A Tree Grows in Scarsdale
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 1038
Scarsdale Village volunteers, trustees, staff and county and state officials gathered on Chase Road in Scarsdale on Friday afternoon April 30 to celebrate Arbor Day and to recognize Scarsdale’s designation as a Tree City for its 38th year.
To mark the day, the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks selected a Winter King Hawthorne tree, to replace a tree that had been removed in front of Julia B. Fee three years ago. The tree was donated by Julia B. Fee.
In attendance were Madelaine Eppenstein from the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, Michelle Sterling from the Conservation Advisory Council, Marcy Berman Goldstein and Ken Giddon from the Scarsdale Business Allliance, Village Trustees Karen Brew and Lena Crandall, Scarsdale Mayor Jane Veron, Peter McCartt from the Westchester County Sustainability Committee and State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins.
Newly elected Mayor Jane Veron thanked everyone for their collaboration and said the planting of this tree was a sign of “rebirth and regrowth” in the Village which is so appropriate at this time. She thanked Julia B. Fee for donating the tree and all the volunteers and Village staff responsible for keeping Scarsdale a Tree City.
Conservation Advisory Council Chair Michelle Sterling said, “I feel privileged to live in a community that cares so much about trees and the earth.”
NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins remarked on the spirit of volunteerism in Scarsdale, saying, “Everyone does something in Scarsdale. It’s an incredible community. She presented the Village with a NYS Senate proclamation for its designation as a Tree City USA, due to its strong commitment to policies to protect trees.
With that, everyone was invited to shovel some soil at the base of the tree to give it a strong start in its new home.
Preventing, Reporting and Surviving Sexual Assault
- Written by Sammy Silberberg
- Hits: 896
“When a woman is assaulted, one of the first questions people ask is, did you say no? This question assumes that the answer was always yes, and that it is her job to revoke the agreement. To defuse the bomb she was given. But why are they allowed to touch us until we physically fight them off? Why is the door open until we have to slam it shut.”
- Chanel Miller, Know My Name
You may have heard of the name Brock Turner – the Stamford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a fraternity party in 2015. The case garnered international attention and is often referred to as a textbook example of sexual assault and rape. Mr. Turner, an affluent and white 19-year-old, infamously served only three months of his already insignificant six-month jail sentence. During the trial, the victim was protected by the alias Emily Doe, and her powerful victim impact statement made headlines after it was read in court in 2016 and later published by Buzzfeed News.
In 2019, Emily Doe came forward as Chanel Miller, the survivor of Brock Turner’s assault. She published Know My Name, a forthcoming and honest memoir of her experience of the assault and the tumultuous and devastating aftermath of her rape. The book is both a beautifully written memoir and a haunting look into how the American criminal justice system treats victims and those who perpetrate sexual violence.
On Wednesday, April 21, the Scarsdale Safe Coalition, led by Youth Outreach Worker Lauren Pomerantz, held a virtual community discussion about the impact of sexual violence and the resources available to victims. The discussion was guided by topics from Know My Name, and featured panelists Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, Westchester County Second Deputy District Attorney Fred Green and Sarah FitzSimmons, a social worker and survivor of sexual assault.
District Attorney Rocah has served as a federal prosecutor for over 16 years, where she prioritized victim-centered, trauma-informed policies. She has outlined a comprehensive and ambitious vision for this work while she serves as Westchester’s District Attorney. She opened the Safe Coalition discussion by sharing that her mother was a victim of a violent rape before she was born, and that in 2010, her parents’ home was violently invaded. During the break-in, her then 85-year-old mother was sexually assaulted. At the time, even though Mimi Rocah was a "big-time federal prosecutor,” she “felt powerless to help her.” DA Rocah described that she was asked by an officer handling her parents’ case if she thought her mother was making up the assault. She stated that “this is what we are still dealing with in the criminal justice system… it is something I think about every day when dealing with victims.”
Sarah FitzSimmons followed by bravely sharing her story of being sexually assaulted while in graduate school. After seeking help from the on-campus police, Ms. FitzSimmons was told that her case would likely fail. She shared how the police did not believe her, and that the university sided with the perpetrator. She highlighted that she was made to sit in the same room as the perpetrator over and over again, and that her trauma and her story were not taken seriously. Reflecting on the assault, Ms. FitzSimmons states that, “it lives with you forever… it is still a part of my everyday being.”
