A Walk in the Woods
By Birch K
So today we went the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, which happens to be my favorite nature preserve. A nature preserve is “a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna, which is reserved and managed for conservation." We got an hour-long tour. It was essentially a real long walk along wooded trails. It was a gorgeous day and my group had a lot of fun.
We began at an open play area which used natural materials like logs. From there, our guide Gabe told us what it meant to be a reserve on more technical terms. He asked us to imagine what this are looked like 300 years ago. Basically the land was not colonized so there were only Seneca Nation folks in the area. One hundred years later the place was farmland, and then in 1932, the land was purchased by a man named Victor Reinstein. So, he then planted around 30,000 trees, dug a pond and marsh system, planted native species and let the space flourish. Later it became a state-owned preserve and now folks like us are able to visit a relatively wild place.
My group took a route through some heavier woods around a pond and to the recreation center. We all enjoyed something unique about the trip. Nautica and Win were enthralled at entire ponds covered in an invasive lily species. Gabe was kind enough to fish one out for us. I enjoyed watching people who came to work at MAP less than a year ago answer Gabe’s questions. For example, when he asked my group what an invasive species is, without missing a beat Laydia correctly answered. Later on, my group talked and learn about how to identify mint’s relatives (square stems), invasive reeds (fuzzy stem fibers) , and how do I identify poison ivy (*you’ll know in about 20 minutes). I found it really funny that we are trained to think of places like this as a waste of space and resources. I loved being there with others to learn on an hour-long walk. You can walk and feel like you are by yourself yet you're among hundreds of healthy plants and insects. You can take the deepest breaths possible because it's all fresh air.
*I’m kidding, they look like little mittens and you can avoid the rash by washing with soap
View more images from our trip HERE.