Clock Ticking on Large Russell Farms Grant

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                                                            News    Volume 2 Number 2                                        Winter/Spring 2011

 Clock Ticking on Large Russell Farms Grant
Wyckoff - Wyckoff officials have until Oc-
tober 21, 2011 to complete the acquisition
of Russell Farms or lose the $1,859,000
grant provided by the Bergen County Open
Space Trust Fund. The five-acre tract, located
on Russell Avenue near Sicomac Avenue,
sits at the headwaters of the Goffle Brook
and was formerly an orchard with green-
houses and a farm stand.
The Wyckoff Planning Board approved the
subdivision of property for six homes in
2007. Negotiations for acquisition began in
2009, with Wyckoff applying for the Bergen
County grant that summer and receiving the
award in 2010.
The appraised value of the property is $2.8
million, and Wyckoff planned to fund the
balance of the purchase price from its Mu-
nicipal Open Space Trust Fund. The Wyckoff
                                                 Aerial view of Russell Farms (outlined in white line) as it appeared in 1938.
                                                 Photo courtesy Wyckoff Historical Society; www.wycko
Municipal Open Space Trust Fund which
was approved by the voters in 2006 and
began in 2007 (see related story on page 3;
                                                 Initial plans for the property called for a mix        blending in clean soil under a clean-up
Open Space Trust Fund Up for Renewal”).
                                                 of active and passive recreation, with a               plan approved by the state Department of En-
Wyckoff officials have noted that our mu-
                                                 small field surrounded by trees and a walk-            vironmental Protection.
nicipal open space trust fund made the
                                                 ing trail, perhaps with an outdoor exhibit             Wyckoff must have a contract to purchase the
large county grant possible. Wyckoff has
                                                 on the history of farming in Wyckoff. Cur-             property by the deadline to keep the grant.
also applied for a grant from the state
                                                 rently the developer is removing pesticide-
Green Acres office to apply toward the
                                                 contaminated soil from the site and
Russell Farms purchase.

           In This Issue                                      Join in June!                                         Save The Dates
                                                    June is Membership Drive Month!                          June 11
  Development Update              Page 3               Become a new “Friend” or                               Wyckoff Day; Wyckoff “Y”
                                                        renew your membership!                                noon till dusk
                                                       Go online or watch for our
  Open Space Trust Fund           Page 3
                                                     membership le er in your mail!
                                                                                                              Visit our booth and pick up a sapling!
  What is the                                                                                                 Enter our drawing to win a composter!
  Wyckoff Master Plan?             Page 4                                                                     Visit for
                                                                                                              information about this event.

                                                                                                             October 13
                                                   Thanks to everyone who
                                                   attended our first annual
                                                                                                              5th Annual Pasta Night!

                                                   Pancake Breakfast!
         Follow us on FACEBOOK!                    A portion of the proceeds will                             Wyckoff Reformed Church
         Search: “Friends of Wyckoff”              support a Wyckoff school environmental
                                                   project. See Page 2.
Page 2                                                                                                             Friends Of Wyckoff – Winter/Spring 2011

               Meet Members of the                                                                                       trepreneur. Stan’s favorite causes: government

