SKEETKILL MARSH (Ridgefield)
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This 16-acre* was acquired for preservation by the NJMC in 1996 from the Russo Development Corporation. The NJMC has transfered the deed and ownership of Skeetkill Creek Marsh to the Meadowlands Conservation Trust. The Trust's mission is to preserve, protect and enhance environmentally sensitive lands in the Meadowlands region and the Hackensack River watershed.
The Skeetkill Creek Marsh sits along Bellman’s Creek. It is adjacent to an industrial section of Ridgefield. Prior to enhancement work the Common Reed (Phragmites australis) was the predominant vegetation, forming a dense monoculture throughout the wetlands portion of the property. A number of open water channels drained into Skeetkill Creek and at the Spring high tide the majority of the wetlands area was inundated. Unfortunately, the dense cover of Phragmites limited the suitability of the site for most wildlife species.
The restoration project at Skeetkill Creek Marsh was complete in 1998 and included the management of Phragmites, increasing the available open water habitat and the creation of scrub-shrub habitats along the marsh upland ecotone. Excavation of several shallow pools has provided open water habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife. There is a small miniature park on-site for the public to enjoy including benches, informational kiosk. The NJMC conducted a successful restoration of Skeetkill Creek Marsh and the Meadowlands Conservation Trust plans to keep the site well maintained for both wild habitat and the public.
There has been a community spirit aspiring to maintain the tract as a successful restoration, with numerous groups offering their time and labor in keeping the site clean of trash and debris.