Washington Grove Vision Statement

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Washington Grove Vision Statement Powered By Docstoc

   Project to
Restore & Protect
Washington Grove

          Draft Action Plan

A collaboration of the City of Rochester, Various Neighborhood Groups and
         Concerned Citizens, in partnership with the Sierra Club.

              WASHINGTON GROVE

                   Washington Grove Vision Statement

The Project to Restore and Protect the Washington Grove is sponsored
by the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club in partnership with
the City of Rochester. This coalition includes neighborhood associations
and concerned individuals who have come together with a shared vision
that honors the Grove as a unique woodland area that should be
maintained for future generations.

The Grove offers a variety of paths that wind through majestic oaks,
hickories, tulip trees, and other large tree species native to this area. It
demonstrates what a classic oak-hickory forest might have looked like at
the time of the Iroquois. It is remarkable that a woods of this quality
remains in the middle of urban Rochester, and we feel a deep
responsibility to protect and maintain it.

But the Grove is undergoing many changes. Trails are eroding and
becoming wider. Undergrowth is thinning, and some native species are
disappearing due to disease and competition with exotic species. Large
oaks are falling as they age, opening up gaps which encourage the
growth of invasive, non-native species.

The goal of this long-term project is to maintain a mature grove that
resembles what might have been seen hundreds of years ago. In order to
succeed in this endeavor, the Grove will continue to be a woodland, but
one that is intentionally managed to protect and propagate native species
and to control exotics. A variety of strategies will be necessary to
preserve the integrity of the Grove and protect it from further degradation.
 To accomplish this, we will plan activities to educate the community
about the value and uniqueness of the Grove, discourage misuse, and
enlist on-going community involvement with the Project.

The Coalition

The Project to Restore and Protect the Washington Grove Forest of
Cobb’s Hill Park in Rochester, NY is sponsored by the Rochester
Regional Group of the Sierra Club in partnership with the City of
Rochester. A coalition of organizations and interested individuals has
worked since July 2008 to identify the users of the Grove, identify their
needs and interests, and the problems facing the Grove. Organizations in
the Coalition include the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club,
the City of Rochester, the Nunda Neighborhood Association, the Upper
Monroe Neighborhood Association, the Highland Heights Neighborhood
Association, and over 40 interested individuals. The project leader, Peter
Debes of the RRG of the Sierra Club, facilitates coalition meetings and

The Coalition has adopted working agreements for their meetings and
communications, and established consensus as the preferred means of
reaching a decision. Most of the work generating the Master Plan has
been accomplished by a core group of eleven individuals with significant
additional effort of several more. This group is referred to at the
Washington Grove Committee. All work and decisions accomplished by
the Washington Grove Committee have been routinely made available to
all interested parties of the Coalition for comment, suggestions and
approval. The Final Master Plan created by the Washington Grove
Committee has been approved by the Executive committee of the
Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club as sponsoring organization.
The plan must also be approved by the City of Rochester, and has had
approval from the participating Neighborhood Associations, and by a
majority of representatives of established user groups. The RRG of the
Sierra Club will be a source of some funding for expenses generated by
the Project and expects to supplement funds by applying for appropriate
grants in partnership with the City of Rochester as they become available.


A. Washington Grove History

The Iroquois lived in this area of New York State when it was first
surveyed in 1792. At the turn of the 18th century, Monroe County was
heavily forested, and only a few white settlers had developed
homesteads. Although there are no records of the forest composition at
the exact spot of today’s Washington Grove, we can assume that it
looked much like the mixed hardwood forests at other upland sites in this
region. Most of the forest across the Till Plains of upstate New York
consisted primarily of beech and sugar maple, but scattered sites on
gravelly and sandy glacially deposited soils, such as those that underlie
the Grove, supported oak-hickory forests. The dominant tree species in
these forests included white, red, and black oaks, various hickory species,
and chestnut. Secondary species which were also likely to occur included
elm, white ash, sugar maple, basswood, tulip tree, black walnut, butternut,
black cherry, and flowering dogwood.

