The “river” part of the mall’s name comes from the Hackensack River, seen in the background. The river is a key part of the Hackensack Meadowlands (also called the New Jersey Meadowlands), stretching from western Staten Island and Carteret, NJ, north and slightly east through the part of New Jersey nearest to New York City.
The Shops at Riverside is just one example of the development that has occurred in the Meadowlands over the past several decades. Much of this growth has been far more egregious than this mall located a few miles from my home in Bergen County. I’m talking about landfills and MetLife Stadium (home of football’s New York Giants and Jets).
Over the years, volunteers have made valiant efforts to clear debris from the Meadowlands. The Clean Water Act of 1972 also helped protect these wetlands. But ecosystems are fragile, and it will take unceasing vigilance to keep the Meadowlands even in its present state in this heavily urbanized area of the Northeast.
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