Sylvester Manor will be joining the Old-Growth Forest Network, dedicating a vegetative area in the southwest corner of its site to protect trees estimated to be between 80 and 130 years old.
Sara Gordon, the Manor’s Planning and Sustainability facilitator, asked the Town Board at its Wednesday afternoon work session to endorse the move. She said it’s in line with the Town’s conservation easement of 16 acres of the Sylvester Manor land, which acknowledges the “substantial and significant value of the land as a natural scenic, environmental, cultural and historic resource.”
Ms. Gordon invited the Town Board and public to a planned dedication of the site scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 27 at noon. Old-Growth Forest Network founder Joan Maloof will dedicate the site, accessible from the Quaker Cemetery entrance.
Ms. Maloof will then lead an approximately mile-long walk through a newly opened foot path to show off the old-growth oak, hickory and pine woodland that is listed as a site of national significance on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sylvester Manor officials are asking the Board to adopt a resolution supporting its joining the Old-Growth Forest Network.
The Network has been working with public, private and nonprofit groups to identify a representative protected forest site from each area of the United States. Old-Growth sites have been removed or radically altered and this is a restoration effort, Ms. Gordon said.
Only 1% of eastern forests remain, she said. Sylvester Manor’s woodlands have been identified as an ideal representative site in Suffolk County. She described the site to be dedicated as a “gift to future generations” if enough sites can be saved.
The OId-Growth Forest Network doesn’t seek to impose its management techniques and decisions on participating groups. It encourages trail maintenance, visitor safety and removal of invasive vegetations, all consistent with efforts to which Town environmentalists have been dedicated.
The event will take place rain or shine unless severe weather forces cancellation of the dedication. There is parking within the gates of the Quaker Cemetery.