An early reference refers to a portage trail connecting the Genesee River
and Irondequoit Creek through the Grove. Later, much of Cobb's Hill
Park was largely deforested, but references remain to the “natural forest”
to the east of the reservoir. With the development of Highland Park, and
Seneca Park, a movement began to create unrestricted networks of parks
throughout the city and region. Cobb’s Hill emerged as something of
“second tier” park among these public lands. The sand quarry on the
northern edge of the hill was the largest active sand pit in the area and
preservationists feared that such commercial development would damage
the natural quality of these important glacial resources. After the reservoir
was built, the natural beauty of the area became more widely appreciated
and funds were collected (including a donation from George Eastman) to
purchase lands east of the reservoir to preserve them.

The Washington (Memorial) Grove was dedicated in 1932 as a tribute to
the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth and was authorized by an
act of Rochester City Council. Under the direction of the Parks
Superintendent, in association with the school district, the Grove was
created to teach children the patriotic values associated with Washington,
and as a means to teach children about the importance of nature. Sugar

maple trees were planted in the Grove by children of School #1 to restore
deforested areas.

In the following years, urban development continued to surround the
Grove with housing and the slopes of the Grove became favorite places
to ski or sled in the winter or to scale the sandy slopes on motor cycles. In
the 1950’s and 60’s the Grove was less frequented and had fewer trails,
more dense underbrush and a wilder look. As more and more people
discovered the Grove, the intensity of use began to have an impact on the
Grove leading to the problems identified in the following sections.

B. Scientific Study and Data Collection

The Washington Grove has experienced marked changes in the last 50
years. The forest has matured with large oaks, black cherries, and tulip
poplars spreading a dense canopy overhead. Undergrowth has thinned.
Invasive species such as Norway maple, buckthorn, Japanese
honeysuckle, and black swallowwort were planted or escaped into the
Grove and have multiplied and threaten to become the dominant species
supplanting native ones. Some native species such as the American
chestnut, the American beech, and American elm have nearly
disappeared due to introduced diseases. Meanwhile, native oaks
including red, white and black oaks are producing few saplings so that the
entire appearance of the forest will be very different in 50 years if no
intervention takes place. Public enjoyment of the Grove has increased
seemingly exponentially and has included both legal and prohibited forms
of recreation including mountain biking and walking dogs off-leash. The
impact on the Grove has been notable with visible deterioration of trails,
widening of paths, and damage to vegetation. Controversy has arisen due
to conflicts of use, and intrusions on surrounding private property.

In order to provide a base of information to accurately assess the present
status of the Grove, establish a basis for charting ongoing change, and
guide remedial action, the Project aims to conduct a number of scientific
studies. A vegetation analysis is being performed on four line transects
strategically located to give data on varying factors for the site, including
pH, moisture, dog waste, light, elevation, localized species, soil types.
This will provide baseline data on the structure and composition of the
forest. Plant ecologist Mark Norris from SUNY Brockport has met with

members of the Project to plan the scope and conduct of this study. The
results will identify populations of woody invasives that are highly
competitive. In addition, the Project is seeking involvement of university
students from R.I.T., SUNY College of ESF in Syracuse and SUNY
Brockport, for graduate research to try to determine answers to questions
such as why the oaks are failing to reproduce in the Grove. Justin Rogers
of SUNY Brockport is considering a study to document oak seedling
success in the Grove. The Project also will collect soil samples from
several sites in the Grove for analysis to ascertain whether nutrient
problems, contamination, or other conditions exist that are favorable or
unfavorable to native species.

The Project realizes that we can better understand the activities in the
park if we systematically collect information on who uses the park and
when. Surveys will be conducted to determine usage during peak times of
the day and week and how usage changes during the seasons. This will
provide information on how people enter the park, whether they arrive by
car, bicycle, or by foot, their perceptions of the park and their frequency of
use. Such data may be collected through voluntary sign-in sheets on
some specific days or interviews by volunteers and students.

