January 4th, 2021
To the South Orange Planning Board…
On behalf of the Meadowland Park Conservancy, we’re writing to express our concern about the potential redevelopment of the historic home and property, known as the Squier-Redmond home, at 167 N. Ridgewood Road in South Orange. It is our understanding that a developer has purchased the property and plans to subdivide to create two new homes.
On behalf of the community, The Conservancy has a vested interest in the integrity, character, and responsible stewardship of not only the 30 acres of the park, but also the properties and structures that border the park.
We understand that the home on the property, while incredibly historic and dating from the late 1700s, may be beyond repair and a poor investment for any potential buyer. What concerns us is the lack of regulation on what the new buyer can and might do with both the new structures and the property.
The property has some of the few remaining old growth trees in town and their removal would permanently mar the view from Meadowland Park (and N. Ridgewood Road, a gateway to South Orange from the north).
While there might not be any ordinance which prevents the developer from razing the current structure and building two new homes, we hope that the Village and the Planning Board will do everything in its power to ensure that the development keep the historic nature of the area as well as the integrity of the property’s scenic attributes as they relate to the park and its environs.
We appreciate your thoughtful consideration.
During the (kinda) cold evening of December 21, 2020, several of us gathered for the first annual show of lights to celebrate winter solstice. Due to COVID-19, we limited the group to just a few people. However, the event was warmly welcomed to get together and enjoy Meadowland Park with a heavy coat and a beautiful coat of snow. Armed with flashlights and good cheer, we walked to a few different locations. The above video is the playful result of the evening.
What is Winter Solstice, you Ask?!
Winter solstice marks the beginning of the new solar year for Earth. It is the day with the shortest amount of daylight than any other day throughout the year. It is the official start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. In July, we will have the summer solstice which is by contrast the day with the longest daylight.
For eons, people have recognized winter solstice as an important moment and have marked it with a show of lights. We wanted to have a huge fire or something really incredible, but instead we chose flashlights this year. With friends and family surrounding, we formed a circle and paid tribute to a new year and a new winter. Maybe, if 2021 brings with it less pandemic and more social non-distancing, we will have a much bigger fest.