Green (and Purple) Thumbs Needed!

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Steve Sanford and David Halloran enjoy a mulberry break at Randall’s Island Park during a 2010 Manhattan circumnavigation.

We were happy to discover that indigenous red mulberries are salt tolerant and Cornell University recommends them for erosion control! That means we might be able to stabilize and beautify our shoreline with this fruitful friend. Kayakers in New York City and New Jersey have happily noted mulberries thrivinge on shorelines. Three local spots for shoreline mulberries are at Hallets Cove, Dutch Kills (by Borden Ave.) and Randalls Island.

We’d love for green thumbs to volunteer with us to plant these and other indigenous and naturalized plants and trees at our boat launch. We’d also love to plant edibles in raised beds and planter gardens. Vines might be especially great for trellised or gabled shade areas. Please email volunteer@harborlab.org with your interest. We’ll present proposals to our launch’s generous land owner, Schuman Properties, by May.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forester Garrett Koplun gave great feedback earlier, and followed up yesterday:

“Hello Erik,
Below is the full list of native and naturalized species common to Maritime Shrublands listed by the New York Natural Heritage Program draft edition of Ecological Communities of New York State.  I believe maritime shrubland would be the closest ecosystem community related to your particular site:
Maritime shrubland: “a shrubland community that occurs on dry seaside bluffs and headlands that are exposed to offshore winds and salt spray”
Trees and shrubs
– Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis
– Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica
– Black cherry Prunus serotina
– Arrowwood Viburnum dentatum
– Shining sumac Rhus copallinum
– Beach plum Prunus maritima
– Sand rose Rosa rugosa
– Wild rose Rosa virginiana
– Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana
– American holly Ilex opaca
– Black oak Quercus velutina
– Sassafras Sassafras albidum
Herbs
– Flat-topped goldenrod Euthamia graminifolia
– Wild indigo Baptisia tinctoria
– White-topped aster Aster paternus
– Little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium
We hope you join us in this great project!

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