Monday, October 27, 2014

On Overcoming What My Be the Last Hurdle to Scientific Glass Purchase

Our guest comments are by former BOE President Mary Shaunessy:
Great news about the Scientific Glass site in the mayor's announcement below, but we can't forget that the effort to save this, our last substantial piece of open space, was started in 2001 by a small group of determined citizens who formed the Third River Bank Association. Led with unwavering strength by now Councilman Nick Joanow, the group--dubbed "the river rats" and crackpots by its detractors, distributed thousands of pamplets, held multiple fundraisers to hire technical experts (this was crucial to our success), penned scores of letters and editorials, held informational seminars with environmental leaders from across the state, and took multiple trips to Trenton to plead the case in front of the DEP. (Please see link to the Third River Bank blog below, created and sustained by Susan Hebert and Geoff Gove). 

Other steadfast sources of inspiration and support: Senator Ronald Rice, who helped us when our local politicians ridiculed us, Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic and Greg Remaud, of New York/New Jersey Baykeepers, who not only lent moral support to keep us going, but provided financial and expert resources to acquire nearly six acres of land. Several of the BTRA founding members who worked so hard to keep the fight going have passed, notably Larry Kramer and Anne Delker. They would have been so proud to see the completion of their efforts, which finally came to fruition with a council majority who finally understood the importance of saving this environmentally sensitive land. A dozen or so really committed people with common dreams can make a difference. 
I'm encouraged to see other Bloomfield groups taking on the charge for other worthwhile causes. Herewith the old BTRA blog: