Only two months into our Wetlands Stewardship for a Healthier Bronx Program and we are already seeing a great amount of support and participation. For those of you who do not know, it is a program that brings together water quality testing within Tibbetts Brook and Van Cortlandt Lake, restoration and maintenance within 5 acres of Freshwater wetlands and educational partnerships with NYC schools to experience the beauty of Van Cortlandt Park first hand.
Van Cortlandt Park is home to the majority of Freshwater Wetlands left within the Bronx and these important ecosystems could use some help. September and October brought forth a total of 86 stewards who totaled over 225 volunteer hours within the wetlands, removing invasive non-native plants to strengthen the biodiversity of the area. Much of the time put in was by the FVCP wetlands working group; devoted volunteers from the community. Volunteers will continue to remove invasive non-native plants in sites within the wetlands to prepare for planting of native species this upcoming spring. They will also assist in taking samples of water quality from Tibbetts Brook and Van Cortlandt Lake over the next year.
A total of 212 individuals have come out to take a guided educational tour of the wetlands within the park as well with FVCP. Some of these individuals were students from the 5 high school classes that have begun a watershed and wetlands curriculum with FVCP and GrowNYC. These classes will take part in studying the watershed and land uses within the Tibbetts Brook Watershed and come up with projects for their class to lead in 2016. If you would like to learn more, check out our events page this upcoming spring for guided tours of the wetlands at www.vancortlandt.org/events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to become further involved.
Special thank you to our funders- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grant Program and Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Program.