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Woodland Park, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Woodland Park
Lambert Tower in Garret Mountain Reservation
Lambert Tower in Garret Mountain Reservation
Map of Woodland Park in Passaic County (shown under its former name West Paterson). Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Woodland Park in Passaic County (shown under its former name West Paterson). Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Detailed Census Bureau map of West Paterson in 2000
Detailed Census Bureau map of West Paterson in 2000
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Passaic
Incorporated May 1, 1914 (as West Paterson)
Renamed January 1, 2009 (to Woodland Park)
Area
 • Total 3.115 sq mi (8.068 km2)
 • Land 2.964 sq mi (7.676 km2)
 • Water 0.151 sq mi (0.392 km2)  4.85%
Area rank 329th of 566 in state
13th of 16 in county
Elevation 348 ft (106 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 11,819
 • Estimate (2015) 12,518
 • Rank 206th of 566 in state
9th of 16 in county
 • Density 3,987.9/sq mi (1,539.7/km2)
 • Density rank 152nd of 566 in state
8th of 16 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07424
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3403182423
GNIS feature ID 0885439

Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson) is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,819, reflecting an increase of 832 (+7.6%) from the 10,987 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5 (+0.0%) from the 10,982 counted in the 1990 Census.

What is now Woodland Park was formed as a borough under the name "West Paterson", by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 25, 1914, from portions of Little Falls Township, based on the results of a referendum held on May 1, 1914.

On November 4, 2008, the citizens of West Paterson voted to change the official name of the borough from West Paterson to Woodland Park. The new name retains the initials "W.P." and is a reference to the community's wooded areas. At a November 10, 2008, community meeting attended by 200 residents, a number of residents demanded that a recount be held if the official results showed that the measure had passed. In case the recount demand was unsuccessful, the group discussed filing a petition to change the name back to West Paterson, including discussion of how to raise the $33,000 needed to cover the cost of a special election in spring 2009 for voters to reconsider the name. By November 25, 2008, the provisional vote counts had been tallied, and the name change won by 25 votes. The Mayor and Council approved a resolution in December 2008, officially changing the borough's name to the Borough of Woodland Park, effective January 1, 2009. A referendum held on November 3, 2009, affirmed the name change.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 3.115 square miles (8.068 km2), including 2.964 square miles (7.676 km2) of land and 0.151 square miles (0.392 km2) of water (4.85%).

Slippery Rock Brook is a tributary of the Passaic River that flows north as it drains part of the western flank of First Watchung Mountain. Traveling south from its confluence with the Passaic River, it passes through the city of Paterson and the borough of Woodland Park.

The borough borders the Passaic County municipalities of Clifton, Little Falls, Paterson and Totowa.

Borough renaming

Borough residents voted in November 2008 to change the community's name to Woodland Park. This close decision — the majority was only 33 votes according to early results — marked the fourth attempt to change the borough's historic name of West Paterson: voters rejected the names "Whispering Pines", "West Park," and "Garret Mountain" in 1989, 1995, and 2001 respectively.

Such a change is not unique in recent New Jersey history: Dover Township in Ocean County became Toms River Township in November 2006, and Washington Township in Mercer County became Robbinsville Township in November 2007. The borough of East Paterson, located in adjacent Bergen County, changed its name to Elmwood Park in 1972.

Both East and West Paterson changed their names in hopes of dissociating themselves from the larger city of Paterson, which is significantly poorer and faces higher levels of crime, while preserving their E.P. and W.P. initials. In West Paterson, proponents of name change argued that their proposal would improve the borough's reputation and thus property values within the borough, as outsiders would be less likely to confuse it with Paterson. Opponents of the renaming saw no need to change, with businesses and the fire department citing the cost of changing references to the borough's name and the consequences of forgetting the community's history as West Paterson. The name change has been marred with accusations of racism and discrimination due to the city of Paterson's lower quality of life and diverse minority demographics. Some Paterson residents and advocates have jokingly suggested renaming Paterson to East Woodland Park and West Elmwood Park.

Residents who voted "No" to the name change petitioned the municipal government in an attempt to change the name back to West Paterson. A referendum was held on November 3, 2009, and the proposal was defeated by 2,248 votes to 2,216.

There is an unincorporated area called Woodland Park in the city of Summit, in Union County, adjacent to New Providence.

Parks and recreation

Garret Mountain Reservation is a county park covering 568 acres (230 ha). The site of Lambert Castle, the park offers views of the New York City skyline, as it rises 500 feet (150 m) above sea level.

Rifle Camp Park is a county park covering 225 acres (91 ha) located mostly within Woodland Park, but its eastern edge extends into Clifton as well. The park includes hiking trails, an observatory, nature center, fitness trail, amphitheater, a bird watching blind, and an overnight camping facility for local scout organizations.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,858
1930 3,101 66.9%
1940 3,306 6.6%
1950 3,931 18.9%
1960 7,602 93.4%
1970 11,692 53.8%
1980 11,293 −3.4%
1990 10,982 −2.8%
2000 10,987 0.0%
2010 11,819 7.6%
Est. 2015 12,518 5.9%
Population sources:
1920 1920-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 11,819 people, 4,632 households, and 3,215 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,987.9 per square mile (1,539.7/km2). There were 4,835 housing units at an average density of 1,631.4 per square mile (629.9/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 82.33% (9,730) White, 4.23% (500) Black or African American, 0.16% (19) Native American, 4.20% (496) Asian, 0.10% (12) Pacific Islander, 6.15% (727) from other races, and 2.83% (335) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.66% (2,442) of the population.

There were 4,632 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 88.7 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $67,250 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,035) and the median family income was $75,080 (+/- $7,661). Males had a median income of $48,514 (+/- $6,624) versus $41,659 (+/- $6,602) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,623 (+/- $3,252). About 5.6% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Same-sex couples headed 32 households in 2010, a 60% increase from the 20 counted in 2000.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 10,987 people, 4,397 households, and 3,025 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,715.5 people per square mile (1,433.1/km2). There were 4,497 housing units at an average density of 1,520.8 per square mile (586.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.53% White, 3.16% African American, 0.08% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.17% from other races, and 3.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.06% of the population.

As of the 2000 census, 34.3% of Woodland Park residents were of Italian ancestry, the 18th-highest percentage of any municipality in the United States, and seventh-highest in New Jersey, among all places with more than 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.

There were 4,397 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the borough the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $60,273, and the median income for a family was $67,292. Males had a median income of $47,389 versus $36,814 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,758. About 3.2% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 33.47 miles (53.86 km) of roadways, of which 23.88 miles (38.43 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.22 miles (13.23 km) by Passaic County and 1.37 miles (2.20 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 1.86 miles (2.99 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Interstate 80 runs along the northwest corner of the borough for 1.0 mile (1.6 km), entering from Totowa to the west and continuing east into Paterson, and includes Exit 56 for County Route 636 Squirrelwood Road, with Exit 56A for Woodland Park and 56B for Paterson. U.S. Route 46 enters from Little Falls Township from the west, follows the borough's southern border with Little Falls for 0.7 miles (1.1 km) and continues into Clifton.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 191 and 194 routes, with local service offered on the 704 route.

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