Green Team (and photo of lilacs — wish I could capture their beautiful smell)

The next Green Team meeting is tonight, Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:30 pm in Borough Hall. Join us!
The Harrington Park Green Team is a volunteer group of citizens whose goal is to preserve our town’s natural resources and the quality of life for the citizens of Harrington Park now, and in the future. We are an advisory group to the Environmental Commission and we meet monthly to discuss and act on local environmental issues.
Everyone is welcome to join. (Since January 2015 the Green Team meeting has been incorporated into the HP Environmental commission meeting).
Posted in Fun Facts and Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Keeping chickens in HP

Harrington Park has a small but growing flock of chicken keepers, who enjoy the pleasures and benefits of quirky pets that make our fertilizer and our breakfasts.

The HP Board of Health gives its blessing to the keeping of small flocks, under sanitary, neighborly, bird-friendly conditions, with the renewal of an annual license.

For this and other reasons, chicken keeping is no longer considered a socially marginal nuisance, and can be enjoyed as a way of connecting us to a source of endless wonder and outdoor entertainment, and a way to talk to our children about sustainability and food.

Though keeping chickens is relatively simple on a daily basis, it requires advance preparation and a commitment to ongoing learning. Fortunately, flockster neighbors and newbie-friendly online communities like make trading information and support easier than ever.

The coop is the biggest expense involved, and the choice should be guided by the plan about how to keep and tend the birds. Chicken owners with fenced-in yards can let their birds range, more or less as they were meant to live, and will need a smaller set-up than those whose birds will be confined to a coop and run 24-7.

Either way, selecting a coop designed and built by someone who knows chickens is vital; a trendy, adorable coop is not necessarily predator-proof, and stories of first-night carnage are not uncommon.  Foxes, opossums, weasels, raccoons, hawks, and coyotes all live in town and prey on chickens, and especially if you allow your birds the run of your yard, you must be able to tolerate the occasional loss.  On the positive side, your birds will be happier and healthier, and you will become more attuned to natural phenomena, like death, raptor migration, and the amazing persistence of creatures that live by their wits.

The anxiety in keeping chickens as outdoor pets is arguably offset by the satisfactions.  Tending the birds in the morning and evening is an outdoor ritual to appreciate, even in unfavorable weather.  We enjoy the minor chicken squabbles, real life egg hunts, and beautiful spectrum of eggs our birds bring into our lives.  Receiving a box filled with peeping day-old chicks through the mail is something to look forward to for months, and watching a broody hen accepting and tucking foster chicks under her wings is unforgettable.

To chat about chickens, email me:

(photo by Craig Thomas)

Posted in Birds and Birdwatching, Fun Facts and Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The BCUA shredding truck will be in HP April 22nd from 9-noon

What to do with unwanted confidential and sensitive paperwork? Shred it!  The BCUA  Mobile Paper Shredding Program provides Bergen county residents the opportunity to these materials shredded free of charge, either at a regional or a municipal shredding event.

The shredding truck will be at the Borough Hall parking lot in Harrington Park on Saturday 4/22/17 from 9am-noon. Bring your papers (no clips, binders, or cardboard…and no X Rays) and watch them be shredded. This is open to all Bergen County residents.shredding truck 2  Members of the HP Environmental Commission and Green Team will be in attendance to help as needed with moving boxes and bags to the truck.

For further information about other local shredding dates, please call the BCUA Environmental Programs Hotline at 201-807-5825 or go to the BCUA Web site at:

Posted in Recycling, Town Events, Waste Disposal | Leave a comment

Humus sale – April 22 – for home delivery in the next two weeks. Free humus and wood chips at the HP Recycling center.

Annual Humus Sale! Stop by the Harrington Park Borough Hall parking lot on Saturday April 22nd from   9 am – noon to order humus for home delivery. The cost is $10 a cubic yard with a 2 yard minimum purchase. EC and Green Team members will be there to answer your questions and take your order. To see what one cubic yard looks like, please look at a previous post:

IMG_7905If you want to see what humus looks like or if you do not need 2 or more cubic yards (maximum purchase is 10 cubic yards), stop by the HP Recycling Center. FREE humus and wood chips are available year round at the recycling center for residents. Bring your own containers and shovels. There is a screen located by the humus if you wish to use this before you fill your buckets or barrels. (Wood chips are not available for home delivery).

Please contact the DPW at 201-768-0944 for more information.

The humus that is being sold on 4/22/17 is from leaves that were vacuumed up from the curbs in HP in 2015 and composted at the back of Highland Field for the next ~15 months. This rich organic material is great for garden beds!

Posted in Buy Local, Composting, Fun Facts and Education, Town Events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt?

Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt? Or nature discovery experience? (I have no idea which photo will show up on FaceBook — friends please click on the link to see all the photos!)

In our few short hours cleaning up the woods and creek banks and swamp by Lafayette Road today (4/8) we had a fun time with all sorts of discoveries!

Raccoon footprints.






Balls, balls, balls– seriously– we picked up  squash balls, tennis balls, a baseball, a softball, a beachball, a basketball, a football, a volleyball, and random plastic balls!

Young skunk cabbage

and a license plate (deep in the woods).




When was the last time you saw a pull tab COKE can (we found a few other pull tab cans– vintage ? 1978 maybe)

Always fun and frequently an adventure to explore Harrington Park’s woods and watershed properties!!


Posted in Fun Facts and Education, Uncategorized, wildflowers, Wildlife | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lafayette Rd cleanup

Check out the roadside/woods for the northern 1/2 of Lafayette Rd > free of trash! Three members of the Environmental Commission spent just over two hours today and filled 7 large bags with trash and recyclables. The roadside area had been cleaned during our fall 2016 cleanup and we were amazed at how much stuff there was to pick up today. Lots of plastic — bags and bottles, glass bottles, cans, some pizza boxes, some paper. Neighbors’ recyclables seem to have blown into the woods, but there were plenty of cigarette buts, snack wrappers…and a lot more trash that must have been dumped or thrown out of passing vehicles. We even hauled a tire and a concrete post base out of the woods.

Unfortunately – the Saturday of spring break, before Passover and Easter, and at the same time as the Junior’s Egg Hunt is NOT a day to have as a rain/snow date for a town/park/woods/watershed cleanup. A cleanup date is challenging to schedule as it is dependent on weather/snow/water levels in the low lying areas. At this point, our next cleanup will be in the fall, but we encourage everyone to help keep HP “clean and green”.

If you see something … (please) do something: pick it up the trash or recyclable item and dispose of it properly. Mother Nature thanks you!

Posted in Town Events, Waste Disposal | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning!

Time for Spring Cleaning!

A great way to get involved in our town is to participate in the spring clean-up on Saturday April 8 from 9 am to 1pm. Sign in at Highland field to collect gloves, bags, clean-up tools and environmental giveaways. Volunteer for as much time as you can spare. Families are invited to work together. This is a great time to enjoy the outside – before insects emerge and poison ivy starts to grow.

The spring and fall cleanups are run by the HP Environmental Commission and HP Green Team and are supported by Bergen County Clean Communities. Please email us at – with any questions. The Green Team is looking for volunteers who want to help keep HP focused on a sustainable future for our community. Hope to see you Saturday! Mary Ann Schran Green Team Chair and Anne Lander Spring Cleanup coordinator

Posted in Town Events, Town Parks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment