I have been asked that question often since May, when white plastic tubes popped up on the meadow slope near the entrance to the Angle Fly Preserve. Hidden within those tubes are over 100 native trees and shrubs planted in the first phase of a habitat restoration effort that will eventually encompass the entire Reynolds Farm complex area. If the plants are to have any chance at all, they must be protected for several years from the sharp teeth of hungry deer and rodents: hence the tubes.
At the bottom of that slope is a small stream that empties into the Angle Fly Brook, which in turn empties into the Muscoot Reservoir and becomes drinking water. As the plants mature, they will stabilize the soil and reduce some of the silt and polluted run-off from Route 139 that would otherwise end up in the stream. The plants will also provide habitat and create a visual and auditory buffer between the preserve and the road. The trees have been tagged and will be monitored over the next few years by a forester from the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC).
The Somers Land Trust was able to take on this project thanks to a grant, materials and equipment and a lot of physical labor from the Environmental Leaders Learning Alliance (ELLA, headquartered at Teatown Lake Reservation), WAC, and “Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs,” a NYS DEC program.