This collection of photographs depicts mushrooms found in Halle Ravine in the last few fall seasons and is a good primer for what we can expect to see on our guided walk on September 24. Registration for that event is filling quickly so please contact Krista by email or by phone (914-205-3533) to register or to cancel and make room for another person to join us.
We have encountered dry weather conditions in most years and therefore find mainly bracket fungi, which are supported by the moisture held in wood. For the difficult to distinguish species, I include several instructive photos from Richard Nadon and others from MushroomExpert.com.
Halle Ravine is a nature preserve protected by the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy and is open for hiking every day from dawn to dusk. Foraging or collection of any form of wildlife is generally prohibited in the Preserve. Trail maps and more information are available at www.prlc.net/preserves.
Volunteers are invited to join our work sessions in both September and October in Carolin’s Grove, where we are working to restore forest to about an acre of storm-damaged woods. On September 9, we will work from 10am to noon to clear areas of invasive Japanese stilt grass to prepare them for planting. On October 14, we will plant grass seed and wildflowers in sunlit gaps to support pollinators and other animals during the transition back to forest. Come back, if you have volunteered here before, and be amazed at what’s growing up in Carolin’s Grove now!
Our summer interns are proud to present to the public on their work and accomplishments this summer with PRLC. Everyone is welcome to attend this inspiring and informative evening in support of our young conservationist interns and volunteers who have done fantastic work all summer to support our mission and protect the environment in Pound Ridge. Light refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, August 16th, 7pm to 8pm. At the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center at 1361 Old Post Road, Pound Ridge NY (link to directions).
Annual Summer Intern Presentations and Thank You to Volunteers
Date: Wednesday August 16, 2017
Time: 7pm-8pm. Refreshments will be served.
Location: Armstrong Preserve and Education Center
1361 Old Post Road, Pound Ridge
For more information and to RSVP, call 914-205-3533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome!
We held two volunteer work sessions for Invasive Species Awareness Week at the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center, where we manage a series of outdoor classrooms as native habitats. Five people attended the Saturday session and twelve came out on Thursday July 13. With 9 students and 3 retired volunteers, plus 3 PRLC board members, we successfully met our goal of removing invasive shrubs from three acres of the Preserve!
Over the course of a few hours on two mornings, we removed barberry, bittersweet, wineberry, mile-a-minute, and more from the Armstrong vernal pool, meadow, and in the forest along the blue and white trails. Additional work by our summer interns will proceed along the yellow trail next. Please sign up at email@example.com to join us.
Concerned organizations in Northern Westchester have scheduled three events in Pound Ridge to
acknowledge Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 9 – 15. On July 11, from 6:45 to 8 p.m., the
Pound Ridge Library, 271 Westchester Ave, and The Invasives Project will host an introduction to
invasive species with a video, Are Alien Plants Bad?, featuring Doug Tallamy. A ‘tasting’ of edible
invasive plants and informal discussion will follow the video. The event is free and open to the
public. Dr. Tallamy, Professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware, is the author of Bringing
Nature Home, the seminal work on the importance of native plants in our ecosystems and the dangers
posed by invasive species.
The second event, sponsored by the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy, is an in-the- field working
session at the Armstrong Preserve, 1361 Old Post Road. On July 13, from 10 a.m. to noon,
volunteers will learn how to identify and manage several invasive plants, including mile-a- minute
weed, phragmites, Oriental bittersweet, Japanese barberry, wineberry, Japanese stiltgrass, garlic
mustard, multiflora rose and others. To register for this event, contact Krista Munger at
The final event, another working session, is sponsored by the Westchester Land Trust and takes
place on July 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Zofnass Family Preserve/Westchester Wilderness Walk
in Pound Ridge. Volunteers will be led by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference’s Strike Force
Linda Rohleder, Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LH-PRISM)
Phone: 201-512- 9348 Ex. 821
Conservation Corps crew, who will provide on-the- job training, enabling participants to recognize
invasive plants and learn how to manage them on their own properties. Participants should bring
work gloves and drinking water. Please register at http://nynjtc.org/events.
The Invasives Project, Pound Ridge Land Conservancy and Westchester Land Trust are members of
the Lower Hudson PRISM (our local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management), a
group of concerned organizations and individuals who work together under the auspices of the New
York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prevent or minimize the harm caused by
invasive species. The eight PRISMs in New York State coordinate invasive species management,
recruit and train citizen volunteers, provide education and outreach, establish early detection
monitoring networks and implement direct eradication and control efforts. For more information,
Please join us for wildflower planting at Halle Ravine on Saturday, June 3rd, 10am to noon (link to directions). Families and non-gardeners are welcome to participate and to learn more about the value of our native plants and what they can do to bring in more birds and butterflies at home. Volunteers can assist with planting, watering, or removing non-native invasive species. We will have more than 200 plants on hand, all grown from locally collected seed and raised at the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center’s native plant nursery. Please bring a shovel or garden trowel if you have one. We will have some to share.
