Friends of Hempstead Plains

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE FRIENDS OF HEMPSTEAD PLAINS

WE ARE OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY THROUGH MARCH 2023

PLEASE EMAIL US AT INFO@FRIENDSOFHP.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION

 


 

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Annual Sandplain Gerardia Count Yields a 10 Year High!

On Labor Day--board members, student interns, and the Friends' Habitat Director participated in the annual Agalinis acuta survey to count existing plants at the Hempstead Plains Preserve.  The Species, Agalinis acuta is considered a "globally rare" plant and is found in only a few locations on Long Island--with the largest source being right here at the Hempstead Plains.  

Part of the reason this whole preserve is protected, is due to the presence of this listed species.  With that comes a certain responsibility though.  Here at the plains, our management of the habitat directly affects the success of this rare plant.  With proper annual mowing during the winter months, and constant removal of large woody growth, we have maintained the historic habitat for these plants, and hope that expansion to other areas occurs in the future.

This years survey included over 3,700 plants! most of which were in full bloom during this years survey.  For some context, the count in 2021 was under 1,500, and was 2,400 in 2020.  There are many factors that affect the abundance and vigor of these plants.  The plant communities within the protected Agalinis area likely have the greatest influence, and studies show the microhabitats where Agalinis acuta are found is very unique.  If you're a blossoming botanist, this is a great research opportunity!

While they are past bloom now, we hope to see you next September for another chance to see this special plant.

 

 

 

 

 




 

A Special THANK YOU to The Town of Hempstead and Nassau Community College for helping support our 2021 Fall Festival.   




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Front Garden Planted  
Over 20 Boyscouts and Nassau Community College students transformed the look of the Education Center by removing weeds around it and replacing them with natives.   Thank you to all who came out, especially to Eagle Scout Candidate Scott Henneberger and his family, as well as the South Shore Audubon Society, who granted funds for restoring habitat with native plants.  

Invasive Species Controlled 
Black Swallow-wort appeared for the first time on this section of Plains in 2017.  It is a highly invasive plant which is particularly detrimental to Monarchs.  Volunteers did an amazing job knocking back the Swallow-wort and thus theslotsbay.com protecting Monarchs.  

 

ABOUT THE FRIENDS

 Friends of Hempstead Plains at Nassau Community College, Inc. was formed in 2001, dedicated to the perpetual preservation, restoration and management of the site through scientific research and education. 
Our goals are: 
• Protect the land ~ prevent further destruction of critical habitat and promote compatible development in the surrounding area.
• Restore the ecological habitat ~ restore the prairie grassland that once covered the area and rare species that depend on it.
• Promote and provide assistance for good stewardship of the land.
• Develop educational programs ~ offer environmental education for the community and coordinate educational opportunities for students of all ages.
• Promote research by college faculty and students.
• Encourage community involvement in restoration and management practices.


Directions: From Meadowbrook Parkway take Exit M4 to Charles Lindbergh Blvd.  Or from Merrick Ave., turn west on Charles Lindbergh Blvd. (between Hempstead Ave. and Stewart Ave.) Follow Charles Lindbergh Blvd. to first right turn into NCC East Campus.  Turn Right into East Campus. See Hempstead Plains at first intersection. Turn right into Hempstead Plains parking area.  @40.7271276,-73.5882271

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For information: email info@friendsofhp.org

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