In September 2022 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) acquired approximately nine miles of an abandoned Norfolk Southern rail line that passes through eight municipalities in Essex and Hudson counties. NJDEP envisions converting the land into a new State Park in the form of a multi-modal greenway.
The Greenway will establish a new level of connectivity between adjacent communities. With over 7,850 residents per square mile – approximately 1.5 million people in the surrounding area – the Greenway will serve over 16 percent of New Jersey’s population, along with tourists and visitors. Repurposed as a Greenway, the former rail line will connect the region and some of the nation’s most diverse and densely populated communities, including:
- Glen Ridge
- Jersey City
The Greenway is a transformative project that will serve as a catalyst for economic development while increasing community members’ quality of life – improving environmental, individual, and public health. As NJDEP develops the Greenway as State parkland, the Greenway will, in turn, filter air pollution, collect stormwater runoff, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and potentially reduce local energy needs while beautifying and enhancing the surrounding communities. Given its strategic location, the Greenway stands to serves as a model project for off-road access and linear parkland connectivity, benefiting the entire metropolitan region.
Instructors: Barbara Faga