C. Contemporary Ecology and Perceived Shortcomings

The Washington Grove is actually one part of a meandering ridge, a
recessional moraine that continues west into Pinnacle Hill, Highland Park
and Mt. Hope Cemetery. The moraine formed at the boundary of the great
ice sheet that covered the area as it paused for a period of time before
receding farther north. Sediments deposited at Cobb’s Hill are mostly
sands and gravel. Sandy soils often are nutrient poor because they are
porous and water percolates rapidly through them leaching minerals.
They are also fragile, and easily eroded when unprotected by vegetation
during heavy rains or snow melt.

As shown on the map, the Grove is bordered by a steep bank and
disturbed area on the west where a reservoir was constructed and large
water mains buried. These mains connect to two large storage tanks on
the northwest that sit atop a small rise somewhat below the level of the
reservoir. The tanks and water mains are on property now under the
jurisdiction of the Monroe County Water Authority and as such, are not a
part of the Washington Grove considered in this project. The terrain dips

from a small elevation along the south side of the Grove into the center,
then rises to the north. To the northwest, there are two deeper almost
conical depressions, which have been judged to be “kettles” formed when
sediments were deposited around large blocks of ice that later melted
leaving the depression.

The forest community of the Washington Grove is typical of the
Appalachian oak-hickory forest that occurs on well-drained sites and
ridge-tops in the area (see Table 1). The dominant trees are magnificent
specimens of Quercus rubra (red oak), Q. alba (white oak) and Q.
velutina (black oak) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) 60 of which were
planted as described in the history section. Mixed with the oak are some
other large trees, such as white ash, Fraxinus Americana, black cherry
(Prunus serotina) and tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera). In the west, and
scattered elsewhere, there is a notable subcanopy of sassafras
(Sassafras albidum) and a few flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The
Grove is interesting in that it has quite a large specimen of the American
chestnut (Castanea dentata) now rare in the region, and a number of
medium-sized butternut (Juglans cinerea) more typical of a floodplain
forest. Prominent on the edges of the Grove are invasive trees including
the Norway maple, and Ailanthus. Less than five saplings or seedlings of
oaks have been found in the Grove, whereas seedlings and saplings of
Norway maple and white ash are abundant.

In the understory of the forest are native shrubs including a few flowering
dogwood (Cornus florida) and maple-leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolia)
but increasingly common are invasives such as common buckthorn and
Autumn eleagnus (Eleagnus umbellate). Some ephemeral Spring
wildflowers can still be found (Table 1) but spreading rapidly is black
swallowwort (Vincetoxicum nigrum).
      Table 1.Partial List of Vegetation in the Washington Grove                         8

Common Name            Scientific Name         Habit        Status and Comments
Tulip tree             Liriodendron            tree      Occasional, some large trees
Sassafras              Sassafras albidum       Tree      Common understory tree
Butternut              Juglans cinerea         Tree      Few, mostly southeast section
Shagbark hickory       Carya ovata             Tree      Scattered saplings
American beech         Fagus grandifolia       Tree      Rare, and threatened by disease
Chestnut               Castanea dentata        Tree      Rare, and threatened by disease
White oak              Quercus alba            Tree      Common, many old trees
Black oak              Quercus velutina        Tree      Common, many old trees
Red oak                Quercus rubra           Tree      Common, many old trees
Black cherry           Prunus serotina         Tree      Fairly common
Flowering dogwood      Cornus florida          Tree      Lower story, scattered
Alter. leaf dogwood    Cornus alternifolia     Tree      Lower story, rare
Norway maple           Acer platanoides        Tree      Invasive, a few large trees
Sycamore maple         Acer                    Tree      few, invasive, native to Europe
Sugar maple            Acer saccharum          Tree      Common, some planted
Tree of heaven         Ailanthus altissima     Tree      Few, invasive, native to Asia
White ash              Fraxinus Americana      Tree      Common, rapid grower
Maple-leaf viburnum    Viburnum                Shrub     Common
Common buckthorn       Rhamnus cathartica      Shrub     invasive, native to Eurasia
Tartarian              Lonicera tartarica      Shrub     Invasive, native to Eurasia
Autumn eleagnus        Elaeagnus               Shrub     Invasive, native to Asia
Oriental Bittersweet   Celastrus               Climber   Woody twiner, Native of Asia
Grape                  Vitis labrusca?         Vine      Occasional, often high climbing
Poison ivy             Toxicodendron           Vine      Occasional
Black swallowwort      Vincetoxicum            Climber   Invasive, very common in areas
May apple              Podophyllum             Herb      Scattered, In colonies
Raspberry (sp)         Rubus                   Herb      Trail edges in more open areas
Trillium               Trillium grandiflorum   Herb      Scattered, spring wildflower

