About Fyke

Frequently Asked Questions...

Q: What is a Fyke?
A:
We are asked this question all the time. A "fyke" is a type of fish trap made from a cylindrical net and is most often used to catch eels. In Mahwah, NJ, the area of our Association's first land preservation success, one can find Fyke Brook. Accordingly, we named the place "Fyke Park." However, after being turned over to the Bergen County Parks Department, it was renamed to "Campgaw Reservation." We still like the name and have decided to keep it for ourselves.

Q: Who owns the Celery Farm?
A:
The Borough of Allendale owns the Celery Farm as municipal open space.

Q: When can I visit the Celery Farm?
A:
The Celery Farm is open free of charge during daylight hours all year round.

Q: Is the Celery Farm wheelchar or handicapped accessible?
A:
The main loop at the Celery Farm is a path around the edges of a freshwater marsh. The trail is quite narrow and uneven in places, and often muddy or under water after rain. Volunteers do a fine job of adding wood chips where needed, and keeping the trails clear of vegetation, but we regret the paths are not suitable for wheelchairs or people with mobility issues.

Q: Why can't people fish or boat at the Celery Farm?
A:
For two reasons. Firstly, the Borough of Allendale passed an ordinance in the early 1990s which allows for only passive pursuits like birding, walking, and biking. Secondly, the CF is managed as a Natural Area, which is a NJ State designation that prohibits consumptive or high-impact activities.

Q: Is the Celery Farm a park?
A:
Not really. The Celery Farm Natural area is a preserve and serves as important habitat for the benefit of resident and migratory bird and animal species. We are the visitors to their home.

Q: Did Fyke plan to have a ski slope at Campgaw Reservation when it was first purchased in 1952?
A:
Not at all. "Fyke Park" was supposed to be a passive park with large areas of wildlife habitat through which walking trails meandered. After Fyke turned over the acreage to the Bergen County Parks Department, it surrendered any power over future development within the park. However, a much greater insult to the integrity of Campgaw was the construction of I-287 through it in the 1990s. But despite all, it remains a great place to visit and the only place in Bergen County where Eastern Bluebirds consistently nest - and they do so at the Ski Area.

Q: Didn't there used to be a missile base at Campgaw?
A:
Yes, there was. During the Cold War, a Nike missile base was established at Campgaw as part of a ring of surface-to-air missile defenses designed to protect New York City from a Soviet attack. US Army personnel were housed on site even after the missiles were removed in the early 1980s. The lands has since reverted to Bergen County as parkland.

Q: Is Fyke a club for experts?
A:
Not at all. We welcome all people who are interested in nature and who care about preserving our natural heritage. Among our members are lots of people who have much knowledge to share and are eager to do so, either at a meeting or on a field trip. Remember, there's no such thing as an expert amateur naturalist.