Miguel Berrios of Land Beyond the Sea in Ithaca, New York, is currently at work doing an inventory of street trees and trees in city parks, funded by an Urban Forestry Grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Last week, Berrios toured the wooded area around Oakdale Lake, and Hilary Hillman of the Conservation Advisory Council made this report on the visit.
[Last] Tuesday, Arborist Miguel Berrios got a tour of the Hudson Oakland Lake woodland trail system. Youth Director Liz Yorck and Youth Program coordinator Vanessa Baehr talked with Berrios about the tree canopy, the understory, and invasive species.… He and Baehr discussed methods of eliminating invasive species. They were also able to identify trees that could be potentially dangerous as well as non-native ones that are causing more desirable native trees to not thrive.
Berrios is also a Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Certified Technical Service Provider for Habitat Planning. Baehr who is very knowledgeable about all-things flora, Oakdale, and the history of the site, and Yorck, who is newer to this part of the county and to Oakdale, were able to augment their knowledge and confirm restoration concepts with Berrios. Yorck and Baehr are shaping a plan to eliminate invasives and create new outdoor education spaces and [are] designing trails that will lead to micro-environments within the site.
Thanks to Yorck, Baehr, Hudson DPW, and volunteers, a great deal of work was done on the trails and in the woods this summer. Much debris and overgrowth has been cleared out, and trees brought down by storms have been removed. On this trip, we were able to get all the litter in one grocery bag. I highly recommend a visit to Oakdale Lake trails. Stay tuned for future volunteer days at Oakdale to help with invasive weed removal and wildflower meadow plantings this fall.
When Berrios returns with his full presentation of his findings and management plan recommendations, we hope that the youth, the future stewards of Oakdale Lake Park, will be able to attend.