The Young Forest

The final component of the Save the Hemlocks initiative is to improve the health and buffering ability of the younger forest that surrounds the Mianus River Gorge old-growth forest. Mianus River Gorge Preserve (MRGP) is a linear preserve and past agricultural activities came very close to the core old-growth forest. As pasturelands and farm fields […]

An Old-Growth Forest in our Midst

Perhaps you know that part of Mianus River Gorge’s mission is to “protect over 1,000 acres … including one of the last stands of old-growth forest in the northeast US.”  But what exactly is an old-growth forest, and why is it so important?  “Old-growth forest is a structurally complex forest, hundreds of years old, that […]

Exploring the role of mycorrhizae in restoration of the Mianus River Gorge Preserve

By Andy Cortese As you hike in the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, you may have noticed a stark contrast between the old-growth hemlock forest that dominates the gorge itself and the maple dominated post-agricultural forest farther up the ridge. Approaching the top of the ridge from the bottom of the gorge, the dark evergreen canopy […]

What We’re Working On This Summer

July 22, 2020 Needless to say, the summer of 2020 is unlike any other. Mianus River Gorge and the Preserve had their ups and downs when the season opened with a surge of visitors desperate to get out of the house. Today, MRG is glad to provide the community with a peaceful, restorative experience on […]

Join MRG’s iNaturalist project this summer!

Research and education at MRG never stop, even in Covid times. Originally planned as a project to be done in the field, ­­­­­WTP student Eileen Dockery (Harrison High School) worked out from home how to create the project using the popular iNaturalist app and with help from citizen scientists. About the project in Eileen’s words: […]

Andy Cortese

2019 RAP Award SUNY ESF – Doctoral Candidate Study of mycorrhizae fungi in the forest soil RAP student, Andy Cortese from SUNY ESF, is studying the mycorrhizae fungi in the forest soil in Mianus River Gorge Preserve. The soils have developed a complicated underground network of mycorrhizal fungi that are hundreds of years old (visible […]

Trent Wacaster

Wildlife Tech Class of 2020Putnam Valley High SchoolMentor: Zach Gajewski (Virginia Tech) Project: Anuran diversity and pathogen load in MRG vernal pools Project Status: Ongoing Project Description: Trent was mentored by RAP student, Zach Gajewski, who is studying the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that is infecting amphibians worldwide. Zach is focusing on how existing microbial communities […]

Chris Meng-Killeen

Wildlife Technician Class of 2020 Irvington High School Project name: Activity patterns of mammal communities in NYC parks Project Status: Completed Project Description: Chris worked on the Gotham Coyote Project, examining potential effects that newly arrived coyotes had on the activity patterns of other species. Using nearly 500 thousand pictures from our camera traps located throughout […]

Erin McKenna

Wildlife Tech Class of 2017High School for Environmental StudiesMentor: Chris Nagy (MRG) Project: Variability in Detection of Coyotes in New York City Parks and Implications for Research Project Status: Completed Project Description: Since 2012, camera traps have been deployed in 10 parks in New York City to study the occupancy dynamics of Canis latrans (eastern […]

Animals Nobody Loves

I always loved the book by Ronald Rood called “Animals Nobody Loves” or the poems by Ogden Nash on the same subject.  I still remember Nash’s rhyme:  “God in all his wisdom made the fly, and then forgot to tell us why”.  The truth of the matter is that there are legions of critters that […]