Look past the swamp, dumps and American Dream mall. This is the Meadowlands.

New Jersey Meadowlands

ALLISON PRIES / NJ.COM – Ask any number of people in New Jersey ‘what are the Meadowlands?’ and you’ll probably get as many different answers.

Some will say it’s where the Giants and Jets play football. To others, it’s the track — harness racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Or it’s the home of that former eye-sore now known as American Dream (you know, the mega-mall that’s set to open in October).

It’s where North Jersey drivers get on the New Jersey Turnpike. And, too often, where traffic to the Lincoln Tunnel starts to crawl.

There are those who believe the Meadowlands are Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place. Or at least they see it as a landfill where illegal dumping went unmitigated for decades.

But there’s also a segment of the population who will tell you that the Meadowlands are a natural oasis. An ecological marvel that is regenerating itself after years of abuse. And, more recently, the home of hundreds of species of birds and fish.

And they’d all be right …

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