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WeLoveU Takes on Three-Day Ridgefield Nature Center Project

Ridgefield Nature Center

#EarthDay2019

On Earth Day 2019, the WeLoveU chapters in North New Jersey mustered up volunteers at the Ridgefield Nature Center. The environmental project launching in Ridgefield, New Jersey took Earth Day to another level as the project lasted several days. Earth Week? Almost! The group previously worked with Ridgefield when more than 150 volunteers cleaned along Wolf Creek.

For over a decade, the Ridgefield Nature Center has been closed to the public. Vines grew exponentially, leaving many trees to die. That’s why part of the project involves picking up dead branches in order to make wood chips to lay on the walkways. Hundreds of tree lumber on the ground and vines overtaking the nature center is how the center is commonly recognized.

What better day to create change than on Earth Day? On April 22, 24 and 25, approximately 120 volunteers took action at the Ridgefield Nature Center. Every morning, 40 volunteers gathered at the Ridgefield Community Center, located right next to the center. At that time WeLoveU volunteers, workers from the DPW and Recycling Coordinator Millie Rojas discussed the plan for the respective day. It was an exciting and productive week for WeLoveU and the Ridgefield Community.

“The job that they [WeLoveU] do, they work together as a team, and they help one another. You see one carrying a log, before you know it, there’s like five people carrying the same log. The love you see is incredible,” says Millie Rojas, Recycling Coordinator. “If there were more people like the Chairperson [of WeLoveU], our world would be different today.”

The Nature Center’s Background Story

The Ridgefield Nature Center was previously owned by a water delivery company called the Great Bear. In 1975, ownership of the center changed to the hands of the town borough. After that time, the center was opened to the public once a week on Saturday’s. Eventually, it became a restricted property and closed-off to the public with a fence. 

“It means a lot to me and it’s going to mean a lot to the community,” said Superintendent of Public Works Joe Greco when asked what this project means to him and the community. “Since it has been closed for a couple years, now it’s going to be reopening and accessible.”

Sustainable Revitalization

WeLoveU volunteers completed phase one of the revitalization project by working diligently for four hours a day for three days. They removed decaying wood and laid down logs and wood chips for the outlined path. Though significant progress has been made, there is much more to do.

“The work that they [WeLoveU] did in three days would probably take me about six months. Phenomenal job,” said Joe Greco.

Projects are underway for WeLoveU to continue revitalizing the Ridgefield Nature Center. However, not without help. The project will call for help from local residents, business owners, students and public servants. Everyone and anyone has an opportunity to help reopen the Ridgefield Nature Center with WeLoveU. 

The main goal of the project is to completely transform the nature center into a county attraction for families, students and locals. WeLoveU hopes it will be a place for promoting the importance of ecosystems, environmental education, appreciation for nature, and inspire others to combat climate change.

Volunteers take a group photo at Ridgefield Park after completing the project

16 thoughts on “WeLoveU Takes on Three-Day Ridgefield Nature Center Project”

  1. Patrick Roman

    It was an epic experience! Seeing the Nature Center on how it was before and now after shows a lot. I cannot wait for future projects or events that will be presented here. #WeLoveU #Awesomejob

  2. I am so sad I missed this cleanup. I love WeLoveU clean ups and events so much that I almost rescheduled my flight to join. WeLoveU truly is exceptional and goes “above & beyond.”

  3. This is such happy news to see in a time where some of us can’t even watch the news anymore because of its dismal nature. What a wonderful organization! Please keep this going, and I hope more people can follow suite!

  4. Brandon Johnson

    Great work once again by the WeLoveU volunteers! I live in Philadelphia but it’s awesome to see that this organization is so active even outside of my home state. Please keep up the good work! It is an inspiration to those who believe that this world can be a better place!

  5. Juan Camilo Espinosa

    Nature and those who pursue its continuity! The WeLoveU members worked rapidly in a short period of time and produced great results and a distinctive difference in Ridgefield’s Nature center. I hope more to come soon! Great effort!

    1. Andres Rodriguez

      Great to see a group of young people devoting themselves to help the world be a better a place. GREAT JOB 🙂

  6. Nicole France

    Wow, how amazing! Great dedication to beautify the facility. So many events can take place in the future. Keep up the good work, WeLoveU!

  7. I grew up around Ridgefield and had no idea this place even existed. Great work, WeLoveU, the community must be so grateful!

  8. It looks like an awesome experience! How many chances do you have to officially rejuvenate a city park?! Now thousands of visitors will benefit from the new center, making new memories, due to your hard work!

    #KeepDoingWhatYourDoing

  9. Berlley Derilus

    I was able to participate the first day of this project and was amazed by the unity of the volunteers. I cant wait to see the completion of this project. Good job WeLoveU!

  10. It was really awesome to be apart of this. The park made a total 180! I’m really excited for the locals that will be able to use it.

  11. Wow, I am completely floored and astonished that the park was closed for so long. What an incredible organization to do what no one has done for such a length of time.

    In a world being dominated and bombarded with television, movies and video game, it is good to see that this park can be “re”opened giving the public another chance to experience nature this spring and summer.

    And how great is it that it is all possible because of a group of volunteers and not paid workers. I am truly impressed by these individuals and grateful the organization exists with such a great goal and I would like to give a special thanks to the Chairwoman whose passion for serving others has spread deeply into the hearts and minds of these volunteers. Great job WeLoveU.

  12. Outstanding work by the volunteers, I’ve never seen such a transformation! To witness it in person was incredible😊

  13. I had the joy of participating in this project and hope to participate in the next phase. I love volunteering for WeLoveU…I really do! I had a blast! #WeLoveU

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