WELWYN PRESERVE
Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY.
204 acres


Directions:

From NYC take the Belt (Cross Island) Parkway to exit 30. From there go east abut 8 miles on the Long Island Expressway (Route 495) to exit 39. Go north on Glen Cove Road 6.2 miles, bearing left at a major fork near the end. Turn north (right) onto Brewster; go 0.5 mile. Turn north (left) onto Dosoris Lane; go 0.7 mile. Go left for 0.4 mile on New Woods Road. At Crescent Beach Road, proceed for about 0.1 mile to the Welwyn gate on the right. Park at the left of the main house.


History:

A sprawling, 204-acre estate, Welwyn once belonged to Harold Irving Pratt, son of oil magnate and philanthropist Charles Pratt of the late 1800s. The estate includes a Georgian-style mansion, a former recreation building now used by the Nassau County Holocaust Committee and several smaller service buildings.

The mansion is the home of the Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County.
Some of the trees and shrubs are here as the result of extensive landscaping carried out in the earlier parts of the century. Members of the Olmsted family, whose famous patriarch, Frederick Law Olmsted, designed Central Park, were hired by the Pratts to do this. It is possible that they planted the river birch that stands beside Turtle Pond.

A stand of Austrian black pines was also planted by the Olmsteds.

The beach is sandy, rather than stony as one would expect, simply because the Pratts had the rocks removed. The visitor can enjoy a wonderful view of Long Island Sound, with Connecticut on the opposite shore to the right.


Trails:

The preserve features four marked nature trails. Trail maps are available.


Habitats:

wooded stream valley, fresh water ponds and swamps, a coastal salt marsh and a stretch of Long Island Sound shoreline.

No less than 30 other species call this region of rich soil their home, including many listed on the Long Island Horticultural Society's list of Great Trees of Long Island.

Over 100 species of birds and a variety of small native mammals, reptiles, and amphibians inhabit the preserve's grounds, while small trout may be spotted in the stream by a careful observer.

The shoreline communities feature a rich variety of habitats including a productive salt marsh with intertidal and high tide plant and animal zones, a small dune area, old pilings, a rock jetty and shallow coastal waters.

On the grounds grows one of the finest stands of old-growth tulip trees on Long Island.

Sources: Geffen and Berglie, 1996: Chapter 4 and others.


PLANT LIST:

Trees:
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple) probably planted
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula nigra (river birch) probably planted
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus nigra (Austrian black pine) planted
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Opuntia humifusa (prickly-pear cactus)
Prunus maritima (beach plum)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Polygonatum sp. (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Solidago sempervirens var. mexicana (found by Al Lindberg 1999)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Trientalis borealis (starflower)

(some trees found by Daniel Karpen, Bruce Kershner, Peter Kelly, David Hunt; "Old growth black tupelo on Long Island"; LIBS Newsletter, Winter 2004, Vol. 14, No. 1.)