EDWARD SCHONGALLA NATURE PRESERVE
both sides of MacArthur Drive between Florence Road and Halsey Drive, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Central Greenwich : U.S. 1 heading north towards Stamford, in Riverside turn left onto No. Sound Beach Ave. (runs in front of Caldor’s) Go ˝ mile turn right onto Sunshine Ave. follow road to stop sign, turn left onto Florence Rd. proceed straight ahead until you reach MacArthur Drive. Parking on both sides of the Street.
Or U.S. 1 north to a left turn onto Havemeyer Lane (across from Laddins Rock Road). Drive somewhat less than 0.3 of a mile and turn left onto MacArthur Street. Drive 0.4 of a mile and park along the Street near the Nature Preserve Sign.
The topography is uneven, with large rock outcroppings and a small lake along the eastern boundary. One massive overhanging rock and the cave beneath have been known locally for over a hundred years as Wolf Cave or Indian Cave. Archeological studies confirm that it is a rock shelter, once used by native Americans. About half of the property is wetlands, and forms an important part of the headwaters of Cider Mill Brook.
1989 (September) – this land was formally designated by the Representative Town Meeting as a Natural Park.
1990 (April) – the land was named by the Board of Selectmen in honor of the late Edward R. Schongalla. a much-loved science teacher, Scout leader, outdoorsman and nearby resident.
10/20/2005. On a beautiful fall day, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked along side MacArhtur Drive across from the Nature Preserve sign. A sign says "North Trail" with a arrow pointing in the direction of the trail. This is the smaller of the two sets of trails of the trails on both sides of MacArthur Drive.
The North Trail is yellow blazed and heads north almost in a straight line to near the northern end of the Preserve property. The trail follows a ridge with lowlands on either side. On the right is a little valley with a large rock outcropping on the other side. I was tempted to walk across the valley to the rock, but resisted it.
We walked to the end of the yellow trail, turned around and came back. Just by accident we saw a red trail blaze and so we turned left to follow it. The red trail is semi-circular heading out from and back to the yellow trail.
We then crossed MacArthur Drive to get to the main Preserve entrance. Here there is a yellow-blazed, short loop trail. Starting out and turning right, the area on the right is swampy. The trail bears left to head over to a pond. Two dogs tied up across the pond kept barking at us as we examined the vegetation around and in the pond. Here we left the main trail to follow the edge of the pond. When the pond turned to the right, we kept going relatively straight.. We kept on going until we approached MacArthur Drive. We bore left to return to the park entrance and our car. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
Dr. Patrick Cooney
* = plant blooming on date of field trip, 10/20/2005
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer sp. (Japanese maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) -- lots
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Nuphar advena (southern pond lily))
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Rumex sp. (dock)
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
EDWARD SCHONGALLA NATURE PRESERVE