 Table 2 provides a partial list of the wildlife that is or has been observed in
 the Grove. Some species used to be seen on a regular basis, but now are
 less frequently seen, such as the cottontail rabbit and raccoons. Given
 that the Grove is now surrounded by urban development, it is not
 surprising that the wildlife see there is not more diverse.

    Table 2. Partial List of Wildlife in the Washington Grove
Common Name         Scientific Name   Category            Status and Comments
Red Admiral         Vanessa atalanta Butterfly          Occasional, Spring
Mourning Cloak      Nymphalis antiopa Butterfly         Occasional, Spring
Red-backed          Plethodon cinereus      Amphibian Once common, status uncertain
Wild turkey         Meleagris gallopavo Bird            Occasional
Red-Bellied         Melanerpes carolinus    Bird        Present
Mourning dove       Zenaida macroura        Bird        Present
Screech owl         Megascops asio          Bird        Present
Wood thrush         Hylocichla mustelina    Bird        Present
Red-eyed vireo      Vireo olivaceus         Bird        Present
Chipping Sparrow    Spizella passerina      Bird        Present
Chipmunk            Tamias minimus          Mammal      Abundant
Grey Squirrel       Sciurus carolinensis    Mammal      Abundant
White-footed        Peromyscus              Mammal      Once common, status
deermouse           maniculatus                         uncertain
Cottontail rabbit   Sylvilagus floridanus   Mammal      Once common, now scarce
Woodchuck           Marmota monax           Mammal      Once common, now scarce
Opossum             Didelphis               Mammal      Once occasional, now rare
Raccoon             Procyon lotor           Mammal      Present
Whitetail Deer      Odocoileus              Mammal      Occasional, but wary of
                    virginianus                         dogs
Red Fox             Vulpes vulpes           Mammal      Occasional, threatened by

Fifty years ago, fields, farms, and a wetland lay only a half-mile from the
Grove and the forest had fairly extensive old fields on the northern side so
there was more habitat for wildlife and an opportunity for movement of
wildlife between natural areas. It may also be that the frequency of dogs
off-leash is contributing to the decline of some animals and fragile
herbaceous plants. Certain ground-nesting birds have also largely
disappeared, or are seen briefly during migration. The decline in ground-
nesting or lower level nesting birds may also be part of a normal
succession process where the dense canopy of mature trees leads to a
loss of undergrowth. The Grove, however, continues to be an attractive
stop for migrating birds, especially in the Spring and is a popular spot with
organized birdwatchers. More than thirty species can be identified there
on some days. A list of species observed in the Grove is included in
Appendix B.

