The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Natural Resources Group report

In 2005 the department of parks prepared an assessment report on the Ridgewood Reservoir. The following is from the introduction of that report:

"In 1984, Parks established the Natural Resources Group (NRG) with a mandate to acquire, restore and manage natural areas in New York City. The wetlands, forests, meadows, and shorelines under NRG’s jurisdiction provide valuable habitat for hundreds of species, from rare wildflowers to endangered birds of prey. In addition to the goals mentioned above, NRG serves as a clearinghouse for technical research to aid in the protection and restoration of the city's natural resources. This inventory of Ridgewood Reservoir was conducted in 2005 as part of NRG’s commitment to improving the natural areas of New York City parks.

Today, the reservoir’s outer basins are filled and completely vegetated, while the middle basin contains a freshwater pond skirted by reeds. Habitats in the vegetated areas include closed forest, scrub, woodland, and vineland. Ridgewood Reservoir is located along the Atlantic flyway, one of the four main bird migration routes in America. Millions of birds (as well as bats, butterflies and dragonflies) travel the flyway each fall and spring. Natural areas along the flyway, such as Ridgewood Reservoir, provide these animals with food and shelter. A popular pedestrian and bike path around the reservoir offers views of the neighboring landscape as well as glimpses into the reservoir.

To facilitate the protection, management and restoration of Ridgewood Reservoir, NRG completed an inventory of the area using entitation, a process of identifying and describing ecologically distinct plant communities. Using aerial photographs and field reconnaissance, Parks staff delineated distinct ecological entities, known as entitation units, based on cover type, understory structure, species composition, and topography. Evidence of historical use, current use, environmental disturbance, and additional notes were also recorded for each unit. Entitation of Ridgewood Reservoir resulted in a map and database that can be used to locate valuable and threatened areas. They also serve as a baseline for measuring change over time."

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Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Do you have a link to the full report?

NRG is an important group within Parks. They're the ones doing the hard, ecological field research. It's through their work that NYC has "Forever Wild" sites, actual preserves within the bounds of the city. Unthinkable a decade ago.

Unknown said...

Natural Area Mapping and Inventory of Ridgewood Reservoir 2005 Survey