ABOUT BERGEN SWAN
VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS WELCOME!
Our long-time work to protect, preserve and steward the lands surrounding our drinking water reservoirs is only possible by the good and tireless energies of our volunteers and regular staff. Those of us running the organization dedicate hundreds of unpaid hours per year to keeping the organization viable and business compliant.
If you are a good organizer, communicator, worker-bee, and nature lover, we need your help in the public arena and behind the scenes. To volunteer or for further information, please contact us immediately at 201-666-1877
Bergen SWAN Goals
Bergen SWANs primary focus has been on the preservation of the natural lands surrounding the drinking water supply reservoirs in Bergen and Rockland counties. To date, we have been a major force in saving over 3,300 acres from residential and commercial development. We work with numerous national and regional land trusts to negotiate land preservation deals. In 1997, we established the Hackensack River Watershed Fund to facilitate the financing of local watershed lands threatened with development.
Bergen SWAN actively promotes, supports the passage of, and defends open space and environmental protection legislation. Among these are:
- Category 1 stream protection for all streams and water bodies in the Upper Watershed
- The Garden State Preservation Trust Fund
- The Watershed Protection Act
- The Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund
- Municipal ordinances prohibiting the use of ATVs on watershed lands
SWAN works toward restoring the ecological integrity of the watershed by:
- Sponsoring projects to clean-up and stabilize the banks of the Hackensack and its tributaries
- Training volunteers to install special plantings and implement erosion and stormwater control measures
- Encouraging homeowners and golf course managers to reduce their use of damaging pesticides and fertilizers
- Working with naturalists, environmental scientists, and community volunteers toward re-establishment of wildlife habitats
- Hiring planners to assist municipal agencies in modifying poor land use practices by passing shade tree ordinances, creating open space and natural resource inventories, and encouraging developers and commercial property owners to implement best management practices
Through sponsorship of educational workshops, school lectures, and outdoor events, we give students, citizens, and public policy makers a new vision of our watershed buffer forests to motivate them to work toward protecting these lands and enhancing their natural beauty and functioning. We have helped create passive recreation nature trails in Emerson Woods and at Poplar Sanctuary in River Vale.
Bergen SWAN History
Some History information...