Author Topic: Coles Brook  (Read 7180 times)

Offline Editor

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Coles Brook
« on: September 28, 2004, 05:09:10 PM »
HACKENSACK RIVERKEEPER
231 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
201-968-0808
201-968-0336 (fax)
info@hackensackriverkeeper.org
www.hackensackriverkeeper.org

Coles Brook Cleanup Turns Up New Problems
Volunteers uncover ongoing pollution from Route 4 corridor

 
Hackensack, NJ A river cleanup by over twenty-five volunteers along Coles Brook at Staib Park in Hackensack on September 25 revealed a number of environmental problems including a large amount of litter from a local restaurant and a missing sewer main cover. 

Earlier this year, Hackensack Riverkeeper completed a streambank restoration project at the site with a $100,000 grant from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).  As part of the project, over 2,000 native plants were installed along a 750-foot length of streambank, restoring the brooks riparian buffer.   

Its wonderful to see so many of the native plants thriving and flowering, said Kathy Urffer, Hackensack Riverkeepers Operations Director. Im also glad that many of the people who worked on the restoration came on Saturday to help and to see the fruits of their labor. 

Over 30 contractor-size bags of garbage were removed from the site, including old paint cans, shopping carts, a bicycle and most troubling a large amount of trash that came from the Wendys Restaurant on Route 4, next to the park and just over the border in Paramus. Hackensack Riverkeeper staff and volunteers were both disturbed and disgusted by the amount of litter that apparently originates form the restaurants dumpster area and parking lot.

Theres simply no excuse for this, said Riverkeeper Capt. Bill Sheehan as he surveyed the scene. And were going to make sure that action is taken to fix the problem.

Captain Sheehan also discovered that a cover was missing from an abandoned sewer line that runs along the Paramus side of Coles Brook. The discovery was made in an area where members of Hackensacks Holy Trinity Catholic Church Youth Group were working. He promptly called the Bergen County Police Department and reported the dangerous situation. The County Police then notified the Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) who quickly arrived at the park.

Despite being defunct, the line can fill with water during a heavy rain and pose a potentially deadly entrapment for the many children who play in the park, said Sheehan who added, Even without rain, a small child could easily have fallen into the sewer and been injured.

According to the BCUA, the most likely remedy for the situation will be to demolish and collapse the pipe, thus removing the threat. Hackensack Riverkeeper will follow-up with the Authority to ensure that the work is done soon.

Several other discoveries made in the vicinity by volunteers are currently under investigation by the proper authorities and cannot be discussed at this time.

Despite everything however, both Sheehan and Urffer agreed that the cleanup left the park in a much-improved condition and that the restoration project was an unbridled success. Staib Park is located near the northern end of Summit Avenue in the City of Hackensack.

Hackensack Riverkeepers final river cleanup of 2004 is scheduled for October 2 at Kenneth B. George Park in River Edge and is co-sponsored by the River Edge Environmental Committee. 

Hackensack Riverkeeper is the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues. Their Web address is www.HackensackRiverkeeper.org.

Kathy Urffer
Operations Director
Hackensack Riverkeeper
231 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
phone: 201-968-0808
fax: 201-968-0336
www.hackensackriverkeeper.org

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 
« Last Edit: August 25, 2006, 11:05:18 AM by Editor »



Offline Editor

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Coles Brook
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2006, 09:56:18 AM »
Latest story:  Trashing our rivers

The litter taints the quiet and meandering Cole's Brook, a shallow tributary of the Hackensack River. Four years ago, the Riverkeeper organization spent $100,000 in grant money to plant wildflowers and shrubs along the banks. Volunteers were hoping to create a natural buffer against the trash from the parking lots of neighboring businesses. But during a cleanup in May, volunteers found a pickup truck's worth of trash dumped into the brook, said Lisa Ryan, who coordinates the cleanups.