Visual observations and conversations with long-time residents reveal
that the Grove has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. Parts
of Grove have become notably depauperate in the ground cover and
many areas that used to have fairly dense undergrowth are now quite
open with little groundcover at all. Most native species of shrubs and
herbs are declining in abundance or vigor and being replaced by invasive
shrubs and herbs. Of the invasive trees, the Norway maple is the most
prevalent and expanding from the periphery into the center of the Grove.
Meanwhile the grand old oaks are not regenerating so that, without any
intervention, the Grove will become a forest primarily of Norway maple,
white ash and black cherry canopy trees with almost no oaks. This
situation is not peculiar to the Grove and there is extensive research
taking place on why oaks in the Northeastern States and areas south are
not regenerating. Theories being tested include: lack of periodic burns,
deer browse, and changes in soil due to earthworm activity. There are
other factors that have had a significant effect on the Grove too, such as
ice-storm damage, moisture accumulation in low-lying areas during wet
years, and introduced diseases such as the Dutch Elm disease and
beech-bark disease. The coalition formed to Restore and Protect the
Washington Grove has reached a consensus that the Grove should be
managed to maintain its appearance as an Appalachian Oak-Hickory
forest with numerous mature trees and as many native understory plants
as possible. It is a goal of the Project to continue to survey on-going
research and study the Grove itself for answers to why the Grove is

changing. It is hoped these efforts will ensure that the forest continues to
support a diversity of native species and by providing adequate food and
shelter, a diversity of wildlife as well.

D. Contemporary Usage and Perceived Problems
The Grove is accessed primarily in seven places as marked on the trail
map (Appendix A). The majority of users access the Grove from the two
points labeled 37 and 55 near the reservoir, and the entrance off Nunda
Blvd. labeled 48. A significant number of users also enter the Grove from
the points labeled 1, 4, 58 and 61. Some trails, notably 47 to 50 and 39 to
40, are much more heavily used and show more signs of
deterioration than others.

As mentioned in the history of the Grove, there were originally fewer trails
but users have created a number of new ones in the last ten years by
frequently cutting across areas to take short cuts. There has also been a
great increase in the number of people using the Grove for a variety of
activities such as exercise, relaxation, bird watching, nature
appreciation, and socializing with friends and neighbors. There has also
been an increase in prohibited uses such as mountain biking and walking
dogs off leash, sexual activities, and drug use. At certain times of day,
especially in the late afternoon, as many as 20-30 persons with dogs may
be seen in the Grove along with numerous pedestrians, and joggers. As
a result, the following problems have developed or increased in severity.
1. Trails have widened as vegetation on the edges becomes trampled or
   crushed or as people avoid wet and muddy spots. Some trails have
   sections wide enough for 3 or 4 people to walk side-by-side.
2. Trails that ascend or descend steep slopes have developed troughs or
   gullies due to rapid drainage in heavy rain.
3. Some trails have been altered for mountain biking by constructing
   ramps or jumps.
4. Some slopes have been damaged where no trails existed by mountain
   bikers descending and applying brakes.
5. New trails have developed that run close to older trails, so that another
   band of vegetation has been removed or destroyed.
6. Some native wildflowers and ground cover have diminished or
   disappeared entirely, along with associated ground nesting birds and
   mammals, possibly due in part to frequent damage from foot traffic and
   dogs running off-leash.

7. Park usage has increased dramatically in the past ten years with more
   users from farther away who park near the Nunda entrance creating
   congestion problems.
8. Damage or conflict has resulted from misuse or intrusions on properties
   adjacent to entrances resulting in blocked driveway entrances, parking
   on lawns, dogs off-leash depositing waste or threatening pedestrians,
   and collisions or near-collisions with off-road cyclists on the trails.
9. Vandalism is apparent from the graffiti on the Water Authority tanks,
   and paint on trees and signs near entrances. Small trees on the edge
   of the trails have been destroyed by persons swinging on them and
   breaking them.

Countering these problems, it is apparent that the increase of regular
people traffic in the Grove has tempered vandalism and the regular users
have helped clean up litter such as beer and liquor containers,
wastepaper, and drug paraphernalia.


