Story by A.J. Arias
The Greenwood Lake Commission brought in award-winning landscaper, Nancy Minich, to make a presentation at their meeting on Wed., Jun. 26. This was part of the Commission’s larger efforts to control the geese population on Greenwood Lake, recommended by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey.
Minich goes to municipal parks as well as private properties and creates designs to promote healthier eco-systems, while also preventing water pollution and deterring unwanted animals, such as geese and deer, from certain areas. She does this by recommending certain tall grasses and natural plant species to form what is known as a Riparian Buffer. The Riparian Buffer impedes sight lines from animals such as deer and geese and also acts as a natural filter for run off before it goes in bodies of water such as Greenwood Lake.
Minich visited Greenwood Lake with NJ co-chair Paul Zarrillo to see different sights including marinas, parks, and some private homes. She took photos of these locations and then through Photoshop gave recommendations about what to do to help the situation in that area and then showing what the results would look like.
The Animal Protection League of NJ has offered, free of cost to the Commission or Greenwood Lake, to implement one of Minich’s designs. The location that Minich thought would be best and that the Commission agreed to look into was the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park. Minich presented her suggested design at the meeting, which includes planting high grasses and creating meandering pathways through it. The design wouldn’t be implemented until the fall, which is the best time for planting.
Commission Thanks Community Members
Members of the Commission expressed their thanks to members of the community who reached to the NJ State Assembly Appropriations Committee to push them to hear bill A-3804 before elections this coming November. The bill would provide Greenwood Lake with $500,000 to help the lake deal with many issues, including cleaning up Belcher’s Creek.
The Commission sent out a mailer to all homes around the lake and put ads in several local newspapers to get the word out about the bill. The commission called the outreach a success in terms of the volume of calls that were reported by committee members.
Zarrillo, through his efforts to get the bill heard and passed, has made a connection to the NJ State Speaker of the General Assembly Craig Coughlin. It is believed that if the bill is heard, as it has passed in several other bodies and assembly committees on its way to the Appropriations Committee.
Water Management Plan Update
The Commission gave an update on their water management plan. A letter was sent out to several bodies regarding a drawdown. Currently, the plan calls for a two to three foot drawdown with a possibility of going up to five feet. The drawdown would occur between 2020 and 2021. Public hearings aren’t currently set for the last week of March and April of 2020.
The next Commission meeting will be held on Wed., Jul. 24 at 7 p.m. at the West Milford Library, located at 1470 Union Valley Rd. in West Milford, NJ.