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 09:42:35 AM »
Latest story:  Neglected rivers

When you see illegal dumping, call your local police department, the state Department of Environmental Protection at 877-927-6337, or area environmental groups.

Second, volunteer for cleanup efforts. Environmental groups are always looking for help to tackle the never-ending job of fishing trash out of rivers and streams.

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 08:34:16 AM »
From the Riverkeeper:

Dear Volunteers,

We are long overdue for some weeding activities at Hackensack Riverkeeper's Coles Brook stream bank restoration site at Staib Park in Hackensack (directions below). We're planning on doing some weeding this Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm. The weather is not looking great at this point, but we're going to give it a shot. If it's overcast and drizzly, we'll be there, but if we're in the middle of a thunderstorm at 9am, you probably shouldn't bother showing up. We'll bring some coffee and donuts for breakfast, and we'll provide gloves and bags (though, to be honest, the mugwort is taller that we are, so the bags may be for naught). Feel free to call Lisa's cell phone at 201-832-9432 that morning to see if we're on.

Please let us know if you think you'll be able to help out Saturday by emailing: info@hackensackriverkeeper.org

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 09:39:09 AM »
Brook cleanup in Hackensack brings community together
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
BY MARK J. BONAMO
Hackensack Chronicle

When Zach Hubner came to Staib Park in Hackensack on a gray Sunday morning, he knew he was there to take the proverbial bull by the horns by helping to clean up Coles Brook as part of a community cleanup effort.


TOM HART/PHOTO | Buy this photo
Michelle Reynoso watches her son Kyle reach for garbage during a cleanup on Sunday at Staib Park. But he didn't know he would be taking a bike by its handles.

"This was buried under a bunch of mud," said Hubner, of River Edge, a sophomore at River Dell High School, as he pointed to the handlebars he just dragged out of the brook. "I found part of a sink, too. If we just leave this stuff around, the world will be just covered in garbage."

More than 30 volunteers came out as part of cleanup sponsored by the Hackensack Riverkeeper environmental advocacy organization with one green mantra in mind: Think globally, act locally.

Hackensack Riverkeeper Capt. Bill Sheehan rejoiced that "not a single tire or shopping cart" was removed from the brook - a sign for him of progress. Sheehan hopes that the community at large takes a more progressive view of the watershed around them.

"Coles Brook drains nearby Borg's Woods, then makes its way under Hackensack Avenue and out into the Hackensack River just below New Bridge Landing," said Sheehan. "People who live in urban areas like Hackensack often are totally disconnected from the fact that there is a watershed. Getting people to come out to these cleanups gives people a grass-roots environmental education while they are out getting to know their watershed and do some good work. They start taking ownership of their watershed and their environment."

Some participants in the Coles Brook cleanup were making their investment in the environment relatively early in life.

"We're doing this to help the community," said Robbie Barnett, a senior at Community High School in Teaneck. "It's better to have a clear environment than a dirty one."

"This is helpful for the environment," said Lexie Wilder, a sophomore at Community High. "People trash it every day, so we've got to help it."

Holding a bag of mostly fast food containers, Jennifer Munster-Simone found out about the cleanup through her job and chose to not only be a good corporate citizen, but also a good green advocate.

"I've always been interested in the Hackensack River and the Meadowlands area," said Munster-Simone, who lives in Bergenfield. "Filling up a bag is the least that I can do."

The cleanup was a homecoming for Rochelle Park resident Sean Fitzpatrick. For this 2002 Hackensack High School graduate, his homecoming was also a reckoning.

"I always complained about people trashing the environment but never did anything about it," said Fitzpatrick, decked out in hip-waders while hauling a cinder block out of the brook. "Words without action are empty. So here I am."

