FOCAAdmin  Mar.20.2024

On a gorgeous Saturday morning in mid-March, 35 volunteers, including many children and teens, gathered to learn about native and non-native flora and fauna.

The event was organized by the Irvington Green Policy Task Force in collaboration with the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Irvington Parks Department, the O’Hara Nature Center and the Pollinator Pathways Project.

Led by the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct Horticulturist Peter Strom, and the Irvington Green Policy Task Force volunteers Jasena Sareil, Leola Specht, and Lisa Antonelli, the volunteers split into their chosen groups: non-native invasives and Spotted lanternflies egg masses identification and removal; expansion of community pollinator garden; and litter collection/removal.

The event helped create awareness of the benefits of non-native invasives removal and planting of natives to regenerate biodiversity and provided the community with a wonderful hands-on experience.

The Irvington GPTF is planning to organize with their partners two additional similar community events on the OCA later this year (spring and fall) to further help educate the community about the native plants contribution to the local ecosystem and sustainability.

The goal is to restore the OCA areas where the non-native invasives were removed in favor of native plants including small trees and shrubs suitable for the location to minimize soil erosion and support pollinators.

We are taking a great deal of action on protecting, preserving, and restoring Irvington’s portion (almost 2 miles!) of the Old Croton Aqueduct State Park!