Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Monday, October 12, 2020
Long Pond is one of the most pristine ponds in the New York City area. Located 65 feet above sea level, it is fed completely from underground springs. Due to its elevation, the pond does not receive surface water, thus it resists pollutants that often flow into bodies of water from surface run-off. With its special level of purity, the pond is a vital habitat supporting many species of animals.
Long Pond’s history stretches back for thousands of years, beginning with the Wisconsin Ice Sheet. Twelve to fifteen thousand years ago, a huge sheet of ice blanketed the area, hundreds of feet thick. The pressure of the ice caused depressions in sections that had weak underlying rock layers. As the ice receded, these sunken areas formed wetlands such as Long Pond and Pam’s Pond. As a result, areas of stronger underlying rock were left above sea level. This topographical feature, known as “knob and kettleterrain,” can be seen throughout much of Staten Island. The extreme southern and southeastern portions of the island were not covered by the Wisconsin Ice Sheet and therefore do not exhibit this type of terrain.
Long Pond and other bodies of water in the park have been incorporated into the Bluebelt water drainage system by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Encompassing several parcels of state-protected wetlands on the island’s south shore, the Bluebelt system was specifically designed to provide storm water drainage for the neighboring communities. Mature beech, oak and hickory woodlands provide much of the foliage in the park, with many of the trees over sixty years old. They help to support an understory layer of spicebush (Lindera benzoin), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) and many herbaceous plants.
Allison Pond, adjacent to the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Cemetery, once provided part of the asylum’s water supply. When a borough-wide municipal water system was implemented in 1939, the institution had no functional use for the pond. The trustees of the property deeded the pond site as a gift to the City, which transferred it to Parks in 1943. Since that time, the local community has used the pond and brook for fishing and strolling its banks.
A stone pedestrian bridge spanning the mouth of the pond adds interest to the landscape, as do the many mature trees and grasses. The park was renovated in 1990. New additions to the site included tree guards, new fencing, and railings. Boulders were placed around the pond and several new trees and flowers of many species were planted, including red maples (Acer rubrum), American beeches (Fagus grandifolia), tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), swamp white oaks (Quercus bicolor), downy shadblows (Amelancier arborea), sweet bay magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum), pink summer sweet (Clethra), northern bayberry (Myrica), Redosier dogwood (Cornus), swamp azalea (Rhododendron), mountain laurel (Laurus), various ferns (Osmundaceae), including columbines (Aquilegia), dwarf bleeding hearts (Dicentra), sensitive (Fabaceae), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), and marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris).
Friday, October 9, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
First time fishing here this season. I got here at about 1:30 in the afternoon. I chummed a