Who We Are
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is located at:
Richard W. DeKorte Park
P.O. Box 640
One DeKorte Park Plaza
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
We serve as the zoning and planning agency for a 30.4-square-mile area along the Hackensack River covering parts of 14 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The municipalities with portions in the Meadowlands District are listed below.
To learn more about the NJMC and our recent projects view our 2013 Annual Report.
The NJMC is in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The Board of Commissioners consists of seven members: The DCA Commissioner, ex officio, or his/her alternate, traditionally serving as chairperson and six citizens from Bergen and Hudson counties appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate. The Executive Director of the NJMC, appointed by the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the implementation of Commission policies. The Executive Director also serves as the secretary to Board.
The Hackensack Meadowlands Reclamation and Development Act also created the Hackensack Meadowlands Municipal Committee (HMMC). The HMMC consists of the mayor of each of the 14 Meadowlands District municipalities or a designated alternate. This body is charged with reviewing all proposed codes and standards, the District Master Plan and any amendments to the plan, development and redevelopment plans, improvement plans or other major decisions of the NJMC. It has the authority to approve or veto the aforementioned matters. The NJMC Board of Commissioners may override a HMMC veto by a 5/7 vote.
At the time of the NJMC’s formation, the Meadowlands District was marred by dozens of illegal landfills. The Commission’s steadfast commitment to carrying out its mission has resulted in an extraordinary economic and environmental transformation. The Meadowlands, once blighted and polluted, is now an economic engine, environmental jewel and educational resource.
The NJMC’s tireless efforts have helped attract billions of dollars in new development to the area, and the Commission has invested tens of millions more in infrastructure improvements that have benefited District municipalities, residents and businesses.
Today, the Commission continues to promote economic growth and development in the region through initiatives that attract and retain businesses. These include pursuing redevelopment opportunities and reviewing rules and regulations to find areas where common-sense changes reduce the cost of doing business.
Simultaneously, the Commission has preserved more than 3,500 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands and conducted numerous scientific studies that have helped improve the water quality of the Hackensack River and bring about wildlife resurgence in the District.
Improvements to the Meadowlands’ unique urban ecosystem are supported by the work of the NJMC’s Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) and Natural Resources Management Department. MERI performs ongoing monitoring and studies of the region’s air, soils and water and creates, maintains and updates comprehensive digital maps of every property in the Meadowlands District that are used to help first responders combat emergencies and help zoning and tax officials work more efficiently.
The Natural Resources Management Department conducts surveys on area wildlife and looks for ways to enhance and preserve the environment by protecting native plants and other species. The Department also researches ways to eliminate or reduce the spread of invasive flora and fauna. The research performed by MERI and the Natural Resources Management Department furthers the NJMC’s ongoing commitment to exploring ways to improve and protect vital natural resources in the Meadowlands District.
The NJMC’s efforts in this area have led to the establishment of the Meadowlands District a premier ecotourism destination. The District includes 20 parks, with several providing access points for waterfront recreation. The Commission offers seasonal pontoon boat and canoe tours and year-round guided nature walks to give visitors an up-close view of the environmental renaissance.
The Commission has also become a regional leader in the promotion of renewable energy. The NJMC constructed the first solar farm on a State-owned landfill, an innovative approach to finding a productive use for a landfill that had been closed for 30 years. The 3-megawatt installation at the NJMC 1A Landfill in Kearny includes 12,506 photovoltaic panels mounted on 13 acres atop the 35-acre landfill that supply electricity directly to the electric grid.
The Commission has also built a 120-kilowatt solar carport canopy over its administration building parking lot. The 504 solar panels on the canopy provide approximately 20 percent of the electricity needs of the Commission’s administrative building. In addition In addition, the NJMC Center for Environmental and Scientific Education includes 165 rooftop solar panels. The solar components contributed to the Science Center becoming the first public building in New Jersey to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum, the highest designation, from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Through the Commission’s partnership with Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Meadowlands Environment Center provides environmental science programs to schoolchildren and the general public that increase awareness of the critical importance of environmental protection and stewardship
The NJMC’s campus is located at Richard W. DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. The park is named after the late State Assemblyman Richard W. DeKorte, who was instrumental in passing the legislation creating the NJMC. Constructed in 1982, the NJMC offices became a symbolic and literal barrier between unregulated landfills and the preservation of the Hackensack River’s ecosystem.
The Meadowlands District is bordered by Route 46 on the north; Routes 1 and 9 (also known as Tonnelle Avenue) and the freight lines owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX Corp. on the east; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Trans-Hudson (PATH) commuter rail lines and the Pulaski Skyway on the south; and Route 17, the Pascack Valley rail line and the Kingsland rail line on the West.
DeKorte Park is home to 3.5 miles of trails, scenic overlooks, gardens and an art gallery. In addition to the NJMC’s administrative offices, the park hosts the Meadowlands Environment Center, William D. McDowell Observatory and the Center for Environmental and Scientific Education (Science Center), all of which are NJMC educational facilities operated by Ramapo College of New Jersey.