BETSY C. SLUDER NATURE PRESERVE

Armonk, Westchester County, NY

70 acres


Directions:

US 684 to exit 3 south for Route 22 south. Turn left onto Route 22 south and then turn right onto Route 128 (Main Street, Armonk). Turn at the first street on the left (Old Route 22). It is just southwest of the intersection with Birdsall Farm Drive.


History:

Since there was no name on the park when I first encountered it, I just called it "Whipporwill Park, south." Then on March 31, 2000, I received the following e-mail from Ian McDonald:

I read with interest the checklist of vascular plants for the "WHIPPOORWILL PARK, south" area in Westchester County on the Torrey Botanical Society web page. You will be pleased to know that last year this area was formally declared a nature preserve by the Town of North Castle, under the name of BETSY C. SLUDER NATURE PRESERVE. You also will be interested to know that I have undertaken to conduct a floristic inventory of the area during this current year. I am located at the Louis Calder Center — Biological Field Station of Fordham University, just some 1/4 mile from the area. I have attached to this email a copy of the species list which to date encompasses some 227 species. I have made several collections from here and these will be housed at the herbarium at Calder, with select replicates available for distribution. I have also been conducting a complete flora of Calder over the past year, and shall probably end up with around 600 species for that 1 square kilometer area.


Trails:

Ridge Trail. The walker can take a circular walk going counter clockwise. Head west on the Red trail. The hiker goes through a narrow alley between businesses on the left and private suburban houses on the right. The alley takes the hiker to a rocky, hilly area. The red trail passes on the side of Agnew pond, which is dammed. Take a right onto the green trail, which intersects with the red trail. Turn east (left) to the red trail again. Turn right onto the yellow trail which heads back to the red trail. Turn right onto the red trail. This will take you back to the first intersection of the red and green trails. Turn right and head back to the parking area.


Habitat:

Agnew Pond and wetlands (ephemeral ponds); beech-maple woods.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple) 4/15/99
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/15/99
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwoods) saw two dead ones
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea alba (white spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry tree) 4/15/99
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Alnus sp. (alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) 4/15/99
Hamamelis virginiana (witch-hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/15/99
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches) 4/15/99
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal)
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/15/99
Rumex obtusifolius (round-leaved dock)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/15/99
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type sedge
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 4/15/99
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Grasses:
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)