     Friends of Wyckoff Executive Committee
                                                                                                                         transparency, preserving our trees, and pre-
                                                                                                                         venting overdevelopment. Stan enjoys: gar-
                                                                                                                         dening and rowing (he is former President of
Linda Vreeland, Chairperson                                     Dow Chemical in Sales and Marketing.                     the East Arm Rowing Club). Stan says: “I
Linda grew up in Wyckoff and returned in                        George’s favorite causes: saving our trees.              would like to see members of the community
2006, when she joined Friends. She is also                      George enjoys: playing tennis, and has par-              recognize that the future of Wyckoff depends
active in: Wyckoff Historical Society, a do-                    ticipated in an investment group for 30 years.           on their involvement.”
cent and Trustee at the Hermitage Museum,                       George says: “Friends is our best chance to              Elaine Fichera
and Communications Director of Merlin's                         preserve Wyckoff’s beauty and character.”                Elaine has lived in Wyckoff for 3 years, and
KIDS. Professionally: Linda is self-employed                    Toni Brienza, Secretary                                  joined Friends soon after moving here. Elaine
as a communications consultant and graphic                      Toni has lived in Wyckoff for 25 years, and              is also active in: she is Secretary of S.A.V.E.
designer, and owner of Ifence pet contain-                      joined Friends one year after it was founded.            Wyckoff. Professionally: Elaine is self-em-
ment. Linda’s favorite causes: historic preser-                 She is also active in: the Design Review Ad-             ployed as a freelance creative consultant and
vation, especially remaining Wyckoff                            visory Board 2011. Professionally: Toni has              advertising copywriter. Elaine’s favorite
structures; Open Space and using funds to                       been a real estate professional for 24 years.            causes: historic preservation, saving our trees,
preserve areas for passive recreation. Linda                    Toni’s favorite causes: historic preservation,           preventing overdevelopment, and preserving
enjoys: collecting antiques, outdoor activi-                    saving our trees, protecting our environment,            Open Space for passive recreation. Elaine en-
ties. Linda says: “Wyckoff was a great place                    preventing overdevelopment, preserving and               joys: collecting antiques, art, outdoor activi-
to grow up, with dairies and farms (with                        protecting Open Space. Toni enjoys: reading,             ties. Elaine says: “Seeing Boulder Run
cows!), and evolved into a charming com-                        walking. Toni says: “The Friends of Wyckoff              motivated me to join Friends so I could play
munity. Sadly, the last 25 years have taken                     brings awareness of the vital importance in              an active role in preserving the history and
away much of Wyckoff’s charm. Historic                          preserving what little there is left of our ‘little      charm of Wyckoff. My hope is that the people
homes have been razed, the ravine is com-                       bit of country.’ Wyckoff is a family friendly            of Wyckoff will realize that every voice
promised with 9 large homes within feet of

                                                                                                                         Friends Donate Composter
                                                                town, and maintaining our quality of life is             makes a difference.”
its precipice, and Boulder Run makes one                        very important to me.”

                                                                                                                             and Red Wigglers
wonder if ‘aesthetic’ ever crossed the minds
of those who approved it. I’m optimistic that                   Janet Gaglione
residents will become more involved.”                           Janet has lived in Wyckoff for 30 years. She
                                                                was a founding member of Friends. She is                 Students at Coolidge School and Jan
Mike Brienza, Co-chairperson                                    also active in: the Garden Club of Wyckoff,              Kochanek, School Nurse/Health Educator,
Mike has lived in Wyckoff for 25 years, and                     The Depot in Midland Park/childrens aid and              have been busy planting herbs, vegetables,
is one of the co-founders of Friends. Profes-                   family counseling, and Seniors of Wyckoff.               and flowers in the newly renovated court-
sionally: Mike is self-employed as a historic                   Professionally: Janet is a licensed realtor with         yard that is nestled between the original
restoration carpenter. Mike’s favorite causes:                  Re/Max Real Estate. Janet’s favorite causes:             building and new wing.
historic preservation, saving our trees, pre-                   historic preservation, protecting our canopy             After a tour of the courtyard, Friends de-
serving and protecting Open Space. Mike en-                     trees, protecting the environment, preventing            cided to donate a much-needed composter
joys: cars, collecting antiques, and studying                   overdevelopment, and preserving Open                     so the students can complete their com-
architecture. Mike says: “We’ve made great                      Space in Wyckoff. Janet enjoys: antiquing                posting process on-site. Vermicomposting,
progress with the updated Wyckoff Master                        and gardening. Janet says: “Preserving our               also called worm composting, is the final
Plan, and I’m hoping to see it put into ac-                     history in Wyckoff is a challenge.”                      phase of the composting process, where
tion.”                                                          Stan Goodman                                             compost is turned into dirt. Friends also do-
George Pitts, Treasurer                                         Stan has lived in Wyckoff for 24 years, and              nated a new crop of red wiggler worms for
George has lived in Wyckoff for 34 years, and                   joined friends 2 years ago. Stan is also active          the school’s vermicomposting program.
joined Friends 5 years ago. He is also active                   in: UJA of Northern NJ, and is founder and               “It’s important for the students to know
in: unlimited activities! Professionally:                       President of S.A.V.E. Wyckoff. Professionally:           where food comes from, and why compost-
George had an international career with                         Stan is a beauty industry executive and en-              ing is vital to the environment,” said

    Join Friends of Wyckoff or Renew Your Membership                                                                      The Friends donation was a result of their
                                                                                                                         recent Pancake Breaskfast fundraiser, where
     YES! I’d like to be a Friends of Wyckoff member and help improve the quality of life in our town.                   a portion of their proceeds benefit local
                                                                                                                         school environmental projects.
                                          New Member                            $25                                      Read full article
                                          Renewal                             $100
                                                                                                                                       Officers of the
                                                                                                      Other                          Friends of Wyckoff
                                                                                                                            Chair:        Linda Vreeland
 Street Address                                                                            State NJ Zip 07481               Co-Chair:     Michael Brienza
                                                                                                                            Secretary:    Toni Brienza
 Phone                                                 Email*                                                               Treasurer:    George Pitts
                         Checks should be payable to “Friends of Wyckoff” and mailed to:                                    Members of the Executive Committee
                                                                                                                            (in addition to the officers above): Elaine
                   *Please provide your email address to help us save on paper and snail mail costs.
                                 Friends of Wyckoff, P.O. Box 302, Wyckoff, NJ 07481

             Your email will be used solely for communication from us, and will never be rented, lent, or sold.
                                                                                                                            Fichera Janet Gaglione, Stan Goodman,

                                                                                                                            Ray Steele, and Susan Steele
Friends Of Wyckoff – Winter/Spring 2011                                                                                                      Page 3

                                                 As Mr. Doug Struyk, CEO of CHCC, testified          Most troubling, in a meeting with the
        In Our Opinion                                                                               Friends of Wyckoff Executive Committee in
                                                 before the Planning Board, he still hasn’t
  Why the VISTA Development                      provided clear or reassuring answers to             2010, and at both Planning Board meetings,
   Could Make Boulder Run                        pressing questions such as these:                   Mr. Struyk stated that the VISTA will meet an
          Look Good                              Where will the water come from to serve
                                                                                                     important need of the elderly in the sur-
                                                                                                     rounding area. To justify that need, he refers
As Zoning Board Meetings continue, it ap-        the 258 new apartments?
                                                                                                     repeatedly to a study done by a company
pears that the proposed VISTA complex on         He doesn’t know yet.                                called ProMatura. Yet, when asked to share
the Christian Health Care Center campus                                                              the data from that study with the Planning
could overtake Boulder Run as one of the         Who will provide ambulance service to the
                                                 hundreds of elderly new VISTA residents so          Board and the people of Wyckoff, he refused
biggest “mistakes” this town has ever made                                                           because the information is “proprietary.”
— an even bigger mistake than Boulder            our emergency responders aren’t overbur-
Run.                                             dened?                                              Whether you live in the immediate CHCC
                                                 That’s still “under discussion.”                    neighborhood or on the other side of town,
Yes, Boulder Run has wiped out the small                                                             the proposed VISTA could affect all of our
town feel of Wyckoff in the heart of the busi-   How will runoff be controlled in an area
                                                                                                     daily lives. While Friends of Wyckoff has
ness district. Folks continue to shake their     that already has flooding issues after heavy
                                                                                                     taken a public stand against the VISTA, and
heads over the lost trees, expanses of pave-     rains?
                                                                                                     will continue to track events as they unfold,
ment, and boxy construction. Our concern         Even though there’s a “plan,” we can only           we urge every single one of YOU who
grows as we speculate about new busi-            hope that it will work. If it doesn’t, it will be   agrees with us to share the responsibility for
nesses that might move into the buildings        too late.                                           what happens to the future of Wyckoff.
still under construction. Many even refuse
to patronize Stop’n’Shop as a form of            How much more traffic will be created by            Please…attend public meetings, ask ques-
protest.                                         new VISTA residents, their visitors, and            tions, and express your concerns to the
                                                 their home deliveries?                              Wyckoff Township Committee. There’s still
But the appearance of Boulder Run only of-                                                           time to save Wyckoff from an even bigger
fends us. To date, Boulder Run has not com-      To paraphrase, we’re assured that the elderly
                                                 probably won’t drive much, and will most            blunder than Boulder Run.
promised our safety in the streets, flooded
our neighborhoods, or drained our precious       likely get rid of their cars. But that’s just           Visit
resources. However, the VISTA development        speculation, not fact.                                    and for
                                                                                                           Zoning Board meeting dates

        Open Space Question on Ballot in November
has the potential to do all three.