Finally, Fred Green introduced himself as a longtime advocate for victim-impact and trauma-informed work with the District Attorney’s office. He ran the Adult Sex Crimes Bureau for 15 years and now oversees all Special Victims cases. He emphasized how important it is for victims to know “they have someone who will fight for them, listen to them, and involve them in the process” and stated that he has “the most amazing job. My passion and belief in this kind of work continues year after year.”
To begin the discussion, Ms. Pomerantz asked the panel what they thought was effective in terms of preventing sexual assaults.
Ms. FitzSimmons stressed that prevention starts from “the culture we are creating… [it] perpetuates the idea that it’s okay to speak and act [in derogatory ways] towards women.” She stressed that we must raise children to be respectful and incorporate sexual assault and consent discussions into school health curriculums. DA Rocah also touched on the importance of education, especially the education of first responders, such as security staff on college campuses. She mentioned how important it is to have honest conversations about assault and for people to hear about real-life examples from survivors. These examples will demonstrate that sexual violence can happen to anyone and that we all must be aware of. Second DA Green added that the onus must not be on victims to avoid the assault, but rather on teaching men to respect women. Referencing the two men in Know My Name who intervened and stopped the assault, Mr. Green stated that “those fellows got the message [on the importance of consent] at some point and came to call this guy out… and interrupt the crime. The message can get out there through education.”
Next, Ms. Pomerantz posed a question about the limitations that exist in terms of helping victims.
Both DA Rocah and Second DA Green spoke about the outdated sexual violence laws on the books. DA Rocah talked about her efforts to close the voluntary toxication loophole, which states that if a person is so intoxicated that they cannot remember, or were unable to say that they did not consent, then a prosecutor cannot prove lack of consent. There is currently legislation being pushed that would change this structure to require active and affirmative consent. Additionally, DA Rocah mentioned that bad actors are often a limitation to this work. She disclosed that peoples’ stories of sexual assault crimes, “all too often have someone in the process who did not serve them well… they are out there in the world of law enforcement whether it's intentional or not… these inherent biases come into play way too much."
Adding to the discussion of archaic laws, Mr. Green stated that although people should only make disclosures of sexual assault when they feel ready to come forward, New York “has a law that is hundreds of years old that says if a survivor doesn’t make a report immediately, it is not admissible in court. It is counter to everything we know… the court system is not set up to be an empathetic and warm environment that survivors of crime need.”
Speaking to the barriers that exist in the system, Ms. FitzSimmons shared that after reporting her assault, the police questioned what she was wearing, how tight her outfit was, how much she fought back against the aggressor, and if she screamed. They told her that she should not proceed with her case because she would not win. She also said that these officers would not help her understand the language on the forms she was asked to fill out, and they were not mindful of the fragile state of mind she was in when she was reporting the assault.
Adding to her story, Mr. Green emphasized that this type of education is critical and that he specifically trains officers on how to approach victims. He shared a powerful example of a case he worked on where the officer was so skeptical of a victim’s story of being raped by her boyfriend that the victim dropped her case. Luckily, the woman went on her own to the hospital to ask for an evidence collection kit, and after being approached by a more compassionate officer, she eventually agreed to proceed. When she showed that officer a photo of her rapist, the officer identified the man as someone who was wanted for an earlier unsolved sexual assault case and an unsolved first-degree murder case. Mr. Green’s story highlighted how critical the need is to listen to and believe victims when they come forward and the disastrous consequences that can result if we do not.
Next, Ms. Pomerantz asked about consent. She referenced that in Know My Name, there was a big deal made about the fact that Chanel Miller never said no, even though she was intoxicated and unable to do so. Addressing the panel, she asked how we can better understand and handle these situations when they are complicated by the role of alcohol, and how we can do a better job of talking about consent.
Taking the legislative angle, Mr. Green stated that New York currently does not have a statute to address these situations unless a person is so intoxicated that they are unconscious, unable to communicate, or someone else has drugged them. The state does not have a law that fits what to do in an in-between state. He mentioned that the DA’s office is working to push through a Voluntary Intoxication bill that would address this grey area. He also recommended viewing the Consent Tea video which he says is “a good little lesson that is a non-confrontational and easy to digest way to talk about what consent is all about.”
DA Rocah added that their job is to help victims become survivors, and that working in law enforcement often means that she is involved at a very traumatic point in the immediate aftermath of an incident. She said it’s important to recognize “that it isn’t all going to happen at once… [sexual assault] is a unique area…. If someone doesn’t want to talk about it, they shouldn’t have to. If they don’t tell a coherent story in the beginning, that understandable… [we need to] start with we believe you, and with the understanding that these are crimes of trauma.” Mr. Green added that their office takes a victim-centered approach, and they try to empower victims by giving them a voice and building a rapport. In the Westchester office, a survivor works with the same attorney from their first day until years after the case is over. This consistency is one way the office tries to make that person comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Mr. Green also emphasized the importance of educating survivors about the process and helping them understand what to expect. Referencing Chanel Miller’s positive relationship with her attorney in Know My Name, he stated the importance of feeling empowered through the process. He mentioned that the Westchester office has a trauma therapist on staff who sits with every sexual assault survivor to help them with their healing process.
To close the discussion, Ms. FitzSimmons stated that it is critical for friends, family members, and members of the legal system to validate survivors and to understand that victims are in their “trauma mind.” She said that survivors’ minds are “not functioning in the same capacity that it normally would be… take that extra time to explain to them what is coming up next, and what this experience might look like for you.” From her own experience, she spoke to the importance of giving a person space to identify as a victim or a survivor and helping them on that journey. She stated that people should not be denied the experience of being a victim, that that it is often a very long process for a person to truly identify as a survivor.
You can learn more about the Scarsdale Safe Coalition here and check the site to find out about upcoming events and discussions.
Friends of Saxon Woods Park Object to Plans to Build a Disc Golf Course
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 3102
Controversy is brewing over the proposed installation of a Disc Golf course at Saxon Woods Park. Friends of Saxon Woods Park fear that building the course would require the destruction of trees and the course would draw Disc Golf enthusiasts from far and wide, causing crowding in the park. They claim that planning was done in secret and that there was no public hearing on the proposal to build the $40,000 course.
What is Disc Golf? According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, “Disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, though, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with golf the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws).
A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the "hole." The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is completed.”
Friends of Saxon Woods are circulating a petition on Change.Org asking for answers. You can read the petition below.
In response, County Executive George Latimer sent the email below. He explains that funding for the Disc Golf course was approved in the County’s 2019 budget, but plans to build the course were put on hold due to the pandemic. Latimer says that no trees will be taken down to accommodate the course, heavy machinery will not be required to build it and there was nothing secretive about the planning.
Petition on Change.Org with 677 Signatures Circulated by Friends of Saxon Woods
An Imminent Threat to Saxon Woods!
We have become alarmed to learn of a shadowy deal organized by a small, special interest group that plans to restrict large segments of the park from free public use. More troubling, this group has been negotiating with the County quietly, with little public knowledge or comment.
The group in question , Hudson Valley Disc Golf, has staged a “whisper campaign” for 8 years to transform our glorious wooded refuge into a single use Disc Golf course. This group claims that Saxon Woods is an “underused park” and they diminish the benefits Saxon Woods Park has to the thousands of dog walkers, hikers, children, runners, Scouts, and horse riders who use the park every day
The group claims Saxon Woods is underutilized, however, their proposal caters to an extremely narrow segment of the population, mostly from out of town. For most of us who don’t know, Disc Golf is an extremely niche hobby catering to a group of out-of-towners from NYC, the outer boroughs and New Jersey. Their Facebook page has 1200 members. It is not hard to envision vans and carloads from NYC, and NJ streaming into the parking lot, forcing us to pay parking fees on our public land, and effortlessly evicting us from the park.
Importantly, this group has leaned heavily on family contacts within the County Parks department to obtain $40k of funding, to clear hurdles and to ensure smooth passage. There are signs of improper municipal governance particularly given the secrecy under which this activity has been conducted. If the park is thought to be underutilized the County should have held a public comment period on how to use that $40k.
The Disc Gold group has unabashedly admitted to all of this behavior and you can hear their smug self-satisfaction as they high-five their questionable dealing and fleecing of the County in their own podcast: Hudson Valley Disc Golg Podcast, episode 75 available free for all to listen. Listen to the podcast as you walk –
Here are some excerpts:
- “The whole project is completely selfish” “it was basically a whisper campaign” “waged for 8 years” “spectacular underused place” “greasing the wheels that had to happen prior”
- “the Gift box delivery” “wouldn’t have happened without ‘personal relationship’”
“didn’t have to put a petition” in place, alternate sites would cost “millions of dollars”,
- fixing up the tollbooth when they “see how many cars are there and start charging” staging tournaments to “draw from most of the Northeast”
The direct quotes are damning and should raise alarm as to how this project received the green light and how willingly our limited free space is carved up for the interest of a few well-heeled, well-connected individuals.
We call upon existing park users to reach out to County leaders and to the County Parks department for answers.
We want to know:
-When was the public comment period?
-Were personal relationships used to circumvent petitions and other common practices in determination of how to spend public funds? Were there proper disclosures of conflicts of interest?
-Where is the study of the best use of $40k of county taxpayer money for the specific improvement of Saxon Woods Park to facilitate more public usage?
-Where are the current Disc Golf plans? What are the restrictions on future expansion?
-Where are the erosion/environmental studies to show the lon-term impact? Where is the estimate of costs related to maintaining the existing low-lying thoroughfares in the hilly park once deforestation leads to the well-known impact of water and gravity?
-What is the plan for funding the required staffing and garbage removal? Parking fees will be raised for park users and taxpayer money will be required to fill the shortfall.
The wheels are in motion, much of this is already been signed off and this threat is very real. This is a last call for action. Stand up for our beloved park! Demand answers to these questions! Show County leadership that this park is NOT underutilized and demand our money is spent where it will give the biggest benefit to the most people.
The Parks Dept works for the residents NOT for private interests.
Please circulate this to your neighbors, the REAL park users, and together we can take a stand.
--Fellow Friends of Saxon Woods Park
Response from Westchester County Executive George Latimer
I saw over the weekend an anonymous flyer that expressed alarm over impending implementation of Disc Golf at Saxon Woods. The flyer, which made its way around Facebook and e-mails, spoke in very alarming and conspiratorial terms about what was about to happen at Saxon Woods. Much of the flyer’s assertions are untrue – so I wanted to clear the air with the facts as they exist. Feel free to circulate this e-mail in as wide a circle as the original flyer may have reached.
· Westchester County had a Disc Golf course in play at Kensico Dam Plaza Park up until 15 years ago. It was discontinued at that time when the Park was renovated. There has been demand from Westchester residents since then to re-establish it at another park; proposals from a group known as WeDGE (Westchester Disc Gold Enthusiasts) have been received as recently as 2013 asking for consideration to reinstitute the recreation.
· Disc Golf as a recreation/sport involves tossing a Frisbee across an area from a “tee box” to a “hole’, simulating a game of golf; the hole is usually a basket that the Frisbee lands in. Scoring is similar to golf with the number of throws = strokes to complete an 18-hole course. Lowest number of throws/strokes wins.
· In our 2020 County Budget adopted on December of 2019, the Board of Legislators added $40,000 to the budget to implement a Disc Golf course at one of our existing parks. Our Administration accepted the proposal and budgeted the money. Plans to advance the sport stopped with the initial outbreak of COVID last March. Originally, Sprain Ridge Park was surveyed for the purpose, but that park was found not to be sufficiently structured to allow for Disc Golf without disrupting other sports. The Parks Department has since focused on Saxon Woods, the portion in the southeast section, entered from Mamaroneck Avenue, Harrison. As you know, Saxon Woods in other sections houses an 18-hole regular golf course, a miniature golf course, public swimming pool and soccer field, along with numerous hiking/walking trails, picnic pavilions, etc.
· The Parks Department accepted two proposals for design of the Disc Golf Course, selecting one on a short-form contract of $20,000. That design group is developing a planned layout for the course and has not yet presented the design plan to the Parks Department personnel, much less to our Executive Team, for review and approval.
· Since “the plan” is in design and not yet approved – there is no site preparation at hand (i.e. NO clear cutting occurring; NO acceptance of any of the course layout adjacent to the Mamaroneck River; NO environmentally unsound actions underway). Reports to the contrary are false.
· Any plan adopted will NOT include the removal of healthy trees – in fact, the sport wants the existing wooded environment as essential to the competition in the sport. Dead trees and branches, and invasive species will be removed, as they normally are throughout all of our parks. No pesticides or herbicides will be used.
· NO heavy machinery will be needed or employed for this project. The existing ground cover – leaves, ivy, etc. – will remain intact.
