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Neglect of Bulls Island State Park Is A Scandal

Premier Delaware River State Park Abandoned and Closed To The Public

Christie DEP Letting Magnificent Park Rot

Delaware River looking north from the tip of Bulls Island (9/12/15)

Delaware River looking north from the tip of Bulls Island (9/12/15)

It’s been our experience that many people care deeply about Bulls Island State Park and would be willing to volunteer time to develop and support a landscape and natural resource conservation based plan to reopen the Island for passive public use.

With some leadership at DEP, I don’t believe it would be difficult to create such a public and professional advisory group to prepare such a plan and to secure┬ápublic, media, and┬áDEP and D&R Canal Commission approvals and even a legislative appropriations to fund it.

Last we were aware, in November 2014, the DEP had secured approval by the D&R Canal Commission for a demolition plan for existing buildings and infrastructure at Bulls Island State Park – so it seemed progress was being made in developing a plan for reopening the site to public use, see:

We had hoped that the park could be re-opened to the public for the 2015 season.

So the dog and I made an outing today to visit Bulls Island and see for ourselves what’s going on there.

What we saw was deeply disturbing – see photos below, with notes in captions (apologies for poor quality – it was raining and foggy at times).

We have the worst of all possible worlds: 1) public access is eliminated while buildings and infrastructure literally rot and 2) ecologically, natural resources are mismanaged as invasive species and weeds choke native vegetation.

Bulls Island is one of the finest State Parks and a marvelous place to enjoy the beauty of the Delaware River. Some of the finest Delaware river scenes can be had walking along the river front trail, amid the grace of huge old sycamores.

Delaware Rive views obscured by overgrown weeds

Delaware Rive views obscured by overgrown weeds

The tranquility of the trees and the river can be enjoyed while strolling or from benches. There are multiple points of direct access to the river for fishing, playing fetch with the dog, getting your feet wet, or just watching and listening to the river flow.

this bench used to be a wonderful place to take in river views and listen to the river flow

this bench used to be a wonderful place to take in river views and listen to the river flow

The fact that the DEP has closed the northern portion of the island for over 4 years now and done absolutely nothing to develop a plan for the park to reopen for limited public use is a scandal.

Almost a year after the D&R Canal Commission approved the demolition, the buildings and infrastructure have not been demolished and are still there rotting and the place is overrun by weeds.

There is no plan to restore and reopen the Island – literally nothing is being done.

DEP Commissioner Martin and Rich Boornazian the real estate hack he installed as Assistant Commissioner over NJ’s State Parks system should both be ashamed of themselves. Take a look:

Even the "Area Closed" signs are overgrown by weeds

Even the “Area Closed” signs are overgrown by weeds

scores of park benches rotting beneath weeds

scores of park benches rotting beneath weeds

Christie DEP's Asset Management

Christie DEP’s Asset Management

this used to be the lovely central campground area

this used to be the lovely central campground area

building neglected, rotting in place, and not yet demolished

building neglected, rotting in place, and not yet demolished

playground still not demolished and removed

playground still not demolished and removed

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gorgeous river views obscured by weeds

gorgeous river views obscured by weeds

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