DEP, NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust Preserve Weehawken Reservoir

TRENTON—Working in partnership with the Township of Weehawken, Union City, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the Department of Environmental Protection has secured the preservation of a unique 14.4-acre reservoir near the Lincoln Tunnel, Commissioner Bob Martin announced.

The parties executed agreements to preserve the reservoir and surrounding land. Through a memorandum of agreement, Weehawken and Union City will establish a trail around the reservoir for passive recreation. The property, located just blocks from the Lincoln Tunnel, provides spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.

United Water Co. had owned the reservoir but had not used it for many years. The reservoir, surrounded by a thin strip of land, is located in Weehawken, on the border with Union City. Through its revolving loan program, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust provided Weehawken with an $8.66 million low-interest loan. The loan was critical to making the agreement happen.

The DEP's Green Acres Program also provided a $2 million grant. Each of the municipalities provided $168,000. The Trust for Public Land played a major role in coordinating the purchase.

The Green Acres Program has had a hand in protecting some 650,000 acres since the passage of the state's first Green Acres bond act in 1961.

"This cooperative effort among the State of New Jersey, the Trust for Public Land, Union City, the Township of Weehawken and United Water preserves that largest remaining piece of open land in the upper portion of North Hudson County," said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. "This keeps a major piece of open space in a densely populated portion of the state available to the public, preserves the character of the surrounding neighborhoods and enhances the quality of life for everyone."

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