I stopped offering Spiritual Ecology Walks, despite the encouragement of like minded friends, despite the ease in which I connected to spirit when outdoors. And I didn't know why, until yesterday.
With an onslaught of wildfires in the LA area over the summer, and the upcoming fire prevention week this October, what better time than now to protect life, property, and the environment? Last year, I applied for the Wildland Resource Planner with the Orange County Fire Authority, making it through to the first round of interviews.
Why aren't ticks bites considered an imminent threat like hurricanes and mosquitoes? Ever hear about the frog sitting in a slow heating pot of water? As the story goes, if the water is heated slow enough, the frog won't recognize the danger until it's too late.
There was an older gentleman swimming in the quiet waters of the Great South Bay, beyond the stronger inlet current. I gave him some privacy, and sat down to journal, looking forward to a swim of my own.
(Updated August 22) - On July 20, the Town of Brookhaven updated the TDR formula to allow for expansion of the Pine Barrens Core . John Turner (Town of Brookhaven) and I discussed why the formula had to be recalculated so as not to dilute the value of the credits. But he was surprised that I wasn't following the detailed history of how the TDR credits were originally formulated and how policies had to be reworked. And though I was also there at the beginning, when they all worked on it, my lame excuse was that I was more into doing field work, and Ray was more into the policy.
Transfer of Developments Rights (TDR) is one tool used to protect open space. It enables private property owners to be fairly compensated for their land when their land offers significant ecological value. With respect to the Pine Barrens, TDR credits protect the core by transferring development to the compatible growth area. The compatible growth area is a concept I borrowed from the Man & the Biosphere Program [2}, way back, when lobbying to Steve Englebright for more Pine Barrens protection.
On July 31, I wrote to Governor Cuomo, requesting that he "ask" for Assembly bill 7722 and State Senate bill 6157. These bills approve the expansion of the core to protect and preserve 1300 acres including the Shoreham-Wading River Forest and a Mastic property in the headwaters of the Forge River. These bills were introduced by Steve Englebright and Ken LaValle, and also approved by the Town of Brookhaven, under Supervisor Ed Romaine's leadership,
On August 22, I wrote to the Governor's Staff, requesting a phone meeting to discuss the pending legislation. To whom it may concern, the Governor's Staff, I'm requesting a phone meeting to discuss the following pending legislation: Assembly bill 7722 and State Senate bill 6157. These bills approve the expansion of the core to protect and preserve 1300 acres including the Shoreham-Wading River Forest and a Mastic property in the headwaters of the Forge River. These bills were introduced by Steve Englebright and Ken LaValle, and also approved by the Town of Brookhaven, under Supervisor Ed Romaine's leadership.
Please Take Action
Please let Governor Cuomo know that you would like him to ask for the bill to sign. Once he asks, he has ten days to respond. Again, it's the State Senate Bill 6157, that expands the pine barrens core. Also let hime know that the TDR program is in place and ready to go , And do support the work I do under Quality Parks - Park News & Advocacy with a membership. Thank You.
Just when I thought the gypsy moth infestation of my oak trees was over, my beautiful oak trees were now bleeding sap? The sticky goo had dripped all over the truck hood and streaked its windows. The next morning, I collected two severely eaten oak leaves and used a master naturalist hand lens to get a closer look. What I found wasn't a gypsy moth, nor oak sap.
Most likely caused by the oak leaf aphid that "essentially sucks the living juice out of the leaf, and the honeydew is the aphid’s excrement from their eating ."
What eats aphids? Green lacewings and lady bugs. I went outside with my hand lens to see if I could find any, but came away with more observations. But should I be spending my time exploring summer tree life, or removing the gunk on my car, or going through 100 emails past due? By the time I figured this all out, it was late afternoon.
Note to myself, "if honeydew has dripped onto your car or patio furniture, remove it quickly with an appropriate detergent-based product and a soft cloth. Two tablespoons of vinegar in a gallon of water works well on outdoor furniture ." Second note to myself, the emails can wait.
(Updated August 22, 2017) Mile-a-minute set seed in July, two months earlier than expected.
The vine also advanced via seeds germinating in the narrow spaces between native plants.
The Pine Barrens Trail Center is open and ready for use. The hedges were trimmed and the shed was cleared of vines and invasive species. We aired out the Trail Center and found the key to post some fresh material in the kiosk. The BBQ grill looks fine as well as the picnic tables. We did more trail work and realized the need for invasive species management, as it's a nature center and should feature natives instead of garlic mustard and oriental bittersweet We need help for weed pulling and for redoing the handicap accessible trail (some kind of crushed concrete could be carted in and spread). For access, please contact Suffolk County Parks for a permit application, allow two weeks for processing time. See More Pictures
Quality Parks Board Member, Pamela Block, attended this week's meeting of the Rotary Club of Port Jefferson. She gave a presentation on Native Plants & Ecological Service. The purpose of the presentation was to form stronger connections and collaborations regarding continued native plantings in the Village of Port Jefferson.
A new idea for native plantings was discussed this past winter with Mindy Block (Quality Parks), Joy Cirigliano (Four Harbors Audubon Society), and Brian Macmillan (Village Golf Superintendent). They spoke about how to feature native plantings that would not only benefit bees, birds, and pollinators, but would also add value to the golf course with eco-friendly certification. Subsequently, Quality Parks spoke with Caren Markson (Village Gardener) for the ways and means to fundraise for continued native plantings.
Towards this end, Quality Parks contacted the Sandra Swenk (Suwasset Garden Club). The Garden Club became a Supporting Member and have requested a presentation as well (in the works). Quality Parks subsequently contacted Dennis Brennan and Bob Huttemeyer (Rotary Club of Port Jefferson) to arrange a presentation on July 11, 2017. All are welcome to support this charity effort for going native in the Village of Port Jefferson.
To print out the presentation, please go to Quality Parks CSA for Native Plants.
An inquiry was made to SC Parks as to where the main entrance is to R.C. Murphy County Park. We learned it was near Swan Lake. Several of us went to investigate. Public access has never been great and is now much worse.
There's a memorial rock with a plaque, but no typical SC Parks signage. The boat put in to Swan Lake is now on the main road. The turn in to the access road is hard to find, sandy, and twists.
That's kind of exciting, but after parking, the road to the lake is flooded in two spots, and the trail to the historic Cranberry Bog is nearly impassable, unless you're ready for a major full body tick infestation. There was a historic native blueberry patch planted in this location, and the adjacent home was once used by SUNY Stony Brook as a research station. Not sure what's happening now to either. Quality Parks is considering how to approach SC Parks to designate a more park friendly entrance either at the nearby the Pine Barrens Trail Center, or some other location. It would be nice to clean up this access point as well. Learn More
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Cranberry Bog Preserve
Flanders County Park
Pine Barrens Trail Center
R.C. Murphy Park
Rocky Point Pine Barrens
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