Wyckoff – At the April 26 Township Commit-       Space grant to put toward the purchase of Rus-      tected from development and have the poten-
tee meeting, the Township Committee in-          sell Farms.                                         tial to enhance our property values.
structed the township attorney to prepare an                                                            For more information about the
                                                                                                         Open Space Trust Fund, visit
                                                 On November 8, 2011, Wyckoff residents will
ordinance to put a public question on the No-
vember ballot asking voters if they would like
                                                 have the opportunity to vote on continuing the 
                                                 Open Space Trust Fund.
to continue Wyckoff's Open Space Trust Fund

after it expires at the end of 2011.             The Township is also negotiating with the
                                                 owners of the Maple Lake site, a beautiful 28-
                                                                                                           “Green Team”
The Township Committee’s action follows          acre parcel of woods and wetlands through
from an article in the Suburban News (April      which the Goffle Brook flows. Maple Lake
21, 2011) about the Friends of Wyckoff peti-
tion drive to ensure that the public question
                                                 would be an ideal nature sanctuary. Wyckoff
                                                 has applied for funding from both Bergen
                                                                                                            Under Way
be put on the ballot. We applaud the Town-       County Open Space and the state Green Acres         In July of 2010 Wyckoff registered for and ini-
ship Committee for its decision.                 office to acquire Maple Lake. Having our own        tiated the first steps towards certification under
The Open Space Trust Fund is a key reason        Open Space Trust Fund doubles the Green             the Sustainable Jersey Program. The Green
Wyckoff attracted a $1.9 million Bergen          Acres funding from 25 to 50% of appraised           Team will help set guidelines and generate
County Open Space grant for the acquisition      value.                                              ideas for the Environmental Commission from
of Russell Farms, and the Township has ap-                                                           public outreach and programming on envi-
                                                 Wyckoff has about 90 acres of undeveloped
plied for additional grants from Bergen                                                              ronmental issues, to buy “local campaigns”,
                                                 land in Wyckoff. When a landowner wishes
County and the state Green Acres office                                                              green building and design, sustainability plan-
                                                 to sell in Wyckoff, the Open Space Fund cre-
which are pending.                               ates an “alternative buyer”…the town. Thanks        ning, open space, and waste management, to
                                                 to our existing Open Space Trust Fund, Wyck-        name a few. Harriet Shugarman, Co-Chair-
Wyckoff’s current trust fund raised approxi-
                                                 off has already obtained a $1.9 million grant       person of the Environmental Commission is
mately $900,000 over its first four years. Be-
                                                 to purchase Russell Farms. These five acres,        spearheading the Green Team. For more in-
cause the township has this source of funding,
                                                 with their historic significance, will be pro-      formation, visit
it was able to attract the Bergen County Open
Page 4                                                                                    Friends Of Wyckoff – Winter/Spring 2011

