9/1/2005 - Riverkeeper Exhibit at Library

Hackensack Riverkeeper Exhibits At Johnson Library

Teams with artist to illustrate region’s history, today’s environmental concerns

Hackensack, NJ - A visit to the city’s historic Johnson Library on Main Street is always a treat, but especially so when its display cases and gallery spaces are filled with interesting educational exhibits. Through the end of September, the library is highlighting the work and mission of Hackensack Riverkeeper as well as the unique artistic talent of Teaneck’s Rick Mills.

Hackensack Riverkeeper is widely recognized as the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues. Within the library’s three display cases are artifacts, maps and photographs that illustrate their mission to protect, preserve and restore the river and its surrounding watershed.

“I wanted to give visitors a sense of the wide variety of issues and concerns that we deal with every day,” said Hugh Carola, the organization’s Program Director and creator of the exhibit. “I also wanted to give people a historical perspective and that’s why I asked Rick Mills to join me.”

Mills is Professor of Fine Art at Long Island University as well as the Artist-in-Residence at the Teaneck Creek Conservancy. Nearly ten years ago, he began Hackensack Stories – still a work in progress – to install unique interpretive signage at locations along the river. Currently, his works are installed along Teaneck’s Hackensack River Greenway, at Mill Creek Point Park in Secaucus, at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst as well as at the Conservancy’s Overpeck Park location.

“What makes Rick’s art so special is that his signs combine pictures and descriptions of historical persons and events with today’s very real environmental concerns,” explained Carola. “They don’t just simply inform; they inspire thought among anyone who lingers before them.”

While the artwork hangs sedately on the gallery wall, the display cases contain three collage-like assemblages that include everything from descriptions & photos of Riverkeeper’s Eco-programs, a pair of antique duck decoys made by Sears in the 1950s and an actual water quality monitoring kit. There is also a large, bilingual display designed to warn people about the dangers of catching and eating crabs caught in the Hackensack River – including the possibility of incurring a $3000 fine for doing so. And there is much more.

The exhibit runs through Friday, September 30, 2005. The Johnson Library is located at 274 Main Street – just one block north of Hackensack Riverkeeper’s offices. Community groups, artists and others looking to inquire about exhibiting there should contact Barbara Borchardt at 201-343-4169

Those interested in learning more about Rick Mills and the work of the Teaneck Creek Conservancy can visit their offices and park at 20 East Oakdene Avenue, Teaneck or point their Web-browsers to www.TeaneckCreek.org.

Earlier this year, Hackensack Riverkeeper was invited to exhibit at Emerson Free Public Library and the Paramus Borough Hall. The organization extends its thanks to Library Director Patricia Hannon and Thelma Springer, Chairwoman of the Paramus Environmental Commission for their hospitality and support.