Rye residents rescued a large area of native plants from the stranglehold of invasive vines and plants along Playland Parkway the weekend before Thanksgiving. The volunteer effort, organized by the Rye Sustainability Committee, now takes place both spring and fall.
The Rye crew joined forces with the Westchester County Parks crew to remove truckloads of harmful plants and debris. Together, they uncovered shagbark hickory, American holly, crabapples, and red oaks. Next spring, the crabapples will add wonderful color while their flower nectar feeds native bees. Especially important are oak trees, which support more moths and butterflies than any other native tree species — 534 to be exact.
A charming stream was uncovered and is now visible from the path. This area has high ecological value as a year-round water source and opportunity to plant native flowering shrubs, trees, and perennials. Combined, they will support a diversity of pollinators, songbirds, small mammals, and reptiles.
“Keeping the stream clear may also help mitigate some of the flooding in the area,” said Rye Sustainability Committee chair James Ward. “Our goal is to transform Playland Parkway into a vibrant and sustainable natural ecosystem.”
While clearing invasive porcelain berry vines, Dr. Frank Goldszer offered: “This is another example of our successful public/private partnership with the County. Together, we delivered an improved environment and path for all to enjoy.”
Lisa Chen added with enthusiasm: “Once I started yanking invasive vines off trees I could not stop. It was fun, great exercise, and gratifying knowing it was helpful. I can’t wait to do it again.”
The Rye Sustainability is likely to schedule more group efforts. Volunteers are always welcome, and students receive community service credit.
If you are interested in getting involved, email email@example.com.