• Great Things are Happening at Wawapek!

    Wawapek is alive with the sights and sounds of summer! The trees are in full leaf, the pollinator gardens are a buzz and the blueberry patch is heavy with fruit. As we enter a new season at this much-loved preserve, we’d like to give you some quick updates about exciting things to come. Mowbray Lane Entrance If you’ve visited Wawapek this season, you may have noticed a much-improved entrance. A new split rail fence was installed along Mowbray Lane (which was dotted with beautiful daffodils earlier this spring). With the help of funding from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and a generous neighbor, we installed pollinator gardens on both sides of the driveway, along with new native red cedars and white pines. Habitat Restoration Area If you’re a regular visitor to the preserve, you’ve witnessed years of rapid invasive species growth along the right side of the driveway. Last fall, with the help of a local contractor, we used a forestry mulcher to remove porcelain berry, multiflora rose and other bad actors in this 10,000 square foot area. That made way for new native plants! This summer, with the help of funding from the NYSCPP, those invasive species will be replaced by beautiful native shrubs and trees such as red maples, dogwoods, rhododendrons, witch hazel and white pines. Vine Removal Along the woodland trail, we have started a periwinkle removal project with our volunteers. Vinca major is a rapidly spreading trailing vine that has spread throughout much of the woodland, outcompeting our native plants. The next time you’re out hiking at Wawapek and you come across a tarp in the woodland understory, you will see our volunteers’ invasive species management at work. Pulled plants are placed inside a black tarp to solarize (cook in the sun). Since our volunteer days over the past weeks, the native Canada Mayflower has begun growing quite abundantly in the areas previously invaded by Vinca, going to show just how crucial pulling weeds can be. We have also removed invasive vines (like porcelain berry and bittersweet) along the hedge row in the formal lawn. Thanks to the tireless work of dedicated volunteers, we have unveiled blooming star magnolia trees, a cluster of which had been invaded by vines over many years. The trees are still recovering, but their branches are no longer burdened by the weight of the heavy invasive vines. We are excited to watch these trees recover in the seasons and years to come. We plan to continue removing as many weeds as we can with the help of our volunteers, Friends Academy students and our summer O’Neil Stewards. Ralf Lange Garden Thanks to a generous donation from Pat Peterson and her friends in honor of her long-time partner Ralf Lange, we have installed a gathering area and native gardens in the once neglected greenhouse complex. The first garden, located within the low brick foundation of the former greenhouse, has been transformed. It now is a gathering area with a teak picnic table and benches surrounded by sweet bay magnolia trees. The adjacent garden area is filled with native shrubs such as witch hazel, sweet pepperbush and mountain laurel. Old cold frames have now been planted as pollinator gardens, with hyssop, sensitive fern, butterfly milkweed, black eyed Susan’s, purple coneflower and mountain mints. We hope you will visit soon and watch these exciting new projects grow. If you are interested in seeing what’s happening at Wawapek, come visit the beautiful property (located off Mowbray Lane) and its woodland trails from 7AM-5PM every day of the week. If you have any questions or wish to get involved, please contact Meghan Leverock at 516-922-1028 or meghan@northshorelandallaince.org.


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  • Explore The Trails at these Five Nature Preserves This Summer

    The Land Alliance is thrilled to offer a variety of trail systems at our ten public preserves. Trails offer opportunities to explore new places, connect with nature, relax and reflect and even get some exercise. The five trails wind through scenic meadows, woodland, white pine forests and more. Dogs are welcome; just make sure to keep them on leashes. We feature five preserves here worthy of exploration. Humes Preserve Oyster Bay Road, Locust Valley This two-mile trail system wraps around a glorious meadow and winds through a hilly, deciduous forest. Take a stroll there this summer and you may spot Monarch butterflies or downy woodpeckers. The Land Alliance recently installed six bluebird boxes in the meadow. These native birds are cavity-nesting creatures and need safe, secure locations to raise their young. The trail at Humes was constructed by the Land Alliance for public enjoyment. A fitness station was installed last summer, and an all-natural children’s play area will be added later this year. The wooded portion of the trail was named the Overlook Trail and was dedicated to Board Chairman Hoyle C. Jones for his tireless commitment to the protection of this historic property. A serene pine woodland path connects the meadow to the nature play area! Cushman Woods Still Road, Matinecock Restored carriage roads comprise most of the 1.3-mile trail system at this unique woodland preserve. But transportation by horse-drawn carriage was not this trail system’s only use over the years. In the 19th century, people like Theodore Roosevelt and his brother, Elliot, barreled down these trails on horseback as participants in the popular Meadowbrook fox hunt. Paul Cravath, a prominent New York City lawyer, used the trail system for hunting in the 1920s. Meadow restoration has just begun in a sunny 5-acre northwest portion of the preserve. The Augusta Reese Donohue trail at Wawapek Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve Chicken Valley Road, Upper Brookville The trail system at this preserve is a little over a mile long and winds through a glorious meadow, hardwood forest, successional woodland and white pine plantation. 13 interpretive signs may be found along the trail that detail the rich history and variety of ecological communities found there. Red Cote Preserve Yellow Cote Road, Oyster Bay Cove Take a walk down the scenic 1.5- mile trail system and you’ll see four mature red cedar trees towering over the meadow closer to the parking area. During late summer and early fall, the two meadows here are centers of activity as the blooming wildflowers, dominated by various goldenrod species, attract an array of pollinating insects. As you venture into the woodland note the spectacular umbrella magnolia trees that boast leaves over a foot in length Wawapek Mowbray Lane, Cold Spring Harbor This is the perfect preserve to visit if you are looking for a place to picnic and go for a walk. The half-mile trail system starts and finishes at the entrance to a remnant of the estate, a sprawling lawn now punctuated by a pollinator garden and restored trellis, along with specimen beech and sourwood trees. The trail departs the lawn to enter the majestic hardwood woodland, where dramatic sloped areas drop almost as far down as Cold Spring Harbor. While here you may catch a glimpse of a great horned owl, fox or state-protected box turtle. The Augusta Reese Donohue trail at Wawapek was named after Land Alliance Trustee Augusta Reese Donohue as a very special gift from her parents. ENJOY! For more trails, please visit our website at www.northshorelandalliance.org. Hope Goddard Iselin PreserveRed Cote Preserve


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