Meadowlands

The Meadowlands of New Jersey are a large area of tidal swampland in the northeastern part of the state that is fed by the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers. Attracted by the low real-estate prices of these wetlands, agricultural and industrial land developers flocked to this area starting in the 1700s. They deforested, drained, and diked the landscape. The area was divided by railroads and highways and filled with massive amounts of trash. Factories, power plants and airports were built wherever possible, polluting the eco system to toxic levels.

Nevertheless, big patches of swampland remained, and they still coexist with the industries and highways today. This once so-called ‘unproductive land’ provides us with a condensed view into the battle between the dominance of human landscaping and the resilience of nature. At night, when the contrast between nature and industry is at its most prominent, is the best time to capture this juxtaposition.