WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY
260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Bedford and New Castle, Westchester County, NY
625 acres


Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners, N.Y. For more information and directions, call 914-666-8448.


History:

The sanctuary was founded in 1957.

A 200 year old building, a former Presbyterian Church from Bedford Village, was reconstructed at Westmoreland in 1973.  The former Presbyterian Church of Bedford Village, built in 1783, was taken down piece by piece and rebuilt in the sanctuary to save it from demolition crews. It now serves as a Museum and Nature center. The central room is used as an auditorium and a second story balcony contains exhibits of Westchester County's flora and fauna of Westchester.

Here is Bechtel Lake named for the Edwin De T. Bechtel, first president of Westmoreland Sanctuary.

Scout's Pond was rebuilt as an eagle scout project by Buddy Modugno, 6/16/94.

On the grounds of this 330-acre sanctuary is a deciduous and coniferous forest, liberally sprinkled with ponds, streams, and marsh. An additional 113-acre wilderness tract along the Mianus River is open by appointment only for supervised group activities and scientific nature studies.

The hilly terrain ranges in altitude from 390 feet to 730 feet.

Eight miles of easy to moderate hiking trails lace the sanctuary.


Habitats:

hemlock forest; woodlands; open meadows; old cemetery; lakes; and ponds.

The waters include Bechtel Lake in the northwest section, Lost Pond in the northeast, streams, and Coles Kettle in the southern portion.    


Trails:

Westmoreland Sanctuary offers 13 trails.  The trails are short, about one-half to one and one-half miles.

The trails are open every day from dawn to dusk, and maps are available at the Easy Loop Trailhead. Guided walks are usually scheduled on Sundays at 2. No dogs, horses, or mountain bikes are allowed. There's a museum and nature center with displays of local floral and fauna that is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5, and 10:30 to 5 on Sundays.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple) 4/25/02
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/25/02
Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood) 6/18/02 planted
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) 6/18/02
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus spp. (crab apple) 4/25/02
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus vernix (poison sumac)
Salix sp. (willow) 4/25/02
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 4/25/02
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 4/25/02
Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) planted
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) 10/26/02
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Ligustrum sp. (privet) 6/18/02
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/25/02 waning
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 6/18/02
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) 6/18/02
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra) (planted)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea) 4/25/02
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high-bush blueberry) 4/25/02
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum (arrowwood viburnum)

Vines
:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (bittersweet berries)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 6/18/02
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/25/02 6/18/02
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 4/25/02
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)?
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed) 6/18/02
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/04/02 10/16/99 10/26/02
Aster pilosus (aster)
Aster racemosus (small-headed aster) 10/26/02
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Cardamine pensylvanica (Pennsylvania bittercress)
Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 6/18/02
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/18/02
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Cimicifuga racemosa (American bugbane)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge) 4/25/02
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Galium sp. (6 in a whorl, no prickles)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) 4/25/02
Goodyera pubescens (downy rattlesnake plantain)
Hepatica americana (round-leaved hepatica)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) 10/26/02waning
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)
Hydrocotyle americana (water pennywort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 9/04/02
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed) 9/04/02
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 6/18/02
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Monotropa hypopithys (pinesap)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myosotis sp. (forget-me-not)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 4/25/02
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock) 6/18/02
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily) 6/18/02
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 6/18/02
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) 4/25/02
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony) 4/25/02
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal) 4/25/02 soon
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 6/18/02 9/04/02 10/16/99 10/26/02
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 9/04/02
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Pyrola rotundifolia (round-leaved shinleaf)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf crowfoot) 4/25/02
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 6/18/02
Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage) 4/25/02
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap) 9/04/02
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (stout blue-eyed grass) 6/18/02
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's self)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod) 10/16/99
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 4/25/02 6/18/02
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/18/02
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/18/02
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore) 6/18/02
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) 6/18/01
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 4/25/02 6/18/02
Viola conspersa (dog violet) 4/25/02
Viola cucullaria (marsh blue violet)
Viola mackloskeyi (northern white violet) 4/25/02
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/25/02

Rushes:
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge) 4/25/02
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/25/02
Carex stipata (sedge) 6/18/02
Carex stricta (tussock sedge) 4/25/02
Carex swanii (sedge)? 6/18/02

Grasses:
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Glyceria striata (mannagrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 4/25/02 6/18/02
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Tridens flava (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine clubmoss)
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
Athyrium filix-femina f. rubella (red-stiped lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Dryopteris spinulosa (spinulose woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (southern or broad beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Others:
rock tripe lichen
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)

Fern Garden:
maidenhair fern
spinulose woodfern
cinnamon fern
marginal woodfern
sensitive fern
Christmas fern
royal fern
ostrich fern
lady fern
bracken fern
interrupted fern
hay-scented fern
silvery glade fern
New York fern
broad beech fern
 


Sponsor: Torrey Botanical Club

Date: May 14, 1967

Leader: Jim Orsborn

Prior to walking the trails a discussion was held regarding the general geology of the New York City region in order to relate the local Westmoreland geology to the region as a whole. The relationship of the Fordham gneiss, which occurs in the Sanctuary, to other members of the Manhattan formation (Inwood marble and Manhattan schist) was shown by the use of geologic maps and hand specimens of the various rock types. Highlights were also given regarding minerals found in the area as well as some of the region's mineral industry of the past and present.

The trails followed in the Sanctuary were those traversing areas containing examples of various features of the Fordham gneiss, related granites, and indications of the structural geology of the area. Also noted were land features attributable to glaciation of the region such as smooth and rounded outcrops, glacial debris, and large boulders deposited at a distance from their apparent origin. As is usual on walks oriented toward a specific phase of natural history, there were extra dividends of enjoyment derived from observing items of botanical interest as well as a variety of birds and small mammals to be seen in the Westmoreland Sanctuary.


October 26, 2002. Westmoreland Sanctuary, Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, NY.

On a slightly drizzling, overcast morning members of the Torrey Botanical Society and the Connecticut Botanical Society gathered for an autumn walk. Those present included Patrick and Rosemary Cooney, Judith Fitzgerald, Joyce Hyon, Dan and Nancy Harrison, Bill Romaine, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Michele Sorensen, and Michael St. John.

The group took the Easy Loop Trail down to Bechtel Lake. Some of the interesting herbs around the lake were Ludwigia palustris (water purslane), Mimulus ringens (monkey flower), Myosotis sp. (forget-me-not), Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap), and Sparganium sp. (burreed).

Quite a few ferns were still identifiable: Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern), Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern), Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern), Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern), Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern), Thelypteris hexagonoptera (southern or broad beech fern), and Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern). Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern) and Osmunda regalis (royal fern) were found in the planted fern garden near the lake.

From Bechtel Lake the group traveled along the Chicadee Trail and climbed to the highest point in the sanctuary (located on the Wood Thrush Trail) to arrive back at Bechtel Lake and then took the Easy Loop Trail back to the parking area. Blooms still found at this late date included those of the shrub Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) and the herbs Aster divaricatus (white wood aster), A. pilosus (aster), and A. racemosus (small-headed aster) along with Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed). The orchid Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid) was also found.

Total attendance was 11. The trip leader was Carol Levine.