Grants Will Fund Hawthorne's "Gateway to the Passaic River" Project

Map of Passaic River Gateway Credits: Borough of Hawthorne
Rayna Laiosa, Environmental Commission Chair Credits: Borough of Hawthorne
Richard Goldberg and $1,500.00 Check Credits: John Van Vliet

HAWTHORNE, NJ - Two grants totaling $21,500 will help develop the "Gateway to the Passaic River" project in southern Hawthorne near the parking lot of the Wagaraw Fields.  The Green Team and Environmental Commission will be undertaking the project to address environmental concerns in the area of Wagaraw along the Passaic River.  The funding came as a result of the hard work of a community coalition seeking to improve the location and address its flooding.

Environmental Commission Chairwoman Rayna Laiosa presented a PowerPoint to the council chamber, detailing the specifics of what the grants will be used to do.  "This project really builds upon all the other projects that we’ve done.  One being the rain garden at the library in 2013 that we built and also all our native plant projects that we’ve done over the last two years at borough-owned property, as well as the chamber of commerce businesses’," she said.  "So, putting that all together, we looked at this property and said this is an opportunity where we can address the storm water off of that parking lot leading into the wooded area.  There’s an existing walkway that goes to the Passaic River and we’re going to enhance that.  We’re going to do some river clean ups, going to install some nesting boxes on the property, we’re going to create a trail map and a trail sign."

The grants going toward this effort are $20,000 from the Sustainable Jersey Grant funded by the PSEG Foundation and $1,500 from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions 2018 Open Space Grant.  No matching funds were required from the borough, so the Passaic River Gateway Project will not place any burden on Hawthorne's taxpayers.

Sign Up for E-News

"I do want to recognize that we have letters of support from Rutgers to do this project," Laiosa said.  "I think because of that and our partnerships is really he reason why were were able to get this [grant] package together. "

The storm water management initiative is designed to utilize the water which runs off the parking lot and feed it into a 160 square foot “rain garden” with native plants.  The vicinity will be cleared of decaying vegetation and debris.  Behind the rain garden, some trees will be removed and more native plants will replace them, taking advantage of an opened tree canopy.

“These are very small trees, we’ll be keeping the big trees, they’ll be the anchors of the rain garden,” Laiosa said.  “When we open this canopy, all of this area is going to open up."

Laiosa then explained that the confluence of the Passaic River and Stevenson Brook will be the site of the shoreline of the Gateway.  "This is going to enhance and promote the Hawthorne waterfront space.  We’re going to have opportunities for fishing, opportunities for recreation, kayaks, and boating, we’re going to utilize native plants, and we’re also going to promote the aesthetics of the Passaic River for us and for the future."

NJ Fish and Wildlife has been stocking the Passaic River with northern pike and channel catfish in Hawthorne, she said.  Hawthorne Environmental Commissioners met with NJ Fish and Wildlife officials recently to discuss fishing prospects.

ANJAC's check of $1,500.00 was presented to Mayor Goldberg amid applause from the council and audience.


Hey there, reader!  Do you want to chime in?  Submit a letter to the editor of TAPinto Hawthorne

Sign up to receive FREE TAPinto news in your email inbox:

Follow TAPinto on Twitter: @TAPHawthorne 

Like us on Facebook:

Visit and read TAPinto Hawthorne 24/7 for FREE:

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 17, 2018

MILLBURN — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving family members an ...

Police Blotter - July 19, 2018

July 19, 2018

Case: 18-19258

Date:  7/10/2018

Incident Title: Suspicious vehicle / possession of prescription drugs / syringe.

Suspect information:

Samia Souza 27 y/o female Ridgefield NJ

Peter Khanjian 26 y/o male Hawthorne NJ

Vehicle information: Tan 2004 Cadillac

Description of incident: Officers dispatched to area of 766 Lafayette Ave for suspicious vehicle occupied by 2 people.

Upcoming Events


Thu, July 26, 7:00 PM

North Haledon Free Public Library, North Haledon

Chair Yoga with Gianna Wozney

Community Calendar Health & Wellness


Thu, August 2, 7:00 PM

North Haledon Free Public Library, North Haledon

Chair Yoga with Gianna Wozney

Community Calendar Health & Wellness