· The disc golf holes are to be laid out at a distance from existing hiking trails so as not to disturb the enjoyment of the park for all users
· The Park will remain open as it usually does; hours of operation will not be extended to accommodate this specific use
· Parking fees remain as previously; free during the week, in force on the weekends; limited Park capacity and social distancing, notwithstanding the demand for this recreation, will continue to be in force as it is at all County parks during this pandemic
· We are considering, but have not yet decided, if we will limit usage in the first six months of operation, to Westchester residents, when the sport opens. We may do this to ensure a smooth start to managing the program
· Proper signage will be in place before any usage begins
· A site tour for legislators and Parks Board members will occur before final plans are set, to inform and elicit comments before final arrangements are set
· For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, and perhaps apprehensive, existing Disc Golf course are in use at the FDR State Park in Yorktown, and Leonard Park in Mt. Kisco. Visiting them to see operations may better inform those who are not well versed in the concept.
I was particular disturbed to see references to a podcast made by a group advocating this recreation; the opinions of those individuals do not represent the County’s management effort regarding this program. I was also offended to see the appearance of some type of unethical behavior attached to a Legislator and Parks department official, each of whom met with advocates as we often do in such matters. I might add there is no interest in expanding this program beyond Saxon Woods to Ridge Road Park or any other park until we see its level of usage and acceptance in the community. Such comments either by the advocates on the podcast, or the unnamed opponent on the flyer are equally inaccurate.
Finally, it is greatly frustrating to me to have to chase a false rumor all over the internet, when a simple inquiry to our office would have cleared up the matter properly. Which is exactly what I am doing, 24 hours after seeing the flyer online. This proposal has not yet been approved or implemented, so everything that projects a “behind the scenes deal” is extrapolated by those who choose to make their judgments based on the advocates’ podcast or some other source.
I have now set the record straight, and I trust you will convey this to all interested parties. Feel free to respond with any further questions you may have.
Westchester County Executive
What do you think? Disc Golf or not at Saxon Woods Park? Please comment below.
The Return to High School: Both Foreign and Familiar
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 659
At long last this week, Scarsdale High School students returned to school full-time, with classes held every day of the week, including Wednesdays.
The schedule was not the only change to greet students. All desks are surrounded by plastic and students need to sit in assigned seats in each class.
According to an email from SHS Principal Ken Bonamo, “Classroom configurations will be different: desks will be closer together than they are now and will have polycarbonate shields affixed to the desktops to mitigate the spread of aerosols.” He explained, “Teachers will have seating charts that reflect how students are seated in their classrooms in case contact tracing needs to be performed.”
What about those attending remotely? The memo says, “Students who are virtual-only at the start of the fourth quarter will remain so for the remainder of the school year. Students who are in person will be permitted to attend classes virtually when they have an excused absence but are not required to be offered tests virtually by their teachers. If such students are absent on the day of a test, they can take the test or a make-up test at the teacher’s discretion, in person or virtually.”
How’s the first week going? Most students were a bit overwhelmed by the transition from two days to five days of school, but overall they were happy to see their friends and get off Zoom.
Here are comments from a few Scarsdale High School students:
Vivan Guo: As a senior, it was really nice being able to see many friends that I hadn’t seen in-person for over a year. I also had access to the library, where I was able to study and hangout with friends. Most students came in-person, even previously virtual students, so my classes were packed with people. The only negatives are that there is an increased chance of contracting COVID since there are more people and people tend to cluster together, and that I feel more tired afterschool. But overall, I am enjoying the social energy and I feel great going back to school. However, it seemed as though teachers started assigning a lot more work, which made the back-to-school process a lot more stressful. A lot of my senior friends are worried about upcoming papers and tests and AP Exams, and I can’t imagine what the workload is for sophomores and juniors. I wish that the school kept Wellness Wednesdays because they were an important break in the week and allowed us to relax, catch up on work, study, and meet with teachers. 5 days of school from 8am-3pm with hours of extracurriculars and homework every week is really not sustainable
Sydney Piccoli: Going back to school, I definitely had mixed emotions. After three quarters, I became quite accustomed to the shorter forty minute periods that allowed classes to move at a faster and more comprehensive pace. I also developed a routine to balance my extracurriculars, homework, and social life — in large part because of asynchronous Wednesdays. Thus, I definitely entered fourth quarter with reservations of such a pivotal change when only eight weeks remain in the school year. However, after a few days back, I can confidently say that although the new schedule requires more mental energy and time to get used to it is comforting to know that a sense of normalcy is returning — not to mention each classroom is now filled with more energetic and smiling students!"
