Palustrine Projects:

Palustrine terrain is generally some form of wetland, but unlike riparian lands, not associated with flowing water. Rather, palustrine lands include marshes, swamps, floodplains, places where aquafers rise to the surface. ChcioryLane wetlands include Vernal Pools, an Old Farm Pond, a Cattail Marsh, a Wet Meadow, and a former wet field that has been converted into a Mixed Palustrine Hardwood White Pine successional forest.


Underlying goals for all these projects are to improve the ecological diversity, quality, services, and interest of relatively small areas that can, potentially, aggregate into larger, symbiotic composites. Individual areas often evidence a particular ecological feature, such as a notable specimen (e.g., large old Willow tree), or multiple clusters of a particular species (e.g., multiple viberna), or a particular natural formation (e.g., a stream or rock outcropping). The main point is to focus, first, on what is there, and then build on that, keeping the scale and effort doable.

Vernal Pools

Two pools constructed in 2005 occupy approximately one acre of a 3-4 acre former wet agricultural field. Both pools include water level control columns that support nearly dry conditions to approximately 18" - 2' of depth that can be varied by season - e.g., fill in winter and dry during the summer. A variety of tree and shrub species were introduced at the time of construction and have been supplemented since. See the complete plant species list for details. Current project emphasis is on developing a canopy overarching the pools and increasing the diversity of tree, shrub, herbaceous, and graminoid species.

Front Field

A 3-4 acre agricultural field with a central damp area lies directly North of the Vernal Pools. Always too wet for any crop other than hay, it was taken out of cultivation in 2005 and converted into a Mixed Palustrine Hardwood White Pine Successional Forest.. Initial plantings were full size tree species that could tolerate damp, sometimes wet condition, and included Swamp White Oak, River Birch, White Pine, and Sycamore. The site also includes an attractive patch of Blue Vervain. Current project emphasis is to introduce additional species, including mid-story trees and shrub species.

Farm Pond

A small, half-acre farm pond was constructed in 1975. It lies just North of the farm lane and just West of the Riparian North project area. It is encircled by a border of Hybrid Poplars, interspersed with volunteer White Pine, that provide visual privacy. The shoreline of the water is encircled with a 2-3 foot fringe of cattails, but they don't spread further becuase of water depth. A few native iris and daylilies add color. Current project emphasis is to introduce additional shrub and small tree speciesas well as additional herbaceous and graminoid species to increase diversity and interest.

Wet Meadow

In August and September, this most interesting and spectacular area of the property is home to 7-foot NY Ironweed! This magnificent plant glows with an iridescent purple on sunny days. This 2-3 month wetland also hosts Joe Pye, for contrast, as well as Monkey Flower, Sensitive Fern, and Swamp Milkweed. The area is made private by encircling Alder, White Pine, and Swamp White Oak. And, a good many large invasive shrubs - e.g., Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose. Current project emphasis will be to mostly leave it alone except to slowly replace invasive shrubs with more desirable ones, over years, in order to not lose its quiet privacy.

Calamus Marsh

This area isadjacent to the Wet Meadow, just below grade. It is less than an acre and is fed by a small, 18-inch stream that runs all year. It is invaded by the occasional Purple Loosestrife. We also maintain a puncheon walkway around parts of it to provide encircling access. It is largely fine as it is, with minimal maintenance. We do not anticipate eignificant enhancement in this area.