Historic Restoration of Goffle Brook Park

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Project Information

  • Location: Hawthorne, New Jersey

  • Client: County of Passaic

  • Disciplines: Park Design, Bank Stabilization, Surveying, Regulatory Permitting, Historic Preservation, Construction Inspection

Boswell Engineering was retained by the County of Passaic to provide engineering design, permitting, surveying and construction management services for the ecological restoration and rehabilitation of a 2-mile stretch of the Goffle Brook within the 103-acre Goffle Brook Park, Hawthorne, New Jersey. The Park (listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places) was acquired in the 1920’s in order to preserve its natural beauty and prevent encroaching development.

This project demonstrates the ability to restore a damaged, riparian corridor within the 103-acre Goffle Brook Park by reducing riverbank erosion, flood damage and non-point source pollution (primarily TMDL, fecal coliform, and polluted runoff). The methods Boswell used to restore the damaged stream corridor included dredging, bioengineering and natural tiered wall systems. The structural wall systems were installed at the terminus of Second Avenue and along Goffle Road near the Warburton Avenue Bridge.

In addition to the design component of the project, the County required several approvals from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), since the park was originally designed by Percival Gallagher of the world-renowned Olmstead Brothers Firm. Boswell worked with Richard Grubb and Associates to prepare an Area of Potential Effects (APE) survey and Application for Project Authorization (APA). Following the initial evaluation, the County retained the services of a certified historic landscape architect (Menke & Menke) to guide the proposed landscape plan and remain sensitive to the park’s original design. The vegetative community was dramatically enhanced through the selective pruning and planting of several hundred trees and shrubs along with establishing large open lawn areas. Additionally, the inclusion of a park-wide trail system achieved overall connectivity while offering a broad range of scenic viewscapes.

The project is a living example of a large-scale historic park restoration that required constant collaboration with the County and various State agencies in order to achieve the necessary balance of environmental sustainability and historic preservation. The newly restored park now provides area residents with scenic views and a comprehensive trail system that can be utilized by residents of all ages.

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