Sara Wong : On the first day back, it felt a bit weird seeing twice as many people as I did when the school was still separated. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing my friends that were in the other cohort, and I personally like having in person classes as opposed to zoom meetings as I find zooming and staring at a screen all day can be exhausting. For me, the “new” schedule doesn’t feel that new as we used it before quarantine. However, it does feel a bit different having periods that are ten minutes longer, as I had gotten accustomed to shorter periods. One part I was less happy about was removing asynchronous Wednesdays — I definitely won’t be as well rested as I was with the old schedule. Despite these changes the new schedule is just another reminder that SHS is slowly but surely returning back to normal.
Janmariz Deguia: The transition has been overwhelming because being in person after a year online is truly such an odd and unique experience. I've adjusted well and I have my friends and teachers and copious amounts of frees to thank for that, but I got lucky. I know people who are taking APs and don't have good teachers or frees and the transition has been tough. It depends on each student's circumstance. For me, I almost enjoy the crowded hallways and seeing everyone again, even though last year all I ever wanted to do was leave. I'm very glad to be back.
Alex McCarthy: To be honest, it was both foreign and familiar. It felt great to see all my friends in one place but it was very strange to be around so many people at once. The crowded hallways were comforting and anxiety inducing. Sometimes the school feels as it did before COVID hit, but sometimes it feels almost as if we shouldn’t be back just yet. I definitely missed the people and *most* of the environment. Online school does not compare.
Chalk it Up
On Wednesday, April 14, Scarsdale High School seniors met at the front steps of the high school for the annual senior chalking event. Although the chalking was postponed from the fall, when it usually happens, Wednesday turned out to be the perfect sunny day to continue the tradition. In an effort to promote distancing and be more Covid-safe, seniors signed up for different time slots to chalk with their friends. While nothing about the chalking this year was typical, the Scarsdale seniors definitely made the best of it and left some amazing, colorful designs on the walkway up to school. Below are pictures of the SHS Drama Club seniors, and their chalk design.
Do you have pictures of chalking? Please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org to share here.
-contributed by Jamie Robelen
Help for the Birds and the Bees
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 982
SHS Senior Sarah Jane Traumer built a garden to improve the local habitat for butterflies, bees, birds and even bats in Scarsdale. These pollinators carrying pollen from the stamen, which is the male part of a flower, to the stigma of another flower, which is the female part of that flower and need native plants to survive and thrive.
For her Girl Scout Gold Award Project Traumer strove to improve the environment for pollinators by creating a native plant pollinator garden at the Weinberg Nature Center. She worked with nature center director Samuel Weinstock, President of the Friends of Scarsdale Parks (FOSP) Madelaine Eppenstein and a team of volunteers to prepare the soil and plant native pollinator plants in the first ever pollinator garden at the Center.
FOSP donated 250 landscape plugs and provided advice on how to efficiently plant the landscape plugs to ensure the success of the garden.
The garden provides a habitat for pollinators and as a medium to educate visitors about the importance of pollinators, their endangerment, and how to help them. It features a diverse selection of plants to ensure that the garden will successfully attract and nourish generations of various pollinator species throughout their life cycle. The garden not only aids the conservation of pollinators by providing a habitat, but also spreads information on how everyone can aid in the conservation of pollinators as well.
Traumer created signage for the garden to convey these messages and included pictures of the flowers to inform visitors about the diversity of the garden. She created a survey to gain insight on the effectiveness of the signage, visitor demographics and how the garden has impacted them.
This spring, Traumer plans to continue her pollinator preservation efforts by incorporating more pollinator gardens throughout the village, thus making Scarsdale a “Buzzing Community”.
How can you make your own garden pollinator friendly? Here are some tips from Traumer:
1. Plant native plants: Native plants, like those in this garden, provide an excellent habitat for our pollinators and can be planted in your yard.
2. Avoid Using Pesticides: It is important to avoid use of pesticides as they are toxic and kill pollinators.
3. Limit size of grass lawn: Lawns solely made up of grass have no benefit for pollinators. Make these lawns beneficial by planting pollinator-friendly plants.
4. Provide Water: Keep your local pollinators hydrated by setting out a shallow dish or saucer in your yard.
5. Provide Shelter and Nesting Sites: Native plants, as displayed in this garden, provide an excellent habitat for our pollinators and can be planted in your yard!
Which plants does Traumer recommend? Echinacea ‘Ruby Star’,Packera aurea, Monarda ‘Claire Grace’, Asclepias syriaca, Phlox paniculata 'Jeana', Rudbeckia laciniata 'Autumn Sun', and Eupatorium ‘Ruby'.
Help to turn Scarsdale into a buzzing community by planting these natives in your garden and visit the Weinberg Nature Center to learn more.