A. Ecological Restoration

1. Critical to restoring the Grove and maintaining an appearance similar to
that encountered by the first European settlers will be the control of
invasive species and nurturing and perhaps reintroduction of native
species. In order for these goals to be achieved, more information will
have to be gathered and volunteers recruited to sustain the efforts made
in this project well into the future. As stated in the section on Scientific
Study, a detailed scientific analysis of the forest structure and composition
will be made initially which will establish a baseline for the current status
of the Grove and reference for effectiveness of actions taken. The
following objectives have been identified as critical to understanding the
problems in the Grove and taking effective action to achieve the goals
stated above.
A. Identify sources of invasives and evaluate likelihood of success of
    various eradication options.
B. Identify desirable species, whether these are endemic or introduced,
    and their status in the grove (frequency, health, success in
    regenerating, etc).

C. Identify desirable native species not present in the Grove now for
   possible reintroduction

2. Invasive species have already gained a strong foothold in the Grove
and concerted and sustained effort will be required to control their spread
or remove them. The Norway maple is a serious competitor and some
large specimens are well established on the periphery of the Grove. The
following actions have been adopted towards controlling and removing
A. Schedule informational and training sessions for volunteers to
    demonstrate the problem of invasives, show where invasive species
    are in the Grove, and train volunteers on how to recognize them.
B. Schedule work sessions with volunteers to start removing little Norway
    maples and other invasives immediately and check city and county for
    useful tools for removing plants permanently. Identify and tag trees
    with slip ties.
C. Begin girdling or removing shrubs such as honeysuckle, autumn olive
    and buckthorn.
D. Begin removing large invasive trees a few at a time each year to
    minimize visual impact.
E. Begin working in areas near neighborhoods and work toward the
    center of the grove.
F. Offer an “adopt a spot” program to keep an area clear of invasives to
    be performed by school groups, individuals, or businesses.
G. Purchase plants for restoration from Cornell, Cooperative Extension, or
    the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association.

B. Park Usage
We can better understand the activities in the park if we systematically
collect information on who uses the park and when. This data will help
guide actions taken to prevent misuse of the Grove and to remediate
areas damaged by heavy use. The Committee will also use this
information to work with the Nunda Blvd. Association to develop
strategies to alleviate problems with parking and access to the Grove at
the Nunda entrance. The following steps have been adopted to achieve
this goal:

A. Collect data on usage during peak times of the day and week and how
   usage changes during the seasons.

B. Collect data on how people enter the park (which entrance) and
   whether they visit in a car or by foot. Interview users on perceptions of
   the park and frequency of use.
C. Collect data on usage through voluntary sign-in sheets on some
   specific days.
D. Ensure all organized events are cleared with the City in consultation
   with the Project to Restore and Protect the Grove.

Monitoring and changing undesirable behavior in the Grove will be an
important factor in achieving restoration. Over the years, lack of
enforcement of laws has led to a change in peer culture about what
constitutes acceptable enjoyment of the Grove. A multi-faceted approach
will be used to change the peer culture and encourage cooperation with
the Project and existing laws. These aspects are grouped into the three
categories and proposed actions listed below:

1. Education/ Information
A. Improving signage: Signs will be an important part of raising
awareness by the public of the Project and its goals and encouraging
cooperation. In keeping with a desire to maintain a natural feel to the
Grove, signage will be kept to a minimum.
   1. Create two larger signs at the Nunda and Reservoir Entrances
       where we can publicize the Project to Protect and Restore
       Washington Grove, discourage misuse of the Grove and activities
       that create conflict between users.
   2. These signs could explain major changes, such as if an entrance is
       closed, instruct people to park at the new alternative sites, explain
       remedial actions being taken, encourage cooperation, show
       examples of problems, show who the Wash. Grove committee is,
       show photos of teams working, post nature sightings, post a map of
       trails and entrances, explain what is unique about the Grove,
       provide printed maps, list behaviors needed to help the Grove, post
       park rules, code, and safety tips, encourage respect for private
       property, and clearly prohibit bike riding.
3. Create good interpretive signs to:
   a. Explain the value of the Grove, give overview of the history of the
       grove, explain the geology, and encourage cooperation, in areas
       under current work.
   b. Interpret nature to promote an understanding of plants, wildlife,
       ecology, and the uniqueness of the Grove.