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com

Offline just watching

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 07:07:22 AM »
I think the City needs to start looking at Coles Brook in a different way as a result of the devastating flooding that occurred along its length, and spilled out onto northern Main Street, Johnson Ave, and even to Temple Ave.  Where are there locations along Coles Brook that can be used for flood control, meaning places that water would pool and then slowly release after a storm.  This is typically done by excavating land down to at or near the water level.  The other way, which is to build a dam with a notch, might not be realistic, with one exception.  Here's a few suggestions

1. the old Zabriskie's pond (along S. Lake Drive).  North of the confluence of Van Saun Brook, build a 5-foot tall dam with a notch (gap) to the water level. It won't hold any water on normal days, but during a flood it will fill all the way up and spew out through the notch, slowly draining.  This area is basically a ravine, and the temporary flooded pond wont impact any houses

2. Staib Park former hockey court.  Excavate to the water level and create a pond for ice skating and general enjoyment. The pond basin will provide places for water to pool during a storm. No dam needed

3. end of Catalpa Ave.  Excavate area behind Lowes to just a few inches above normal stream level. Basically to convert the existing high uplands there into a low swampy area.  It can flood as deep as it wants during a storm, so the water can pool there.

4. Borg's Woods. Perhaps widen the stream channel on the Hackensack side.  There is a series of long low mounds from a previous stream project, and lots of invasive vegetation. This can be done without impacting the old forest and the intact environmentally sensitive areas.

5. North of Lookout Ave to Borg's Woods.  Another area, both sides of stream, that can be excavated to just a few inches above the normal stream level.  Allow the water to spread out there.

6. Esplanade.  Restore the stream to a surface stream, no longer pipe 3 or 4 feet wide under the street.  It can run on the Hackensack side.  Stream channel 10 feet wide with gabion walls, straight through the front yards of the apartments parallel to the street. This will involve a series of 10-foot wide bridges for each side street, and little pedestrian bridges to get from some of the apartments to the sidewalk along the Esplanade

7. Susquehanna Railroad to Essex Street (rear of Jacks car wash).  There is a very wide undeveloped area there along the brook, mostly grassy lawns behind the garden apartments in both Hackensack and Maywood.  The apartments in Hackensack are over 200 feet from the apartments in Maywood.  It's all wasted land.  Each apartment complex only needs 15 feet rear yards. They can put a fence at 15 feet out, and then it can be excavated further out to make a big park and pond over 200 feet wide and probably 1000 feet long.  It can be excavated out as a basin, most of it can be a big pond, with perhaps a sidewalk all the way around it for walking and jogging.  Minimal grassy areas within the fence. There's also a railroad here that would bisects the park and goes to central Lodi.  At least until that railroad is pulled out, it's almost never used and crosses Route 17 at grade level (bad idea).

Even more important is the Van Saun Brook, which flows into Coles Brook at South Lake Drive. It's drainage basin is larger than the rest of Coles Brook. Major flood control work is possible in Van Saun Park, and perhaps some widening excavation to the water level along Van Saun Brook just north of Route 4. I would have to study this basin for additional suggestions.

The goal is to find places for the water to spread out and pool for 1-3 days after a storm, so that there is less runoff in the stream channel during the storm.

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 09:50:14 AM »
This is Coles Brook spilling over to Main St. near Rt. duing Hurricane Irene, August 2011.


Offline Homer Jones

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Re: Coles Brook
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 02:34:11 PM »
If Ol' Homer can offer a suggestion -- now is the time for the City to take the first steps to try to remediate this problem. The Governor has declared a state of emergency because of Irene and the President has declared all or parts of the State a disaster area. If ever there are going to be funds made available -- it is now.
 Coles Brook flows through other municipalities in the County and representatives of Hackensack and these other municipalities must open a dialogue with the County engineering staff to determine what steps must be taken to submit an application for funding to develop a plan to solve the flooding problem. This will be an expensive process which must be taken before any improvements can be undertaken.
In all likelihood the State of New Jersey is the only funding source for this type of study, so an application will have to be made for funding to conduct the engineering studies that are necessary. Don't look for any immediate solutions because the process will be a long and convoluted one. The problem will never be solved until the planning process begins and there is no reason not to get it started right away.

 

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