Rye, Westchester, N.Y.
47 acres


From south on I-95: Take exit 20, Rye Route 1. Stay on Route 1 south (Boston Post Road). The Nature Center entrance is on the right (0.8 miles).

From north on I-95: Take exit 21, Route 287, Rye to the Exit for Midland Avenue. Turn left on Midland Avenue and proceed to Apawamis Avenue (third traffic light). Turn right on Apawamis Avenue and take the next right onto Milton Road. Take the first left onto Parsons Street to the Boston Post Road (bear right). Upon entering Boston Post Road, the Nature Center entrance is on the immediate left.

From White Plains on 287E: Take exit 11 for Rye Route 1 (right lane of exit). Turn right on Route 1 (Boston Post Road. The Nature Center entrance is on the right (1.1 miles).

From the Hutchinson River Parkway: Take exit 25, North Street. Stay on North Street following signs for Rye. Turn left at intersection of North Street and Theodore Fremd Avenue (just after the bridge over I-95 and the Metro North Railroad). Proceed on Theodore Fremd Avenue and take a right at next traffic light onto Central Avenue. Proceed to the end of Central Avenue at the Boston Post Road. Turn right on Boston Post Road. The Nature Center entrance is the first driveway on the right.

By Train: Take Metro North's Stamford Line to the Rye Station. Taxis are available at the station for local transportation. Visit Metro North at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mnr/html/planning/nhsched.htm for more information.

By Bus: Westchester County Bee-line. Visit Westchester County at http://www.co.westchester.ny.us/trans/beeline.htm for more information.


The history of the Nature Center also begins with the Parsons family back in the early 1900's.
Part of the land owned by the Parsons family was located on the Boston Post Road, just outside of the village of Rye. Marselis C. Parsons, Sr. built his 25-room home there. Shingled style. The Parsons estate was named Furzen Hill after a farm owned by the Parsons family in the 17th century in Cubbington, Warwickshire, England.

1941 -- Mr. Parsons dies; the mansion is left vacant.

1942 -- the mansion burns down under suspicious circumstances.

1945 -- the City of Rye acquires the 35 acre Parsons tract.

1955 -- the Rye School Board relinquishes their rights to the property. It was too rocky to build on they said.

1956 -- the Rye City Council votes to preserve the former Parsons tract as a natural area. Mrs. Bayard Read was influential in preserving the area. Mayor Robert P. Hughes appoints a committee of three to develop the park: Mrs. Read, John Feeley, and Karl Frederick.

1958 -- the City allots funds to operate the Nature Center.

1959 -- the city of Rye purchases the carriage house and two acres of land when they com on the market.

1963 -- owners of an adjacent 16 acre tract is sold to a building developer. Concerned citizens led by Mrs. Read persuade the developer to sell the land at a price of $100,000 dollars for ten acres.

1964 -- Boy Scout troops build the preserve's Nanderwhere Pond Bridge.

1987 -- the Rye Nature Center becomes the first nature center in the nation to be certified as an urban wildlife sanctuary by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife.


Gneiss rock, a metamorphic rock. The principle minerals in it are mica, feldspar, and quartz.


fernery, field, pond, quarry, stream, swamp


2.5 miles of trails.

Beginning just beyond the kiosk in the parking lot, this trail is marked with 4x4-inch guideposts numbered consecutively from 1 to 14. Basic ecological information is given for each of the marked areas whose locations are indicated on the trail map.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = 6/20/02 date plant found in bloom

Acer japonica (Japanese maple) planted
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club) lots of it
Arbor vitae (Northern white cedar) planted
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula papyrifera (white birch)?
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea sp. (spruce) planted
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crabapple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) planted
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) planted
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus sericea (osier dogwood) planted
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rhamnus sp. (buckthorn)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa multiflora var. (multiflora rose with pink flowers) 6/20/02
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
(boxwood)? 6/20/02

Amphicarpaea brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 6/20/02 waning
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 6/20/02
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 6/20/02
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 6/20/02
Convallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) 6/20/02
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erigeron philadelphicus (common fleabane) 6/20/02
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) some planted 6/20/02
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny dayflower)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris sp. (wild iris)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 6/20/02
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 6/20/02
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia smartweed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Rorippa sp. (marshcress)? 6/20/02
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 6/20/02
Tradescantia sp. (spiderwort) planted
Tragopogon pratensis (goatsbeard) introduced
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/20/02
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) introduced
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)
Viola sp. (violet)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass) 6/20/02
Lolium perenne (English rye grass) 6/20/02
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 6/20/02

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining club moss)
Athyrium filix-femina f. rubella (red-stiped lady fern)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)