Once a landfill, Overpeck Park in Bergen County, New Jersey is now one of my happy places. And before we left fair New Jersey for Italy in April, we took Baby Boy for a stroll there. The charming wooden bridge for walking and autos is now a lovely symbol of the land. Englewood, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park, and Teaneck donated hundreds of acres of land surrounding Overpeck Creek about 50 years ago to create this park. It features walking paths, a dog park, tennis courts, baseball fields, and even an equestrian area with horses for riding. There are tracks, a canoe/kayak launch, and a fishing area, not to mention a playground for kids.
An oasis in the middle of a county that often seems more city than suburb, Overpeck has even recently attracted a pair of American eagles. (I, along with the rest of New Jersey, am hoping the eagles make it.) Bergen County announced May 10 that more improvements are coming to the park. The County is receiving a $500,000 grant to complete a missing link of pedestrian paths traversing the park and will connect all the venues within it, according to the announcement.
There’s so much you can do at Overpeck. But I have to admit my favorite pastime at the park is simple walking. I especially enjoy a visit in the spring, when it is still not too hot and all the flowers and plants are in bloom. I take photos by the pretty trees dressed in pink or white flowers, people watch, encounter the many dogs and babies, and take a deep breath. Bet those who knew the land as a landfill never imagined it could be a place of such peace and beauty.