Seton Hall Prepatory School is asking the West Orange, NJ Zoning Board to approve six (6) variances so that they may begin Phase 2 of their "Kelly Athletic Fields" expansion. The construction of these sports fields translates into the destruction of over 1,000 trees that make up the McClellan Old Growth Forest, located on Prospect Avenue in West Orange. This 17-acres of inhabited, forested land are a part of what was originally a 44-acre Old Growth Forest, and includes trees with ages in excess of 200-years, and animals including the Great Horned Owl, Red Tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, and Red Fox. It is a part of the Watchung Ridge, which connects Eagle Rock Reservation and South Mountain Reservation. SHP deceitfully cleared 20-acres of this forest in 1999 to develop Phase 1 of their athletic fields, and should the proposed additional clearing be approved, only 5-acres of this historic old growth forest will remain. (Amidst asphalt and sports fields.)
By signing this petition, you are supporting SHP Alumni and students, SHP neighbors, local residents, county residents, NJ residents, and any citizen who opposes the destruction of this beautiful natural resource, for the sole purpose of providing numerous additional sports fields, up to 700 parking spaces, permanent metal bleachers, a concession stand, 50 foot poles supporting 50 foot high netting, additional safety concerns for students walking along a county road, and limitless pollution, from idling buses and cars, to noise and litter, for a school which has other options. Thank you for your support. Together we can protect the last remaining, unprotected Old Growth Forest in the Metropolitan Region.
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