Opponents of New Jersey’s warehouse sprawl to network and form alliance

The Green Garden State Alliance will host an event Sunday where opponents of warehouse sprawl will trade strategy and information.

A large warehouse in Lawnside

File photo: Two new warehouses in Lawnside, N.J. were built adjacent to a residential neighborhood. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

An alliance of advocates, politicians, and environmental groups will meet up to share ways to fight warehouse sprawl in New Jersey.

The Green Garden State Alliance will host its first networking event Sunday at Mercer County Park.

“You can talk to these environmental organizations. You can talk to other warehouse warriors who have fought and won, tips and tricks; all of that,” said Stacey Fox, founder and director of the Mercer County Defense League. Her organization is hosting the event alongside Skylands Preservations Alliance.

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New Jersey has seen a warehouse boom within recent years. At the same time, communities are expressing their opposition to them. Last year in Lawnside, Camden County, residents demonstrated against a proposed development by Vineland Construction Company, fearing the borough’s rich history was being paved over.

Fox started her organization to fight the proposed Bridge Point 8 project. The proposed project in West Windsor is 653 acres that she said threatens 64 acres of wetlands. Fox has previously urged the state to purchase the land with American Rescue Plan money. She is also suing to stop the project adding the lawsuit is “doing well” at the moment.

In addition to the networking aspects, there will be food, music from Bad Hombres & ALBO, and an activity that teaches kids the effects of stormwater runoff, as well as the park’s amenities which include a playground and hiking trails.

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Fox said they want people to leave the event realizing the importance of preserving open space, but says the event will speak to each person differently.

“In some cases, it’s just families coming out to say … ‘We really love our time together in the park…this is really important because this is how we socialize during COVID,’” she said. “For other people, they’re going to go home [and say,] ‘Oh my God, I just learned so much.’”

The common denominator, she adds, “is going to be just how important it is for us to unite and fight together to preserve all that is green in the Garden State while we still can.”

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