A. FARINA, Conservation Biologist,
Town of Hempstead,
Department of Conservation and Waterways, Point Lookout, NY 11569
OVERTON, Conservation Biologist, Town of Hempstead,
Department of Conservation and Waterways, Point Lookout, NY 11569
WENEGENOFSKY, Environmental Analyst, Town of Hempstead,
This management plan will discuss and identify prescriptions needed to transform a former illegal dumping ground and dirt bike track into a Passive Nature Area. This process will take several years, ultimately leading to the return of indigenous plant and animal life. As such, we feel it will have enormous value as both tidal wetland and as a passive interpretive site.
To achieve this end result, debris will be removed in and around the upland zone while protecting any existing native plants. Filled areas that are not presently vegetated will be graded and planted with appropriate wildlife friendly and native plants. Due to the fact that the property borders Lido Blvd and a row of residential homes a six-foot high chain link fence with two gates will be installed.
A rudimentary trail system will be created for immediate public access to the site. The trail will also lead to the Town of Hempstead West Marina to provide access to the public restrooms. Signs will also be installed informing the public of the location of a public fishing pier and launching ramp located in the West Marina.
Goal of our management program is
to establish habitat conditions that will provide for native wildlife as well as
a site for passive marine education.
Before designing any management prescriptions, we sampled the de St. Aubin Property to determine the habitat suitability that presently exists. We did an on site observation and accessed satellite images to determine ground cover and identify major habitat types within the de St. Aubin Property. Approximately 29 acres of the property is tidal wetland and 10 acres of either fill or upland zone. The construction on this property will be limited to fill areas and upland zone according to Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York 6 NYCRR PART 661.
The northern border of the fill zone, Appendix A, (K11-17) is composed of three primary species of plants: Bayberry Myrica pennsylvanica, Groundsel Baccharis halimifolia, and Poison Ivy Rhus radicans. Throughout this border, the Common Reed Phragmites australis adds to the hedge, but is not a major factor. Scattered within the vegetation are blackberry Rubus spp., pokeweed Phytolacca americana, and goldenrods Solidago spp. This constitutes an ideal zone for resident birds and seasonal migrants providing both nesting cover and feeding areas.
On the east side of the fill zone (K17, L17, K17) the primary plant species is Common reed, with poison ivy, Japanese bamboo Polygonum cuspidatum, Sumac Rhus spp., Black locust Robinia pseudoacacia, and Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata.
The lower area west of the proposed parking area (L12, M12, L13, M13) is composed of Autumn Olive, Groundsel and Bayberry. The low depressed paths crossing through the area feature dense blocks of Common reed and Japanese Bamboo. The area has approximately a 600ft perimeter.
Blocks including trail 2 are made up of: Common reed, Groundsel, poison ivy and Bayberry averaging between 5 and 13 ft tall. The packed down trail is primarily composed of sands. In walking this path, it was determined that most the work that will be required will be the removal of debris, for example oil tanks, sinks, car tires, and heavy lumber from floating docks. Chest high brush in blocks (M5, M4, M3) is made up of Marsh Elder Iva frutescens and common reed. Evidence of active muskrat behavior was also observed.
Observations collected on 7 Nov 2001, includes birds observed and vegetation inventory. This information can be seen in appendices E and F.
The follow are objectives set for a five-year plan for the monitoring and proper completion of this management plan.
· Install six-foot high chain link fence (black fabric) with two gates along Lido Boulevard. One gate for the entrance at the existing curb cut on the east side of the property to access a proposed parking area and one further to the west at an existing traffic signal to provide safe exit for the public heading to the east.
· Remove all trash and debris from the upland fill area and the wrack line where the filled area meets the wetland area.
Remove all large debris
from the proposed entrance road and parking area while protecting existing
Level and grade all
non-vegetated areas in the filled area. The area should then be seeded with
upland grasses and enhanced with group plantings of native shrubs and trees.
Construct an entrance
road and parking area from a natural stone mix or crushed shells.
