LINDEN — The City of Linden is planning a ribbon-cutting event on May 30 for its newly constructed Hawk Rise Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, located on Range Road, is part of a 95 acre city-owned natural resource and wetland complex that has long been recognized by numerous federal, state and non-governmental organizations as an important environmental feature in the Rahway River and Arthur Kill watersheds.
According to Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka, “Hawk Rise provides unique open-space recreational activities to not only the citizens of Linden and Union County, but to the entire metropolitan area.”
Since 2006, the city has been working to transform their closed landfill and adjacent property into a wildlife habitat and passive recreational setting -a place for the public to visit and walk trails through the Hawk Rise forest and to enjoy overlooks of the Rahway River. Designed to encourage hiking, bird watching and nature appreciation, Hawk Rise has almost a mile and a half of elevated walkways and an observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the Rahway River. The trails are equipped with interpretive signage to provide visitors with habitat descriptions and information regarding the 123 species of birds and other wildlife that have been encountered in the area.
Hawk Rise also represents an opportunity to reach youths of all ages to infuse an appreciation and commitment to ecological restoration, enhancement and preservation. The City of Linden has worked with the Linden Public Schools to integrate the sanctuary with the science curriculum as well as to provide professional development for teachers who will be taking groups of students to Hawk Rise for eco studies.
The first two phases of the Sanctuary were constructed with Green Acres grant monies, and assistance from local corporations such as Phillips66 and Infineum. Plans are currently being drafted to construct Phase 3 to continue the Sanctuary’s offerings.
Under the stewardship of the New Jersey Audubon Society, a full suite of natural history programs for families and adults will be offered beginning in June.
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