Creating Forest Islands

Mianus River Gorge adheres to a forest management plan informed by applied forest ecology and management research and shared best practices. MRG’s plan combines the natural process of succession, removal of invasive plants and vines, an intervention plan to eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid, and a tree-planting strategy that creates islands of trees in the newer, post-agricultural forest.

Mianus River Gorge will plant islands of trees in the post-agricultural forest of the Gorge and elsewhere. As these tree islands grow they seed in around themselves, colonizing naturally, and help restore the entire forest more quickly.

Using a combination of practices that work in parallel is especially important to apply in the post-agricultural forest in the Gorge and throughout the State. The forests suffer from huge health problems due to their use for grazing and farming years ago. Today, the post-agricultural forest that has grown in is even-aged, less diverse, and is susceptible to invasion by non-native species.  The forest does not do a very good job of sequestering carbon or providing other ecosystem services that most healthy forests do, including protecting water quality.

Planting islands of trees would speed up the recovery of this area by adding diversity and would replace trees being lost to newly introduced forest diseases and non-native species like the emerald ash borer.  Unfortunately, some areas will have huge die-offs in the next few years as the borer kills ash trees, reducing the tree cover and opening the canopy. This will lead to a massive expansion of non-native species like barberry and others which hamper native forest growth. 

Together, these forest restoration practices are intended to hasten the recovery of degraded, formerly forested land to improve carbon storage, restore biodiversity, enhance soil nutrients upon which the forest depends, and slow the ravages of climate change.

Stewardship & Land Management News

Forested Riparian Corridor Restoration
The Mianus River and its tributaries form a riparian corridor that is vital for wildlife and whose health and function …
The Young Forest
The final component of the Save the Hemlocks initiative is to improve the health and buffering ability of the younger …
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 …
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 …
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Control Efforts
This past spring, we completed treatment of our eastern hemlocks to protect them from hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA).  The hemlock …
Grant from Westchester Community Foundation helps Restore & Enhance Meadow Biodiversity
The 935-acre Mianus River Gorge comprises an array of habitats, including meadows, flood-plain forest, wetlands, post-agricultural forest, and over 100 …
Spotted Lanternfly: a new, unwelcome invader!
By Jennifer J. LernerSenior Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County Here in the Hudson Valley, we have weathered …
Should We Accept the New Norm?
Outdoor Observer by Rod Christie, Executive Director Driving around at this time of year one gets a chance to look …
Invasive Species Update
A major component of the Mianus River Gorge strategic management plan is invasive species control. The task of eradicating invasive …
Tree ID Pop Quiz
MRG’s Budd Veverka led an enjoyable and informative walk through Mianus River Gorge Preserve to help participants learn to identify …
Non-native flora
Non-native flora can also be called alien, invasive, or exotic, each having a slightly different meaning. In effect, non-native plants …
Old-Growth Forest Walk photos
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The Importance of Wetlands
The Importance of Wetlands Some people don’t think of wetlands in a positive way, if they think of wetlands at …
Westchester Community Foundation Awards Renewal Grant
Thanks to a generous renewal grant from Westchester Community Foundation, Mianus River Gorge will continue its work of Protecting Biodiversity …
Campaign to Save the Hemlocks
Only an hour north of New York City, the Mianus River Gorge Preserve’s rare old-growth hemlock forest is one of …
Deer Overpopulation
Too many deer is a common problem to many suburban areas of the northeast. And like most of our environmental …