Queens, NY


Park adjacent to Queen-Borough Community College.  Take the Throgs Neck or Whitestone Bridge to Cross Island Parkway southeast.  Get off at exit 31 for Northern Boulevard.  The park is one block south of  Northern Boulevard bounded by 220th Street on the north, Springfield Road on the west, 56th Avenue on the south and Cloverdale and 223Street on the east.  


From Queens College School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

15,000 years ago  --  the Ice Age wanes and the glaciers retreat leaving in Queens behind  "kettle ponds". A kettle pond formed the original depression of Oakland Lake, where large blocks of glacier settled into the morainal material, conferring steeply sloped sides of the pond thus formed. Since Oakland Lake intersects the water table, there are many springs feeding it from the bottom and sides. Over the years, erosion and regrading have changed the Lake to one of more gently sloping sides. The soil is Alton Stonyhaven loam brought by glaciers and deposited on underlying basalt.

1645  --  New York's governor Willem Kieft issues letters of patent to English immigrants, among them John Hicks,  for the Long Island settlement of Flushing.  Hicks also founds the Oakland Gardens area of Queens.

Oakland Lake served as one of the earliest mill ponds on Long Island. It fed the old Hicks Mill, owned by one of the original settlers of Bayside, John Hicks, son of a Plymouth Colonist, and a Flushing patentee.

Colonial times  --  Oakland Lake then known as Mill Pond for the mill stream which flowed into Alley Creek.  Later known as Douglas Pond after the founder of Douglaston when Mill Pond was sold to Flushing by William Douglas for $1.

1897-1933  --  Oakland Oak was used as a water supply for Flushing.

According to Dr. Euler of the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), Oakland Ravine had extended to the Long Island Expressway, before it was filled in with the building of 56th Avenue.

the 1960s  --  when PS 203 and Queensborough Community College were built, backfill pushed into the Ravine covered the wetland basin below with about 3 feet of material.  (A historic building was bulldozed into the Ravine by Queensborough Community College; the characteristic cut stones are still in evidence in the Ravine.)  Fifty to sixty years ago there was a bubbling brook in the Ravine which supported trout.

1976  --  Oakland Lake and Ravine become protected environments under New York State's Wetlands Act.


This is part of the Brooklyn/Queens Greenbelt.

From the Alley Pond Park Environmental Center a dirt path heads parallel to 233rd Street to Long Island Expressway.  The walker can follow a bridge over the Long Island Expressway and then make an immediate right into the woods.  This follows the path along the Cross Island Parkway.  At the playground the path goes right and downhill to Oakland Lake.

Few people walk through the Oakland Ravine.  It takes the walker to Springfield Road.  In this area the Queensborough Community Colledge and PS 203 are found.

4/13/00 saw a palm warbler


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Philip Duckett (of Fresh Meadows, Queens)

Acer japonica (Japanese maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple) 4/13/00
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)? 4/16/02
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 4/16/02
Fagus grandifolia (American beech) 4/13/00
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ginko biloba (ginko)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Malus sp. (apple)
Morus alba (white mulberry) 6/22/99 in fruit
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)?
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree) 4/16/02
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore tree)
Platanus x hybrida (London plane)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry) 4/13/00
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 4/16/02
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry) 4/13/00?
Pyrus spp. (crab apple species) 4/13/00
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) 4/16/02
Salix alba ‘triste' (white willow)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Salix sericea (silky willow) ?
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tilia sp. (hort. linden -- lf very white under)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)
Zelkovia (Japanese elm)?

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Abelia sp. (abelia) 4/16/02
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood) 6/22/99
Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood) 6/22/99
Cornus racemosa (gray stem dogwood)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Hibiscus syriacus (rose of Sharon) 7/14/99
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 6/22/99
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhamnus sp. (buckthorn)?
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 4/16/02
Rubus alleghaniensis (common blackberry) 4/16/02 6/22/99
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Taxus canadensis (American yew)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum plicatum (double-file viburnum) 4/16/02
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum)
Viburnum spp. (hort. viburnums) quite a few different ones

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Apios americana (groundnut)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99 9/20/00
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 6/22/99
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 4/16/02 7/14/99
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vicia cracca (cow vetch)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)
Wisteria (wisteria)?

