Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation

Exhibition Open
Newark Public Library
5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ

A drawing of Peters Mine as it used to be, shown to us by a nearby resident.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

The cover of the book that resulted from this project; the book can be viewed online
 
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The cover of the book that resulted from this project; the book can be viewed online.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

A memory map of Upper Ringwood, New Jersey, home to the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan.
 
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A memory map of Upper Ringwood, New Jersey, home to the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

The Problem
The Roots
The Solutions

The Ringwood Mines Superfund Site, just upstream from the Wanaque Reservoir, is home to some members of the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan. Ford Motors once used this site as a dumping ground for toxic paint sludge causing environmental degradation and increased rates of illness. EPA removed the site from the National Priorities List in 1994 although significant contaminants remain. It was the first site the EPA relisted in 2006.

For many Native American communities, contamination disproportionately affects subsistence lifestyles, spiritual practices, and connections to the land. Land rights have long been ignored. Land acquisition through eminent domain has resulted in the loss of farmland, forced relocation, and destruction of wildlife and plants.

The Ramapough are resisting this legacy by raising awareness, documented in Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation. “Stories are kept alive through the telling of what happened a hundred years ago; it comes into being and happens now.” —Chief Ronald Redbone.

Remediation sites on the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site
A map of Superfund sites in New Jersey and a diagram of the process
Traditional medicinal plants and natural elements used in ceremonies
Paint sludge contains a number of carcinogens that impact human health
The traditional Lenape Butterfly Story: “You can’t help but change…”
Toxic waste still remains deep in the Peters Mine shaft below Hope Mountain
Map of Told History
Map of Untold Histories
The Sacred Rock and Rescripted Narratives
Inside-Outside Perceptions of the Ramapough Turtle Clan
The American Dream on Toxic Soil
Ringwood’s Waterways: Home Movies
Water in Ringwood Today near Peters Mine
Remediation sites on the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site
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Remediation sites on the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

A map of Superfund sites in New Jersey and a diagram of the process
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A map of Superfund sites in New Jersey and a diagram of the process.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Traditional medicinal plants and natural elements used in ceremonies
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Traditional medicinal plants and natural elements used in ceremonies.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Paint sludge contains a number of carcinogens that impact human health
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Paint sludge contains a number of carcinogens that impact human health.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

The traditional Lenape Butterfly Story: “You can’t help but change…”
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The traditional Lenape Butterfly Story: “You can’t help but change…”

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Toxic waste still remains deep in the Peters Mine shaft below Hope Mountain
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Toxic waste still remains deep in the Peters Mine shaft below Hope Mountain.

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Map of Told History
Additional Media

Map of Told History

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Map of Untold Histories
Additional Media

Map of Untold Histories

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

The Sacred Rock and Rescripted Narratives
Additional Media

The Sacred Rock and Rescripted Narratives

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Inside-Outside Perceptions of the Ramapough Turtle Clan
Additional Media

Inside-Outside Perceptions of the Ramapough Turtle Clan

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

The American Dream on Toxic Soil
Additional Media

The American Dream on Toxic Soil

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Ringwood’s Waterways: Home Movies
Additional Media

Ringwood’s Waterways: Home Movies

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Water in Ringwood Today near Peters Mine
Additional Media

 Water in Ringwood Today near Peters Mine

All images are from Our Land, Our Stories: Excavating Subterranean Histories of Ringwood Mines and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation.

Our Point of View

University Partners
Community Partners

Designers of landscape architecture look for solutions to environmental problems by focusing on technical issues and contaminants. Yet, in Ringwood, we learned that dense reports and technical language obscure the human experience. As designers, we need to develop strategies that address the cultural and emotional aspects of environmental degradation by bringing together scientific data with personal stories. The Ramapough teach us to recognize the emotional connections and cultural and traditional bonds that are compromised in the landscape they call home.

—Rutgers University–New Brunswick Department of Landscape Architecture

The Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation has been fighting for years for justice, for our land to be remediated, for treatment of illnesses connected to contaminated soil and water. Our activism led to the listing of the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in 1983. The EPA said the site was clean in 1994 when they closed down the Superfund site for the first time. It took 12 years to relist the site and to address the incomplete cleanup. We continue to work to bring attention to contaminants remaining in the ground today. We are the Keepers of the Pass.

—The Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation

Contributors

University Partners

Rutgers University–New Brunswick Department of Landscape Architecture

Community Partners

The Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation