On July 27, I attended a Monmouth County Commissioners Meeting to provide testimony on a proposed warehouse project in Upper Freehold, NJ. The proposed project poses the following problems:
- The land is of historical significance dating back to the Revolutionary War where the Battle of Monmouth was fought between the British and colonists – a battle that played a critical role in the outcome of the war.
- Exasperates flooding in neighboring town, Allentown, NJ due to the runoff from impervious surfaces that would be created.
- Would worsen traffic on the two-lane county roads.
- The 2,146 cars and trucks entering, exiting, and sitting in traffic jams on Interstate 195, County Routes 539, 524, and 526 in Upper Freehold and Church and Main streets in Allentown Boro, will generate a tremendous amount of air pollution-an estimated 2,500 tons of pollutants per year.
Since attending the meeting, I have been working closely with Public Historian, Sue Kozel and Laboratory Director, Rick Jacober to spread awareness of this project. We are using social media, the press as well as sending email alerts to Clean Water Action members in Monmouth County. We are asking them to show up and speak out in all upcoming Upper Freehold Township meetings in addition to attending peaceful warehouse protests at the proposed warehouse site. Here are some quotes from local activists explaining why the warehouse must be stopped:
“Thanks to the help of Clean Water Action and Tolani Taylor, our efforts to save the endangered Upper Freehold American Revolutionary War site from warehouse development continues to move forward. So many partners are helping us, and we are thankful to them, the Allentown Township Boro Council and the residents of Upper Freehold and Allentown. Just one obstacle remains, the Upper Freehold Township Committee. Even with an offer from a major foundation to promise help in setting up preservation partners if UFT Officials back preservation, the Mayor and Council members still refuse. We are heading for a showdown, and I am proud of all who stepped up and said, 'Save Our History.'" -Sue Kozel of Upper Freehold, NJ
“The development of another warehouse/distribution center on 60 acres of farmland that has been in agricultural usage for over 250 years in Allentown, is not just another nail in the coffin of New Jersey’s water and air quality. It is an infringement on already overburdened communities subject to flooding, air pollution, horrendous truck and car traffic, and loss of farmland. Coupled with the loss of wetlands, and historic sites these warehouses provide zero benefit to the communities that they are impacting, other than unsustainable rateables chase as short-sighted government officials and greedy developers promise the world.” - Rick Jakober of Allentown, NJ
Image of Tolani Taylor, Zero Emissions Warehouse Organizer for Clean Water Action, at a Warehouse Rally in New Jersey
Being a part of this warehouse fight and the many others throughout the Garden State has allowed me to witness first-hand the power of community coming together to do the right thing: holding local government leaders accountable to preserve and protect the environment, our health, and history as well as the quality of life of potentially impacted community members from problematic warehouse development.
To get involved in stopping this warehouse project, please click here to sign and share the following petition. To get even more involved, please RSVP for the Clean Water Action candidate engagement training session centered on how to engage directly with public officials running for office to get commitments on issues that you care about. This will happen on Thursday, September 28 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm! Hope to see you there!