Since River Edge and Oradell aren't prominent in the Frommer's guide, let's explore what an eco tourist could find in our locale in these waning days of summer. Ecotourism is most often characterized as an educational visit to a low impact, pristine, untouched environment.
Traveling to those environs, however, is usually high impact, leaving an environmental footprint on many levels. While a local tour may not offer a Patagonian vista, we do have pockets of eco triumphs and we, the locals, can enjoy them too.
- Stop by TJ's Tire & Auto Center at 536 Kinderkamack Road in River Edge and locate a quirky, fun, recycled art installation piece available for year round viewing.
- Walk through and take in the view at the corner of Old New Bridge Road and New Bridge Road. Where spark plugs, tires and all measure of vehicular fluids coalesced in the confines of a junk yard, full remediation efforts have grown the property into a green meadow. Even Google Maps has not caught up with the transformation, still showing an area of brown dirt as of this date.
- Locate Oradell Avenue and pause on the bridge over the Hackensack River. You may find some unwelcome litter, but an annual effort spearheaded by the Hackensack River Keeper with active community involvement from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other volunteers keeps it as clean and beautiful as possible. The Hackensack River Keeper goes beyond plucking golf balls, fast food refuse and furniture out of the river.
- Find a chair at at 304 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell and enjoy Fair Trade coffee, tea and chocolate among other delicious menu items.
- Stop in at the corner health food store, aka , at 636 Kinderkamack Road in River Edge and discover an unparalleled assortment of gluten free items, organic and vegan choices. Staff is always open to suggestions and most helpful.
- Department of Public Works' recycling depot for electronics and an active recycling program for most household items.
- Compost bins being utilitzed on a regular basis in backyards, turning out rich, fertile soil.
- Rain barrels are occasionally spotted at the end of gutter down spout on homes, filling up watering cans for smaller out-pourings in dry spells.
- Solar panels can be seen glinting from the rooftops of some homes.
- Recycled fencing has been erected and bamboo flooring has been danced upon.
- Neighbors share produce from their fruit and vegetable harvests.
- Abundant wildlife like deer, fox, coyote, raccoon, squirrel, chipmunk, opossum, skunk, mole and vole share our suburban sprawl. Looking up can yield a hawk sighting as well as trees full of common local species. Local birder, Patrick Carney, has spotted and photographed the threatened species of Black Crowned Night Heron believed to be nesting on Van Buskirk Island in Oradell.
Enjoy every park in River Edge and Oradell in one day. Start at the one closest to your house and bike or walk to the rest. Throw a frisbee in every green patch you find, pack a progressive lunch or support a local lunch destination along the way. Though there are small, inviting green spaces tucked away throughout River Edge and Oradell, the main ones are listed below:
- River Edge Parks: , and
- : Grant, Hoffman, Memorial and Doug Parcells Athletic Complex
With Rockland Coaches, NJ Transit bus and train options, invite your friends to come by public transportation to join you on an eco tour of River Edge and Oradell. Instagram their photo next to the installation art piece at TJ's Tire & Auto Center or toss a wildflower grenade into brown spots waiting for beautification. We're getting greener all the time.