On October 29, guests attending the Great Swamp Watershed Association‘s 2014 Gala Celebration were treated to an exclusive glimpse at the first trailer for an important new documentary about New Jersey’s Great Swamp. Although the film is still in development, the final production will chronicle the grassroots movement that sprang to life in the 1950s and 60s as area residents sought to prevent the construction of a massive jetport on lands now occupied by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
The featured speaker that night was Harding Township Mayor Nicolas Platt. Platt used the forum to share a comprehensive history of events that began and eventually ended the jetport fight. He also offered some very detailed profiles of the individuals who stood at the forefront of the battle.
Intrigued and impressed by the presentation, Larry Fast and GSWA Board Member Phyllis Fast approached Platt about turning the story into a documentary. They also suggested that Scott Morris — a filmmaker whose documentary work has been featured on PBS, HBO, Showtime, and a number of other network outlets — head up the project. With that, the stage was set to begin production.
Although the film is still a work in progress, the new trailer promises a thorough and thought-provoking treatment of a period of great significance to all of us who love the Great Swamp and appreciate the legacy of environmental consciousness handed down to us from those who came before.
For an in-depth look at Nicolas Platt’s historical research on the Great Swamp jetport fight, please read Mike Condon’s article, “The epic citizen’s battle against a jetport: Reminding audiences of what could have been,” posted to the website of the Bernardsville News on November 3, 2014.