Though I have seen on the Internet that Clifton has upgraded Weasel Brook Park, which I visited yesterday, it doesn’t seem to have attempted to change its flow.
That may be just as well: in the age of climate change, any belief that a dam project would stem flooding for good might have been a dangerous illusion (as my hometown, Englewood, found out when Hurricane Ida overflowed the banks of the creek across the street from me, on what had years ago been labeled a floodplain).
Instead of residences that would have to be evacuated, Weasel Brook Park features two basketball courts, a picnic area, a playground, a multiuse athletic field, and, up a hill, the restored, 300-year-old Westervelt-Vanderhoef House.
(“Weasel” is a modification of “Wesel,” a town in Holland, and the first inhabitants of the area surrounding the brook were Dutch.)
Mostly, it provides a chance to walk a dog, breathe in the air, even to exercise. (Yes, there’s an “outdoor fitness system,” with stops for, among other things, a “chest/back presser” and “cardio stepper.”)
But, as a longtime fixture of Clifton, and among a group of county parks managed by the famous landscape architecture firm Olmsted Brothers, this slice of land gives residents a chance, for a few minutes, to slow down the pace of life in this Northern New Jersey city.
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