Wetlands Restoration

Riparian wetlands help dissipate floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, filter out pollution, provide fish and wildlife habitat, and sustain the health of downstream water sources. Runoff, pollution, and development contribute to wetland degradation. The functionality of wetlands within the Mianus River Watershed contributes to the overall health of the entire water system, an important drinking water source for many. The Mianus River Watershed comprises over 30 major wetlands, each with a varying level of health and functionality based on a number of contributing variables.

Heavy machinery required to clear vines

Mianus River Gorge has the expertise to scientifically evaluate the health and functionality of a wetland system, identify threats, and determine a course of action. For example, if a wetland is threatened due to road runoff, yet the diversity of its native species is intact, we believe that if we eliminate the threat the wetland has the potential to repair itself.  Conversely, if invasive species have taken over and changed the structure of the wetlands, we believe the damage is irreparable without a dedicated restoration project.

MRG successfully executed a significant restoration project, thus completing the cycle from initial assessment and evaluation, to identification of threats, determination of course of action, and finally to completed restoration.  Restoration of the Lockwood Pond II serves as a model for other compromised wetlands in the Mianus River Watershed that would benefit from restoration. It also demonstrates to municipalities that restoration is possible to improve the functionality and health of wetlands.

Herbaceous Communities Restoration


Many wildflower and herbaceous plant species common in the Gorge 30 years ago are now very rare. Deer, invasive species, and illegal collecting have eliminated some species. Restoration of these species could have broad implications for similar activities elsewhere and prove valuable in helping buffer ecological communities, particularly on steep slopes, from the effects of climate change.

MRG staff and a local scout troop built 24 3’X6′ raised beds and one larger wetland bed to plant with seeds and/or rhizomes locally collected from sustainable sources. All beds are protected from predators and represent nearly 30 different species to date. Many species that were planted several years ago are now bearing seed that we can use to plant in the Preserve. In 2018 we planted back into the Preserve over 2,456 seeds representing four species. In addition to seeds, another 40+ mature plants representing 5 different species were planted in the Preserve. We also collected thousands of seeds from other local wild and sustainable sources to plant back into our garden beds (to increase the genetic diversity) and to use for restoration projects.

Each year, as more plants mature, we will have more seed to use for restoration activities. MRG protects new herbaceous communities by erecting unobtrusive fencing and in its deer exclosures; rapid response and control of non-native invasive species; and MRG’s ongoing Deer Management Program that has been effective in the reduction of the local deer population.

Stewardship & Land Management News

Mianus River Gorge Awarded Stewardship & Resource Management Grant
The Riparian Corridor Restoration grant project is supported with funding from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and …
Winter Trail Rest Dec. 1 to Apr. 1
Trails at Mianus River Gorge and Taylor Preserve Are Closed for their Winter Rest December 1 to April 1 Thank …
Lower Hudson PRISM Partnership
The Mianus River Gorge is one of over 50 partners across the region that make up the Lower Hudson Partnership …
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 …