FRIENDS OF CLARK RESERVATION, P. O. BOX 153, JAMESVILLE, NY
The Clark Chronicle V O L U M E
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From the Chair...
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: The Fern Crew Camp Groups Galore! Enjoy Fall at Clark Reservation Clarkâ€™s Monarch Waystation
Welcome to our fall edition of the Clark Chronicle. We've had a great summer with many programs by our naturalists; I hope you were able to come and visit the park and the Nature Center! The Nature Center is looking great as the Nature Center Committee has been working diligently on revamping. Our gardens look beautiful thanks to our volunteer gardeners and Mother Nature. And as the season winds down, a HUGE thank you to all our volunteers. We could not have the gardens looking so well or the Nature Center open if it weren't for ALL the helping hands, large and small. EVERY little bit helps with our endeavors. We're always looking for more help; if you think you might be interested email me at
Historical Find in Oswego
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 315-415-8377. Now, our season may be winding down but only in terms of the Nature Center being open and having programs. The Nature Center is not heated, so clearly has to close, usually early to mid October. And our naturalist is there on weekends till Columbus Day, then done for the season. But Clark Reservation is open year round! And last but definitely not least; remember to join us on January 1st for our Annual First Day Hike! It's a great way to start out the year with hikes for all kinds of hikers (and dogs!). Always followed with hot cocoa, hot cider and treats for those willing to come out! I'll be there; I hope you will too!
by Martha Lowe
Former Clark Reservation manager Tim Gray, now manager at Peebles Island St ate Park, participated in the retrieval of a section of fencing and fence post from the grounds of Fort Ontario. This section of fencing is part of the original fence that surrounded the post during World War II when it served as the only refugee shelter in the United States for the victims
of of the Nazi Holocaust. The find will become part of a new exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum is assembling artifacts and other objects for the exhibit, which will include the section of the iconic Fort Ontario fence. The exhibit will debut in 2018.
Refugees and townspeople gather at the fence to chat and exchange items. (Photo courtesy of the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum, Oswego, NY)
The Fern Crew
The Fern Crew in action
species management in the park during the summer. This crew is part of the FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) program that was created by Tom Hughes, Natural Resource Steward Biologist for the region, and aims to provide field experience for college students majoring in a variety of natural sciences. This summer’s Fern Crew accomplished a great deal in a very short period of time. Largely hidden from sight in the deep ravines and plunge basins of the park, the crew eradicated over 30,000 invasive plants! Additionally, they led over 15 educational programs, participated in plant community studies and updated GIS mapping projects, among other things. So, the next time you see a college-aged worker in the park armed with a trowel and wearing a FORCES t-shirt, please be sure to thank them for their hard work!
by Shannon Fabiani
This summer, many local youth groups and summer camps visited Clark Reservation State Park. The Fern Crew, described in further detail in the article written by the Crew’s leader, Mike Serviss, hosted over 15 educational programs! Depending on the interests of the group and the time they have with us, the crew led an assortment of activities with the kids, all celebrating the uniqueness of this special park. Activities included interpretive guided hikes, ecology scavenger hunts, ‘pale-swallow-wort tag’, fossil rubbings, aquatic ecology, and exploring the treasures found in the Nature Center. There are a few different types of excitement I describe when kids visit Clark. You have the ‘firsttime-visitor’ who is beaming with excitement and amazed by the uniqueness of Clark, usually the glacial history (often described using a few Ice Age movie references) and the fossils along Table Rock
by Mike Serviss
Clark Reservation is well known for its immense diversity of plant life. The flora is so diverse, in fact, that the park is regarded as the most species-rich area of fern diversity in all of New York State! This diversity is highlighted by the presence of one of the most rare and threatened ferns in North America, the American hart’stongue fern. Unfortunately, a multitude of invasive plant species threatens the sensitive habitats that the American hart’s-tongue fern calls home. This issue begs the question, who is charged with protecting these areas from invasive plants? The answer: a group of park stewards affectionately known as The Fern Crew. The Fern Crew consists of eight to ten seasonal interns, work study employees and volunteers whose primary task is invasive
Camp Groups Galore!
