What we’re working on this summer: Mianus River Gorge Wetlands Restoration Project

A major goal of MRG’s “Source to Sound Phase II” initiative, funded by Westchester Community Foundation and Patagonia, is to restore the compromised wetlands known as Lockwood Pond.

The Mianus River Watershed is comprised of nearly 40 wetlands systems whose health and functionality directly contribute to the cleanliness of the Mianus River, an important drinking water source for so many. In addition to the obvious visual cues, such as non-native invasive species, debris, and, in the case of Lockwood Pond, discarded construction materials, MRG used a scientific computer model to “score” the wetlands and help prioritize those most in need of protection or possible restoration solutions.

Lockwood Pond was in need of restoration. MRG met with wetlands consultant Beth Evans to determine a course of action. Because the site was so compromised by invasive phragmites, oriental bittersweet, porcelain berry, Japanese knotweed, and allanthus, to name a few, the most effective strategy called for their complete removal with heavy machinery. The transformation was immediate as trees once covered in vines were exposed again and fields once overrun by invasive knotweed were recovered. To ensure the seed bank also would be destroyed, preventing the regeneration of these aggressive invasives, we are currently solarizing the area using heavy clear plastic. Soil solarization is an environmentally friendly method of using solar power to control invasive species.

This fall, MRG will remove the plastic and replant the wetlands with native plants, shrubs, and trees to re-establish a healthy balance. To help ensure that invasives are kept under control, we will mow meadow areas and hand cut invasives that appear in the wetland areas.

Although MRG continues to pursue permanent conservation solutions through land acquisition / conservation easements we are continually mindful of our need to steward the lands we own or protect.

With this in mind, we will continue to restore MRG wetland areas identified in our “Source to Sound, Phase II” initiative and will work with private landowners on wetland improvement throughout the watershed.   

To learn more about our land and water protection efforts, please explore the “Land and Water Protection” tab on our web site, www.mianus.org. For more photos, click here.

The mission of Mianus River Gorge, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is to preserve, protect and promote appreciation of the natural heritage of the Mianus River watershed through land acquisition and conservation, scientific research and public education throughout the region.
Mianus River Gorge, 167 Mianus River Road, Bedford, New York 10506     914-234-3455     info@mianus.org

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