Overpeck park is located in Bergen County, New Jersey and consists of 811 acres along Overpeck Creek, a Hackensack River Tributary. The site was historically a brackish tidal creek and part of the Meadowland ecosystem.
In 1954, President of the Bergen County Park Commission, A. Thornton Bishop, proposed development of a park to rival Central Park. The surrounding municipalities of Leonia, Palisades Park , Ridgefield and Teaneck agreed to donate land for development. Overpeck Creek was dammed to create Overpeck Lake. However, the new freshwater lake disrupted the ecosystem and became a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In order to fix this problem and to create usable parkland, the county decided to fill swampy areas with municipal waste, with parkland developed on top.
The Northernmost area of the site was developed into the Bergen County Golf Course, the Area known as Leonia North was developed into an active recreation park with sports fields and memorials. The southernmost area in Palisades Park was developed into a recreation and sports complex, and Area III, in Ridgefield Park, is currently being developed. Though the northern area of Area IV has been developed into a very popular equestrian center, the larger area of it remains an open landfill.
Area IV is over 200 acres of undeveloped county land with waterfront property. This Landscape Architecture Design Studio explored design opportunities to transform Area IV from a landfill to a landmark example of park design for the 21st Century.