Dangerous NB Preschool in an Illegal Location

Dear Editor:

Hudson Reporter’s article about the clearing of forest in Braddock Park, just feet behind North Bergen’s 20 year old preschool trailers should wake up not just nature lovers, but also every North Bergen Preschool parent and teacher and hopefully, State officials.

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Dangerous people lurk in the woods and the preschool’s four foot fence, with its gates unlocked all day, won’t protect preschoolers or teachers from harm.

Incredibly, at the 08-11-2020 public scoping hearing, four North Bergen officials had nothing but glowing words to say about the safety of the preschool’s location:
“It’s a safe setting”…”You never worried about safety for them”…”I am a strong supporter of this plan, number one, for the kids’ safety”…”I think it’s a very safe environment.”

This is not the first time officials painted a false glowing image about dangerous conditions at the preschool…

The trailers violated important safety regulations which required 2 fire exits in every trailer.
In 2008, North Bergen received a violation notice for having only 1 exit.
The violation persisted, even after 2 trailers burned down in a 2012 fire.
After complaining in 2017, finally a second exit was added to each trailer while the superintendent of schools falsely claimed there was no violation and the trailers were safe:

The preschool road is only wide enough for 1-way traffic, yet 2-way traffic AND pedestrians use it because there isn’t a sidewalk.
County and Township engineers recommended widening the road and installing a sidewalk years ago; it wasn’t done.

Recent photos show the disrepair of the trailers and the groundhog holes under them.

The New Jersey Educational Assoc. says school trailers should “never” be used for more than 20 years.

For 20 years, this preschool has been illegally situated in Braddock Park, in violation of NJDEP Green Acres regulations which restrict park usage to recreation and open space purposes.

Please tell State officials to remove North Bergen’s preschool from Braddock Park.

Robert Walden

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