   c. Promote night sensitivity walks and organize nature appreciation
   d. Advertise education programs for volunteer guides: e.g. what is an
      invasive? What do invasives look like? Why get rid of invasives?
   c. Manage trail use such as,"Please stay on the trail" signs, or “Closed
      for Regeneration.”
   d. Announce availability on-line of an audio tour of nature
      interpretation, downloadable to iPod.
4. Promptly replace damaged or removed signs.

2. Relations with Near Neighbors: With increased popularity of the
Grove for recreation, problems with access have arisen chiefly at the
Nunda entrance. The following actions have been approved to help
remedy the situation.
A. Have signs at an entrance from the reservoir, and at Nunda, that spell
   out ways to “Help the Grove.” Ask people to comply for sake of all.
B. Continue to maintain a doggy bag station and trash cans near the
   entrances provided that regular removal of the waste can be
C. The Nunda Blvd. Association has agreed to study parking problems
   and recommend solutions to the Committee re: lack of space, blocking
   neighbor’s access to cars, parking in violation of posted signs, walking
   dogs off-leash, etc. Proposed options include:
   1. Establish parking for resident only spaces similar to the one in Corn
      Hill, encompassing Cobbs Hill from Beckwith to Castlebar, and
      Castlebar, Nunda and Beckwith from Rosegray to Cobbs Hill.
   2. City installation of 1 hr. parking meters.
   3. City to issue a special permit for Washington Grove parking at the
      Nunda entrance, with a sticker.
   4. Require dog owner's permits to walk dogs in the Grove.

3. Peer Pressure: In addition to helping users become aware of the
problems facing the Grove and the goals of the Project, users will be
more likely to cooperate when they see volunteers in the Project working
to improve the Grove and modeling the desired behaviors. The following
actions will help towards changing the “peer culture” to one suited to
maintaining the long-term health of the Grove.
A. Recruit and train citizen observer reporters for the City Pac-Tac
    program. Such teams of two would wear recognizable vests or
    insignia, and carry digital cameras or phones to record illegal behavior.

   These teams will engage people in a friendly way and discuss
   undesirable or illegal behavior with offenders to educate and elicit their
   cooperation with the Project. A sense of visibility of “observers” will
   help encourage compliance with goals of the Project.
B. Encourage all users of the Grove to speak up when they feel
   comfortable to persons they encounter demonstrating undesirable
4. Enforcement: It is inevitable that we must rely on some enforcement to
bring about a greater compliance with laws regulating use of the Grove.
 The Committee will build relationships with appropriate City Departments
and will advocate aggressively for effective strategies, including the
presence of police and animal control services at times for optimum
effect. The following actions will build a cooperative effort to achieve our
A. Ensure all organized events are cleared with the City and that
   participants have reviewed park rules and codes of conduct, and that
   the Committee has been consulted about the activity.
B. Recruit and train PAC TAC volunteers who will be able to document
   misuse of the Grove, call for police or animal control, and issue
   depositions in certain cases. (see #2 A above, “Peer Pressure”)
C. Recruit neighbors and volunteers willing to note and report improper
   use to authorities.


1. Trail Stewardship and Maintenance

The goals of trail stewardship and maintenance will be to facilitate
enjoyment of the Grove for legitimate users while protecting vegetation
and wildlife in keeping with the vision of the Project. In some cases, trails
may even need to be closed or re-routed.

