The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are proud to announce that our December Friend of the Month is Felicity Wasser. Felicity began volunteering with the Friends just last year, but has quickly become one of our most active and trustworthly volunteers. As part of our Trails Crew and Tibbetts Water Monitoring crew, we see Felicity on a weekly basis in the Park assisting in making the Park a better place. It is very rare that you find a volunteer with the amount of knowledge that she holds. Felicity has great skill in plant identification and very routinely is teaching us in the Park. Her love for nature and the environment is contagious and we are very happy to have her as part of the VCP community.
How and when did you get involved with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park?
I saw kids and adults carrying garden tools around in the park one day when I was jogging and asked about what they were doing. I have been volunteering for a year, with trail work, invasive removal and water sampling. It has been great fun because I have seen and learned about many new plants and animals while helping make the park better for people and wildlife.
What is your favorite place in the Park?
I can’t decide between the Northwest Woods or the John Muir Trail. You feel like you are getting to see a piece of the great oak and hardwood forests that covered all of New York city for hundreds of years.
What is your favorite memory of the Park or event you have participated in?
My favorite memories are of seeing wildlife up close, 2 snow geese hanging out with the Canada geese at the parade ground, and fish making gravel nests in Van Cortlandt lake. The best event is the Tibbetts Brook monitoring.
Parks completed a Master Plan for the Park, what improvements would you like to see in Van Cortlandt Park in the next 20 years?
I would like to see more restoration of the wetlands, forest, and Tibbetts brook. Letting the brook run free through the whole park instead of into a sewer would be a great first step. Taking out some of the unused man-made structures such as fences and paving would improve the park.