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/16/02 6/22/99 7/14/99
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 9/20/00
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) 9/20/00
Apocynum cannabinum (dogbane) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Aquilegia vulgaris (garden columbine) 4/16/02
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) 4/16/02
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Aster dumosus (bushy aster) 9/20/00
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/20/00
Aster ericoides (heath aster) 9/20/00
Aster lanceolatus (panicled aster) 9/20/00 11/19/99
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) 9/20/00
Aster pilosus (heath aster) 9/20/00
Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 4/16/02
Bidens connata (swamp beggar ticks) 9/20/00
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Cabomba caroliniana (fanwort) 7/14/99 9/20/00
Callitriche palustris (water starwort)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 4/16/02
Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 4/16/02
Chenopodium album (pigweed goosefoot) 9/20/00
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea) 9/20/00
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Cichorium intybus (chickweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99 11/19/99
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) 6/22/99
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 6/22/99
Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Crocus sp. ? (crocus)?
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 7/14/99 9/20/00
Dianthus armeria (deptford pink) 6/22/99 9/20/00
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) 4/16/02 6/22/99 in fruit
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willowherb) 9/20/00
Epipactis helleborus (helleborine orchid) 7/14/99 waning & fruiting
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 6/22/99
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 9/20/00
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge)
Galium aparine (cleavers) 4/16/02
Geum canadense (white avens) 7/14/99
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99 9/20/00
Hypericum perforatum (common st. johnswort) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) 7/14/99 9/20/00
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag) 4/16/02
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle) 4/16/02
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lepidium campestre (field pepper) 6/22/99
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Lindernia procumbens (procumbent false pimpernel) 7/14/99
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 7/14/99
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed) 9/20/00
Lysimachia palustris (water purslane)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Matricaria matricarioides (pineappleweed) 4/16/02 6/22/99
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 4/16/02
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 7/14/99 9/20/00
Myriophyllum spicatum (water milfoil)
Narcissus sp. (daffodils) 4/13/00
Nuphar advena (southern pond lily) 4/16/02 6/22/99
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) 9/20/00
Ornithogallum umbellatum (star of Bethlehem) 4/16/02
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 4/16/02 6/22/99 9/20/00
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 4/16/02 6/22/99 9/20/00
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon's seal) 4/16/02
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) 9/20/00
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed or Virginia knotweed)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prenanthes trifoliata (tall rattle-snake root) 9/20/00
Prunella vulgaris (heal-all) 9/20/00
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) 4/13/00 very invasive; lots and lots of it in big patches
Ranunculus sp. (buttercup) by the water 6/22/99
Rorippa nasturtium-aquatica (water cress)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed susan)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead) 7/14/99
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) 4/16/02
Sisyrinchium sp. (Blue-eyed grass) 4/16/02
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 4/16/02
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower)
Solanum caroliniana (horse nettle) 7/14/99
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 9/20/00
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 9/20/00
Solidago canadensis var scabra (tall goldenrod) 9/20/00
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) 9/20/00
Sonchus asper (spiny-leaved sow thistle) 4/16/02
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/16/02 6/22/99 9/20/00 11/19/99
Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort) 4/16/02
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 4/16/02 6/22/99 7/14/99
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 6/22/99 7/14/99
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) 4/16/02
Viola sp. (violet)
Spring cress? 6/22/99
yellow mustard 7/14/99
a yellow water lily with very pointed petal tips 7/14/99

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex comosa (sack sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sack sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea var. annectans (sack sedge) 4/16/02
Cyperus sp. (flat sedge) 9/20/00
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella nut sedge) 9/20/00
Eleocharis ovata (spike rush)
Eleocharis sp. (spike rush)
Scirpus americanus (Olney three-square bulrush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (wooly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomeratus (orchard grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crabgrass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass) 7/14/99
Glyceria sp. (glyceria grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cutgrass) 9/20/00
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue panic grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (panic grass) 9/20/00
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 4/16/02
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)