   What Our Master Plan Means To Wyckoff
                                                                                                      historic value to the community
                                                                                                    • Preserving and reducing impact on the
By Elaine Fichera                                 Three primary factors are considered when           environment through use of green build-
                                                  updating a Master Plan. These statistics and        ing techniques and materials
It’s something we should all know about and       other key facts are included in the Master        • Controlling development in a responsi-
care about.                                       Plan document:                                    ble and energy efficient manner
Until recently, I had a vague idea that a         • Changes in the town’s population. They          Together we can help enforce our new
town’s Master Plan has something to do with         include: shifts by age, race, and gender;       Master Plan.
“rules” for new development. I became in-           income statistics; size and number of oc-       While Friends of Wyckoff is gratified to see
terested in learning more when I heard that         cupants per household; building permits         these recommendations, we must remem-
the Wyckoff Master Plan was due to be re-           approved; and residents’ employment             ber that they’re only recommendations.
newed in 2010. (It must be revised every 6          characteristics.                                Whether they are put into practice is up to
years according to the NJ Municipal Land          • Conditions that affect residents’ well-         all of us. If every resident of Wyckoff takes
Use Law.) I had the opportunity to sit in on a      being. They include: road conditions;           just 2 small steps, we can realize these and
meeting of the Master Plan Ad-hoc Commit-           safety of pedestrian traffic routes; traffic    other admirable goals set forth in our new
tee while the current plan was in develop-          flow; parking space; recreational opportu-      Master Plan.
ment. After all was said and done, I realized       nities; sewerage; zoning requirements;
just how important the Master Plan really is.                                                       • Step 1: Awareness. Staying on top of pro-
                                                    placement of cell phone towers; and             posed commercial and residential devel-
This is more than a plan for the town of            specific sites of future development.
Wyckoff in abstract terms. It’s a plan that has                                                     opment is critical. It’s easily done by
                                                  • The town’s connection to the surrounding        reading the papers, logging in to
an impact on each and every one of us who
                                                    area. Proximity to adjacent towns and , and talking to your neighbors.
resides here. I also realized that the recom-
                                                    geographic location are also considered         Check out for regu-
mendations in our new Master Plan can help
                                                    as they affect traffic flow, accessibility to   lar updates.
to keep Wyckoff a wonderful place to
                                                    services, sewerage, etc.                        • Step 2: Participation. The members of
live…but only if they are fulfilled.
                                                  After all of the facts have been reviewed, and    our Township Committee listen. If you ob-
   From the Introduction to the 2010              new recommendations are agreed on, a draft        serve something that is contrary to the rec-
 Wyckoff Master Plan, as stated at NJSA           of the updated Master Plan is reviewed by         ommendations in the new Master Plan,
               40:55D-28:                         the committee. When the document is final-        bring it to their attention. If you believe
 “The planning board may prepare and,             ized, the Master Plan is put to a vote at a       some of the new recommendations are not
 after public hearing, adopt or amend a           public meeting.                                   being fulfilled by our town leaders, speak
 master plan…to guide the use of lands                                                              up. Take an hour to attend a town meeting,
within the municipality in a manner which                                                           write a letter to our Committeemen, sign a
                                                  Wyckoff residents interested in obtaining
  protects public health and safety and                                                             petition. Meeting dates are posted on the
                                                    copies of the 2010 Master Plan may
      promotes the general welfare.“                                                                Friends of Wyckoff web site and the town
                                                  inquire at Town Hall or visit our website:
                                                                                                    web site. These small investments of time
                                                                                                    and energy can have a tremendous impact.
This is how a Master Plan update “works”                                                            Remember…the Master Plan is Wyckoff’s
in broad strokes.                                 These highlights of the 2010 Wyckoff              plan for the future. But it will only help us
                                                  Master Plan are in keeping with our goals.        keep Wyckoff a wonderful place to live if
New recommendations for an updated Mas-
ter Plan don’t come out of thin air! They’re      Members of Friends of Wyckoff contributed         we put it into practice!
based on a comparison of what was (when           suggestions for the new Master Plan, espe-
                                                  cially regarding tree preservation and histor-

                                                                                                          Friends is looking for
the previous Master Plan was prepared) and
what is (conditions as they are today). Two       ical sites. These recommendations are very

                                                                                                           a few good Friends!
questions are asked and answered in an up-        much in line with our hopes for the future.
dated Master Plan:                                They include:

• Were the old problems identified in the         • Maintaining the residential character and
                                                                                                         Join our Executive Committee:
  previous Master Plan addressed, and               small town feel of Wyckoff
  were previous objectives met?                   • Preservation of open space, which                  Email:
• What new problems do we face, and                 includes recommendations for:                         if you would like to help.
  what are our new objectives?                      — Renewing the Municipal Open Space
Old problems and objectives may carry for-            Tax that will expire on December 31,

                                                                                                                       Help Wyckoff
ward into the updated Master Plan. New                2011
problems are identified, and possible solu-         — Establishing an ordinance that protects

                                                                                                                       reach its 50%
tions are discussed. Ideally, town residents          trees from destruction
are included in these discussions, as was the       — Exploring the potential acquisition of

                                                                                                                       recycling goal!
case with our new Master Plan. This provides          Russell Farm
a “citizen’s eye view” of what needs to be
                                                  • Historic preservation, by exploring ways
addressed, as well as a variety of opinions
                                                    of recognizing structures and places of
and ideas.

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