PO Box 581; Dudley Street, Yonkers, NY 10703 (914) 968 5851
40-acre sanctuary

Hours: Trails open daily, dawn to dusk. Nature Center open Wednesday thru Sunday, 8am - 5pm.


Located at Dudley St., off Broadway at Yonkers/Hastings line. I-87 North to Tuckahoe Rd. exit. Bear right to Tuckahoe Rd. West. At second light turn right onto Rt. 9A (Saw Mill River Rd.) north. At next light turn left onto Odell Ave. Turn right at light onto Nepperhan Ave. Next light turn left onto Executive Blvd. Next light turn right onto North Broadway (Rt. 9). Take next left into Dudley St. Entrance is on left.


pre-colonial times  -- the Wechquaescheck Indians farmed and fished in the area.

1630s  --  the Dutch start settling in the Yonkers area.

Revolutionary War  --  Peter Forshee and Evert Brown had farms on the Lenoir preserve property.  

1850-1870  --  in the southern part of Lenoir Preserve, the Neo-Renaissance French Chateaux style mansion was constructed for future presidential candidate presidential Samuel J. Tilden (who also had a place at nearby Untermyer Park).  Lenoir Mansion was built of granite quarried on the estate. The fireplace mantel is a copy of one in the Chateau at Blois, France.
turn of the century  --  The northern half of the preserve was the site of Ardenwold, a 30-room Georgian mansion run as a gentleman’s farm.  

1907  --  Two wings added to the mansion for then owner C.C. Dula, president of Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. He named the mansion after Lenoir, North Carolina, where he grew up on a 500-acre tobacco plantation. (In Danville, Virginia there is the 1896 C. C. Dula house located on Main Street.)

1926-1963  --  Colonel John Stilwell, a vice-president of Consolidated Edison, president of St. John’s Riverside Hospital, a respected civic leader, and brother of famed World War II General “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell, resided at 30-room Ardenwold until his death in 1963.

1939  --  C. C. Dula's niece, Purl Parker, inherits the estate.  She lives with her husband, Dr. Orrin Wightman, a distinguished physician, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York (1925), professor, and photographer.  In 1928 Dr. Wightman published Diary of an American Physician in the Russian Revolution in 1917.

1965  -- Dr. Wightman dies.

1976  --  Lenoir Mansion parcel purchased by Westchester County.

1979  --  Stillwell estate acquired after the Ardenwold mansion destroyed by fire.

Open since 1978, the sanctuary serves as headquarters for the Yonkers Audubon Society. Lenoir's Nature Center is housed in a turn-of-the-century carriage house.

(Source: http://www.westchestergov.com/parks/Nature%20Centers/Lenoirmain.htm)

Alder Estate

Walking south from Lenoir one enters through a gate onto the grounds of the former Alder Manor. This estate was established by the wealthy William Boyce Thompson. (Source:
Rob Yasinsac: Yaz' Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

1869 -- William Boyce Thompson born into a mining family in Alder Gulch, now Virginia City, Montana. After graduating from the Columbia School of Mining, he became wealthy as a copper magnate.

around 1899 -- Thompson he moved to New York City.

1912 -- Thompson hired Beaux-Arts architects John Mervin Carrere and Thomas Hastings to design an Italian Renaissance Revival, 72-room country estate for entertaining, in the rural northern part of Yonkers, adjacent to Lenoir.

The landscaping was also done by Carrere and Hastings. The gardens were intended to replicate, and include relics of, classical Greek and Roman gardens. To the north of the house lay numerous empty fountain pools inside the walled garden. A Greek Theater was located at the east end of the garden. There is an iron gate which leads to Lenoir.

The Alder Mansion had a view of the Palisades, but the view is now blocked by the building of the Yonkers Public Schools Center for Continuing Education (erected just yards away from Alder Manor's west portico).

1924 -- Across the street from Alder Manor is the Boyce Thompson Institute, established by Thompson in 1924 for plant research.  (The Institute played a big role in the Torrey Botanical Society during the years it was located in Yonkers.  It subsequently moved to Cornell, Ithaca, New York.)

1930 -- Thompson dies.

1950 -- his wife Gertrude dies. She either sold or willed Alder Manor to the New York Archdiocese.

1989 -- until this year, the Alder Manor served as the main house for Elizabeth Seton College, when it was sold to Iona College.