The first task of stabilizing the trails in Washington Grove will be to review
trail definitions and regulations, make necessary modifications, and post
these on the entrance signs. Next, trail conditions and volume of use
must be assessed and documented. Changes for existing trail corridors
and connecting trails can then be proposed in accordance with types of
use and volume of traffic. The requirements for maintaining these trails in
a manner that will minimize erosion and damage to the Grove can then be
determined. These Requirements then will establish the methodology for

trail maintenance that will be required along with the sequence and
optimum timing for action taken.

Trails will need to be evaluated on a yearly basis to determine changes
that affect their condition and capability such as: water draining problems,
tree-falls and log movement over trails, obstructing growth, and growth of
poisonous plants and invasive species. In some years, it may be
necessary to remove plant debris to mitigate fire danger or sponsor trash
removal. The trail subcommittee will identify the tools required, the
process to be followed and the timing of such maintenance.

Trail maintenance techniques typically include the following strategies:
•Trail clearing of debris resulting from weather phenomena such as strong
   wind, and ice storms, trash or objects dropped by users and weed
•Placement of water diversions to alter the pathway of water on trails
•Removal of tree-falls, and trees that pose a serious threat to use of the
•Pruning of encroaching brush and branches from trail corridors.
•Insertion or replacement of trail markers where needed.

A map of the existing trails in the Grove is included in Appendix A with
identification codes provided for the trails. The second page provides a
table with preliminary assessments of the condition and suggested
actions for stabilization and maintenance of each trail.

2. Long-term Stewardship Opportunities and Actions

Strong community interest and support has been expressed in this project
and opportunities for partnership and cooperation are already being
explored. As described under Scientific Analysis, professors and
students from two local universities are already involved in data collection
and study. Three aspects of the project lend themselves particularly to
community participation: preservation and restoration of desirable
species, management of invasives, and trail stabilization and
maintenance. The Boy Scout Troop 19 which uses Tay House lodge for
its meetings has offered to donate native trees requested by the
Committee and help with planting these in the Fall of 2009 and scouts in
the past have participated in trail maintenance projects. A teacher on the
Committee is a teacher at a City High School and has incorporated tree

   identification activities into her curriculum. Teachers at the adjacent
   elementary school have developed educational activities for classes that
   visit the Grove in the past and continue to be interested. Trails might be
   offered under an “Adopt a Trail” program, to local businesses and
   community groups to monitor use, remove refuse, and do maintenance
   work. A website can be developed to explain the problems and solutions
   being tried in the Grove, offer volunteers opportunities to sign up for
   planned actions, and allow feedback and suggestions.

   The restoration and protection of the Grove is an on-going project and will
   require continuing management by a coalition. A permanent committee
   will be established after the Master Plan is adopted to monitor the use of
   the Grove, ensure continuing communication with the City, and to
   organize programs to protect the Grove in the years to come. This
   committee will strive to maintain a membership similar to the present
   coalition to ensure broad community support for its work.

   Section 3. Implementation Planning
   1. A proposed timeline for project plans is shown below:

   Implementation Time Line

         Activity         June   July   August   September   October   November
ID and remove invasives
Restore native species
Park Usage
Relationships with
Peer pressure

   2. Resource needs
      At least 30 people have pledged support for the project and
      volunteered skills and/or time for various tasks. For each action, a list

  of tools and equipment will be defined and their sources identified for
  submission to the Committee.

3. Budget and Funding
  a. Attempts will be made to secure materials and labor by donation
     whenever possible.
  b. Immediate needs for the project are funds for copying and printing
     information and notices for the signs, printing photos, producing T-
     shirts with a logo for Project members and volunteers who donate
     their time or funds, and soil tests.
  c. Funds for purchasing native species to be planted, if donations are
     not available.
  d. A Grant of $1000 has been approved for the Project by the
     Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club and a request for a
     matching grant from the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club is in
  e. Grants for urban forestry projects from the Department of
     Environmental Conservation are being investigated.
  f. Other funding sources such as the Klos foundation will be

By the Washington Grove Committee

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