trail. There is also the ‘return visitor’ who is eager to answer questions because they remember and recall facts that you or your crew members taught them the summer prior. Often there are the children who have rarely (or perhaps never) been in such a natural environment. The excitement here comes from that shift from ‘fear of the unfamiliar’ to a confidence to explore the rest of the trail -- even when it looks “spooky” (a direct quote from one youngster). Lastly, there is the excitement when the child realizes that “science” is not just a subject in school that only lives in textbooks. “THIS is science?!” Clark Reservation is a great place for kids to learn that science can be -- and is -- fun!
Children learning science in the field
Enjoy Fall at Clark Reservation!
Clark’s Monarch Waystation Clark Reservation has been designated a “Monarch Waystation” by the Monarch Joint Venture at the University of Minnesota. This organization unites partners across the United States in an effort to support and conserve the annual monarch butterfly migration to Mexico and back. Partners such as the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Park Service, and many other state and local organizations are all working together to preserve habitat and provide food and other needs of the monarch butterfly. Crucial to this effort is making milkweed species available throughout the growing season. Often considered a weed, milkweed plants have been drastically reduced due primarily to widespread development. However, milkweed species are the only plants that can provide food and shelter for monarch caterpillars; they cannot eat, or reproduce on, any other species of plant. All four native species of milkweed plants are found in Clark’s Native Plant Garden. Monarch butterfly populations are measured by
by Whitney Lash, Executive Director, Baltimore Woods Nature Center
Fall is one of the favorite seasons to visit Clark Reservation State Park and view the vibrant colors of a New York State autumn. The basin surrounding Glacier Lake is a stunning display of color: a variety of brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and greens from the maples; the changing green to yellow leaves of hop hornbeam and ash switching; golden leaves on our shagbark hickory, and oaks displaying a variety of browns and oranges. These colors combine for a backdrop that make the evergreen branches of cedar and other conifer species pop out from amongst the deciduous plants and create a breathtaking display of autumn. As the length of daylight and temperatures change, the chlorophyll in leaves begins to break down as they stop producing food for the plant and are replaced by other pigments present in the leaf. Take the opportunity to explore Clark Reservation this fall by walking the Lake Loop and Cliff Trails, or join our naturalist-led walks on October 7 and 9 at 2 pm. You’ll get a close-up view of a diversity of colors and species. Don’t forget your camera!
2016 Fall Foliage walk
by Angela Weiler Native Plant Garden Coordinator
number of acres of monarchs overwintering in mountainous areas of Mexico. In the winter of 1996-1997, there were about 47 acres total of monarch colonies; by the winter of 2013-2014, there were only 1.66 acres of the butterflies. Yet just last winter, the number had increased to 7 acres -- which is encouraging! More information:
You can help! Milkweed species (Asclepias species) are crucial to the survival of the monarch. Consider planting some in your garden next spring!
Friends of Clark Reservation P. O. Box 153 Jamesville, NYNew York 13078
Please renew your annual membership! www.councilofparkfriends.org
Don’t Miss These! Sat, Sept. 30th: Take the Long Trail, 2 pm Visit some of the oldest sections of forest at the park on a guided hike along the Long trail.
“In nature nothing exists alone.” — Rachel Carson
Sun, Oct. 1st: To Migrate or Not to Migrate? 2 pm Sat, Oct. 7th: Fall Foliage Hike, 2 pm The autumn views along the Lake loop and Cliff trail are like no other! Sun, Oct. 8th: To Migrate or Not to Migrate? 2 pm
Mon, Oct. 9th: Fall Foliage Hike, 2 pm
Check out our Facebook page or Meetup group for more details on programs going on at Clark Reservation! Admission $5/car on weekends & holidays