The group is waiting for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other dignitaries to officially turn over the property to the federal government.It will be the 397th national park designated and commemorates the importance of the falls to the American industrial revolution and the scenic wonder of the site along the Passaic River.
The ceremony is expected to begin momentarily.
The 77-foot waterfall, located in downtown Paterson, is the second largest on the East Coast and one of the largest in the nation. The falls once provided power to run factories that produced silk, locomotives and firearms and helped launch the American Industrial Revolution.
The national park designation, which was signed by President Obama in March 2009, makes the 35-acre site eligible for federal funds. Paterson officials hope the building of a new park near the falls will help revitalize the city.
The Passaic River has been in the news quite a bit as a result of all the storm damage done during the flooding from Hurricanes Irene and Lee. This was among the most heavily damaged areas and it put parts of Paterson underwater for more than a week per storm.
Yet, the falls were also key to starting the industrial revolution and Alexander Hamilton saw the falls as a key to powering nearby factories.