1995 -- Iona College sold the property to the City of Yonkers. The land lay vacant.

2000 -- the Tara Circle, an Irish Cultural Center, decides to use it for establishing an Irish cultural center in Westchester County. Tara Circle, an Irish Cultural Center, is restoring the mansion and the gardens.


hardwood forest, conifer stands; Lenoir has an unusual number of specimen trees and shrubs, many imported from around the world when the property was part of a private estate.  Among them are magnificent copper beeches from Europe, ginko trees from the Orient, and Douglas firs from the Pacific Northwest.


The preserve is adjacent to the Old Croton Aqueduct trail system.

8/28/02 They seem to have added a pond in the old field that was literally covered with common mugwort. So I was able to add quite a few wetland plants to the plant list. Also noticed they have put in a nice-sized garden with lots of horticultural plants.

Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney

Acer japonica (Japanese maple) being overrun with porcelain berry
Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club) 8/28/02
Betula lenta (black birch)
Castanea mollisima (Chinese chestnut)? planted
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Fagus sylvaticus (European beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Paulownia tomentosa (royal paulownia)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea sp. (Colorado blue spruce) planted
Pinus nigra (Austrian pine)?
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus x hybrida (hybrid sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry tree)
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) planted
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae) planted
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs/Small Trees:
Acanthopanax sieboldii (five fingered aralia)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules's club)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood) probably planted
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Hydrangea sp. (hydrangea) tall shrub, probably planted 8/28/02
Ligustrum sp. (privet) 7/2/93
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Pachysandra sp. (pachysandra)
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry) 8/30
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Spiraea sp. (horticultural spiraea) escaped 8/28/02
Taxus sp. (yew)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (hairy arrowwood viburnum)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 8/28/02
Clematis terniflora (sweet autumn clematis) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Hydrangea (climbing hydrangea)
Polygonum scandens (false climbing buckwheat)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Ajuga reptans (ajuga)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 7/12/92 8/30
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Amaranthus sp. (amaranth) 8/28/02
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Ambrosia trifida (great ragweed) 8/28/02
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil)?
Arctium sp. (burdock) 7/2/93 8/30 8/26/01
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Artemesia vulgaris (common mugwort) 8/30
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 7/2/93
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/30
Bidens sp. (beggar tick)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 7/2/93
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 8/28/02
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 7/2/93 8/30 8/26/01 8/28/02
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Commelina communis (Asiatic day flower) 8/28/02
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/2/93 8/26/01 8/28/02
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 8/28/02 8/30
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 7/12/92 8/30
Erigeron strigosus (lesser daisy fleabane) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Fragaria sp. (strawberry)
Galinsoga quadriradiata (galinsoga)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) 8/28/02 one bloom
Hieracium spp. (hawkweeds)
Hosta sp. (hosta)
Hypochaeris radicata (cat's ear) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lactuca biennis? (blue lettuce?)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort) 7/12/92 8/28/02 8/30
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lepidium virginicum (wild peppergrass)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) 8/26/01
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/28/02
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/28/02
Mentha spicata (spearmint)
Mollugo verticillata (carpetweed) 8/28/02
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 8/30 8/26/01 8/28/02
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 8/28/02
Pilea pumila (clearweed) 8/28/02
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 8/28/02
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Polygonum hydropiperoides (mild water pepper)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) 8/28/02
Polygonum sp. (knotweed) 8/30
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia knotweed)
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/30
Ranunculus sp. (buttercup)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) 8/28/02
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 8/28/02
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber)
Silene alba (white campion) 7/12/92 8/30 8/26/01 8/28/02
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 8/28/02
Solidago canadensis var. altissima (tall goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) 8/30
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 8/28/02
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 7/2/93 8/30 8/26/01 8/28/02
Trifolium repens (white clover) 8/26/01 8/28/02
Trifolium sp. (hop clover) 7/12/92
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Typha sp. (angustifolia)? (narrow-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 8/26/01
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 8/28/02
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 8/28/02
Viola spp. (violets)

Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex intumescens (sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)
Scirpus validus (soft stem bulrush)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crabgrass)
Digitaria sanguinalis (hairy crab grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Echinochloa muricata (barnyard grass)
Eragrostis cilianensis (stink grass)
Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimble will grass)
Paspalum sp. (bead grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)