Our goal is to establish a native plant community in place of the thick stand of invasives that formerly dominated the entrance and pond edges. Wildflowers will help to fill space between the 200 young tree and shrub saplings that were planted during our Arbor Day Celebration last month, anchoring and shielding the soil while providing food for insects and birds. We hope to see these native plants become established and to begin to spread outside of their protective deer cages next year. Please email Krista if you would like to volunteer your gardening, photography, or other skills to this project on another date (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This volunteer event is part of our larger restoration efforts at Halle Ravine and is supported with funding from neighbors like you and by the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. The NYSCPP in administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Native Plant-Insect Associations of Species Selected for Halle Ravine Restoration Planting
|Common name||Latin name||Bees||Butterflies||Moths||Other||Notable species|
|Blue-stem goldenrod||Solidago caesia||x||x|
|Cardinal Flower||Lobelia cardinalis||x||Ruby-throated hummingbird, Swallowtail butterflies|
|Climbing boneset||Mikania scandens||x||x||x|
|Columbine||Aquilegia canadensis||x||x||Ruby-throated hummingbird|
|Common boneset||Eupatorium perfoliatum||x||x||Baltimore checkerspot butterfly|
|Common heartleaf aster||Symphyotrichum cordifolium||x||American lady, Pearl crescent, Saddleback caterpillar|
|Flat topped aster||Doellingeria umbellate||x||American lady, Pearl crescent|
|Gray goldenrod||Solidago nemoralis||x||x||x|
|Great blue lobelia||Lobelia siphilitica||x|
|Horse mint||Monarda punctata||x|
|Tall meadow rue||Thalictrum pubescens||x|
|White wood aster||Eurybea divaricatus||x||American lady, Pearl crescent|
|Wild bergamot||Monarda fistulosa||x||x||x|
Pound Ridge’s Arbor Day Tree Planting and Celebration at Halle Ravine on April 28, 2017 was a grand success! Twenty-five people planted two hundred trees and shrubs in designated areas around the northern-most pond, which is visible from Trinity Pass near the Preserve entrance. We are grateful for their service in helping us to achieve our goal to enhance native understory forest in a 1.5 acre area that we just cleared of invasive Winged euonymus (aka Burningbush), with the long term plan of supporting native songbirds and other wildlife through habitat management.
We received funding for this work from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. The NYSCPP in administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. We also partnered with the Town of Pound Ridge Conservation Board, the Henry Morgenthau Nature Preserve, The Invasives Project-Pound Ridge, and our local troop of Girl Scouts for this event. Members of the Pound Ridge Garden Club generously donated a shuttle service to and from the Town Park, to alleviate the limited parking situation at Halle, and they helped to plant as well. Special guest Brad Gurr of Bartlett Tree Experts donated 100 oak and sycamore saplings and taught volunteers how to properly plant them. New York State Electric and Gas donated Eastern redbud saplings, and PRLC’s Prop Lab grew many others like Elderberry, Swamp rose, and Buttonbush.
Plantings were flagged temporarily for identification and watering, and most will be fenced from deer with either individual cages or perimeter fencing. We plan to add flowering herbaceous plants to these sites at our June 3 Volunteer Work Session to support pollinator insects and nectarivores. Please join us in supporting the restoration of Halle Ravine’s native forests by pitching in as a volunteer or making a donation to our Spring Fundraiser. This is a wonderful way to meet your neighbors and enjoy the woodlands we hold dear.
More pics coming soon!
Ten volunteers helped out at our April 1 work session held at the Richards Preserve. A team of four installed a water bar at the entrance to divert storm water from flowing into and eroding the trail system. Another team of four worked to create natural dams and obstructions that will capture sediment eroding from trails. Then, we all joined forces to remove Japanese barberry, an invasive shrub, from the entrance to the Preserve. We received grant funds from the Watershed Agricultural Council to clear barberry from one acre there this year. We also received funding from the Land Trust Alliance in support of our work to provide public access at Richards and to maintain the health of its habitats. Fortunately, the rest of this beautiful older-growth forest is free of invasives. Take the loop trail in either direction, and make sure to take in the reservoir view from the far end.
Have you driven past Carolin’s Grove recently and noticed the work we have done to clear out some of treefall from Hurricane Sandy? Well, it’s time to stop in and take a few minutes to see the change. With funding from the family of the original donors of this Preserve and support from the Land Trust Alliance, we hired a tree crew, Emerald Organic, to remove dead and downed trees that prevented us from accessing the area for management of invasive species and native plant protection. This part of the forest is now safe for visitors to explore.
While there are large gaps among the towering spruce trees in the Grove, there are also many young saplings, some already above the height of deer browse. We aim to influence the regeneration of this forest to include a mix of deciduous trees and conifers, with berry and nut producing shrubs in the understory to support birds and other wildlife. This month and next, volunteers and students including the entire third grade at Pound Ridge Elementary School will help to plant in the largest forest gaps. More volunteers are always welcome, including those who can stop by and water during dry periods in summer.
We have White pine, Pitch pine, Eastern red cedar, American hazelnut and Northern bayberry saplings to plant, some of which were donated by the New York State School Seedling Program. We are also going to plant wildflowers that are important for pollinating insects, such as Grey goldenrod, Milkweed, and Wild bergamot, grown in our own native plant nursery at the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center. Please see this blog post for more information on the PRLC Prop Lab.
Five new student volunteers stayed warm by working hard at our first Saturday Volunteer Work Session of the year last week at the Clark Preserve. We worked together to clear Japanese barberry and other invasive plant species from an area near the entrance to the preserve, on Autumn Ridge Road in Pound Ridge. The students were able to draw connections between what they saw and learned about in the forest, and what they have in their yards at home. They asked important questions: “how did invasive species get here?” (They were brought in by nurseries for sale as landscaping plants, in many cases.) And, the kids want to know what is edible, trying out garlic mustard and onion grass and black birch. We talked about making syrup from Sugar maples, and how you can know you are looking at a maple even at this time of year (by the buds and pattern of branching). Curiosity flows freely in the outdoors.
We are grateful for the assistance of volunteers in maintaining the health of this seventy acre forest, and we look forward to spending more time out on the land this season. Join for our next Saturday Volunteer Work Session on April 1 at Richard’s Preserve on Honey Hollow Road, 10am to noon. We will be making improvements to the entrance to the preserve including installation of a water bar to direct road runoff out of the trail. Please bring a shovel if you have one, and wear long sleeves and pants for protection from thorns.