, including the creation of dam systems and pollution, which pushed the area to the brink. Luckily, the in 1980s, conservation groups came together to try and save what was left of this natural resource. Today, the Hackensack Riverkeeper and other organizations work hard to continue to preserve and improve “The Meadowlands.”
Right now, all eyes are on the upcoming game that will take place in frigid temperatures. However, there is much more to this special area that offers eco-tours, estuary education programs, paddling tours, birding, and more. I hope you check out this amazing wetlands that is making a great comeback!