Churches are supposed to help a community, not destroy it!

Dear Editor:

I speak for many when I say that I am appalled that Old Bergen Church recently destroyed a number of beautiful, century old, healthy, vibran trees on the south side of their historic Bergen Avenue building. The remaining greenspace, one of the only ones left existing on Bergen Avenue, is also being dug up.

Upon completion, this selfish, environmentally harmful act will destroy the serenity of the many Glenwood Avenue residents whose homes have been overlooking this park-like area for generations. And it’s all happening to make way for a new church parking lot!

It has been made very public that Hudson County air is some of the most polluted in the nation. What would posses Old Bergen Church, which by its very existence is supposed to benefit the community, to take away air cleansing trees and greenery from a heavily trafficked area, just so that someone can park their car for two hours on a Sunday?

I must ask the Reverend and other church administrators responsible for this: Did you consult with every resident whose windows will now open to smoke filled, boiling hot, asphalt tarmac (instead of cooling trees and shrubs), if they were OK facing a lot? Since you are centrally located in one of the few areas of Bergen Avenue that has an abundance of parking (huge St. Peter’s College lots within one block and designated street parking on Sundays), did you explore permitting all the available space before deciding to plow your historic landscape?

Church members recently told me, that a number of the destroyed trees had originally been planted as memorials to great citizens and soldiers.

Tell me, Old Bergen decision-makers, did you consult with those families to see how they felt about their ancestors memories being chain sawed?

Sure, the Old Bergen churchyard is not legally public land, and OBC did get City approval to destroy the open land for lot construction. But ethically, churches are supposed to help and enhance a community, not actually lower its quality of life.

Daniel Pelosi
Jersey City


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