Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Era of Dinosaurs to Begin at Overpeck County Park

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Era of Dinosaurs to Begin at Overpeck County Park

Article excerpt

LEONIA -- Bergen County officials gathered on a rain-soaked field at Overpeck County Park on Monday to announce plans to bring an interactive dinosaur display to the park this summer.

Field Station: Dinosaurs is, according to its website, a "world- class family attraction" featuring 32 life-sized, realistic animatronic dinosaurs brought to life by the "brilliant engineering of the world's leading roboticists and the imagination of our artists."

The exhibition, a business, had called Secaucus home since its 2012 inception, said creator and executive producer Guy Gsell. But Hudson County is repurposing the 20-acre tract of woods and mountain trails in order to build a new high school, so Gsell's show was forced to find a new stage.

On Monday, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco said the 811- acre Overpeck Park will provide that stage starting Memorial Day, when the display is slated to open.

In return, Field Station: Dinosaurs will make the area a "destination of epic prehistoric proportions," Tedesco told a small crowd gathered under a white tent.

"What you see [as] an empty field will be transformed into a one- of-a-kind, thrilling, educational and fun experience," Tedesco said, referencing a 14-acre tract along Overpeck Creek in the park's Henry Hoebel area. "Field Station: Dinosaurs helps us enhance the educational programming and diverse array of experiences offered in the county parks, providing a unique focus on archaeology, paleontology and environmental science ... this is a big win for Bergen County, for parks and for Field Station: Dinosaurs."

The dinosaur displays will include work stations, games and activities to teach children about the prehistoric era, Tedesco said.

The site will only be temporary, however: Tedesco said the county will move Field Station to another part of the park -- 35 wooded acres in Teaneck, just across the New Jersey Turnpike -- in 2017 or 2018. That location, said Tedesco, is the site of a former landfill the county is now remediating and reclaiming for public use.

Gsell, a 55-year-old Glen Ridge native with three decades' experience in the theater and exhibition business, said the park essentially will be a "wild area with trails and some terrific dinosaurs. …

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