BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Protesters invaded New Jersey’s Bergen County to take a stand against dinosaurs, or at least plans to move an exhibit of the prehistoric creatures into unused land.
“Field Station: Dinosaurs,” on display in Overpeck County Park, may be moved to a new spot in the park which is currently home to wetlands and local wildlife.
“In this park we have a jewel… to think they would take that cheesy and I can’t call it anything else but cheesy dinosaur exhibit… and move into a habitat, a green area,” state senator Loretta Weinberg complained.
The dinosaurs are currently located just across Fort Lee Road on the other side of the park. The new site was a former garbage dump that has returned to its natural state. Opponents of the move claim endangered species would be affected by the exhibit.
CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke to the dinosaur exhibit’s owner about his deal with Bergen County.
“They said while we wait for the new permanent spot to be cleaned and re-mediated we will give you a temporary spot,” Guy Gsell said.
The private company’s current lease does not include funding for cleanup. They reportedly pay $75,000 a year in rent to the county.
“The deer, the muskrats, the ducks, the geese will be displaced because of a for-profit entity that wants to make money on our open space here,” Assemblyman Gordon Johnson argued.
The exhibit owner says his dinosaur tour educates thousands of kids each year. Bergen County Executive James Tedesco says the new plans make good use of 14 acres that were “otherwise contaminated, off-limits and unusable.”
The rest of the 75 acres being remediated will not be included in plans for the dinosaur park, according to Tedesco.
A new lease is reportedly being drawn up but not yet signed. Protesters aim to keep it that way.
Admission to Field Station: Dinosaurs ranges between $10 and $15 per person to visit and walk among the dinosaurs.