· There are presently two high areas of fill located at the east and west portions of the filled area. These areas will be increased in size to provide elevated overlooks for viewing the wetlands to the north and west and an existing pond to the east. Level and grade exiting mogul field along north side of fill area and wood chip to provide a walking path between the two elevated overlooks and the parking field. Selected areas of Common reed will be cleared along this path to provide additional vistas over the wetland area.
· Low spots will be filled in the vegetated area on west side of the spoil area and enhanced with additional planting of native shrubs and trees.
· Creation of a earth berm along Lido Boulevard. Berm will be seeded with native grasses and enhanced with trees and shrubs. The berm would provide additional buffer to the site and help eliminate road noise.
· Clear and widen, in selected places, the existing trail west of the filled area. Remove all debris along this trail and fill low spots, which are presently mosquito-breeding locations.
· Since installation of restrooms at the site would be extremely costly at this time, we will clear a trail along the fence line with signs directing visitors to the location of the public restrooms at the West Marina.
Install signs indicating the location of the public fishing pier
and launch ramp at the West Marina.
At Year Three
The widening of an
existing second trail extending west from the parking lot.
The placement of four
interpretive boards depicting: general layout of preserve, common birds found in
the pond at different seasons, plants of the salt marsh, and common birds and
animals native to the salt marsh.
The placement of an osprey
nest box at the North West corner of the property.
Distributions of 12 Tree
swallow boxes throughout the property.
At Year Five
Construction of a third
path, placed in the center raised upland portion of the area.
Along this path, three cutouts will allow viewing access of surrounding
· At the northern end of third path, and elevated platform will be constructed with two-mounted all-weather Mark II Automatic Focus Binoculars for increased viewing of tidal creeks, pools, osprey nest box and Renyolds Channel.
· Installation of an interpretive board on the elevated platform explaining osprey nest boxes, tree swallow boxes, and greenhead fly boxes.
To accomplish each objective by their proposed completion dates, we need to undertake a series of activities. Each activity will be categorized by the year.
The restroom trail (K17, J18, J19, J20, J21) will be created just east of the East Overlook. A wooden stair structure will lead down from the overlook and connect to a trail of approximately 400 feet in length that will lead to the restrooms at the West Marina facility (I21).
With the full cooperation of the state of New York, the Town of Hempstead should realistically have no problem with funding and executing this management plan.
There are always questions concerning whether a plan can realistically accomplish the goals within the limits of land, funding and time. Plans always have uncertainties (assumptions) built into them. Plans also create conflicts of values because they define a desired endpoint, explicitly.
We are likely to be challenged on the values and the assumptions. Certainly we can claim some prerogative regarding values, but necessary public involvement dictates that we consider the interests of others. The involvement of local conservation groups is vital to the overall community acceptance. For example, the South Shore Audubon Society and the Long Island Chapter of the Sierra Club have in the past voiced their opinion regarding the town’s management of preserves and refuges. To get them involved may in fact reduce some of the backlash from such groups. Possible results from these “Roundtable” talks may elicit donations and contributions from these groups in order to sponsor certain projects within the plan in exchange for recognition on the property signage. Involvement with the state by establishing a liaison, this will promote the ease of receiving the proper permits needed to complete this plan in the proposed time limit.
Ecologically, this will only
benefit the habitat. The initial
removal of debris on the property will increase the productivity of this tidal
wetland. By increasing
productivity, you’ll attract increased numbers of wildlife species. The control of invasive plants such as common reed and
Japanese bamboo will allow native plants to flourish thereby improving the
Some method is needed to keep track of whether our efforts are moving us toward the desired goal. To do this, a yearly progress report will be issued to all participating parties involved. Also during this time, an annual “Roundtable” meeting will be held to outline our progress and to address any concerns individuals may have.
Point Lookout Civic Association
Lido Beach Civic Association
Environmental Assessment Form
1 August 2003 rev.5
Michael A. Farina
Town of Hempstead
Conservation and Waterways
Point Lookout, NY
RH: Management Plan × Farina et al.