HAWTHORNE, NJ - Environmental Commission Chairwoman Rayna Laiosa announced that the Commission and Green Team will be hosting the grand opening of the "Gateway to the Passaic River" - a project which has taken the time and effort of dedicated volunteers and the support of the borough.

Since 2018, the borough, Commission, and Green Team have been working on the Gateway project, securing grant money and from sources such as the PSEG Foundation and putting their efforts into cleaning up and preparing the waterfront section of Hawthorne's southern border.

In 2018, speaking to the borough council, Laiosa said that the Gateway "...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."

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Since that time, facing challenges and ultimately overcoming them, the project continued and Laiosa was proud to notify residents that a date for the opening has been set.

"On behalf of the Hawthorne Environmental Commission and Hawthorne Green Team, we are conducting our Grand Opening of the 'Gateway to the Passaic River' on Saturday, August 15, 2020, at 10:00 am.," Laiosa said.  "The rain date is Sunday, August 16, 2020. The event is located across from 305 Wagaraw Road in Hawthorne, New Jersey."

She said that the newest rain gardens would be opened by the Wagaraw athletic complex and there would be a new walkway access to the Passaic River "for fishing and water recreation activities" as described two years ago.

"The Gateway project provides an opportunity to enhance and promote Hawthorne's waterfront open space," Laiosa said, "[as well as] the importance of utilizing native plants of New Jersey and increasing Hawthorne's biodiversity."

Laiosa thanked ANJEC and Sustainable Jersey, "for providing the funds to make this project a reality for our residents of Hawthorne and beyond."  At the opening, masks will be required as well as social distancing of at least six feet.

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