The Rome Sand Plains is a unique natural habitat located just a few miles from downtown Rome. The area is a Pine Barren that consists of sand dunes, peat bogs and specialized wildlife that thrive in the small ecosystem of the Sand Plains. Uncommon butterflies, birds, and plants make this area popular with naturalists and bird watchers.
Bob Allers is set to present a program on the Rome Sand Plains, on August 21st, at 7 pm, at the Rome Historical Society.
Geologists consider the Rome Sand Plains to be a relic of Lake Iroquois, which was a larger version of the present Lake Ontario that existed near the end of the last Ice Age. Lake Iroquois drained to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, and its outlet was near the present Sand Plains.
The natural habitat found at the Sand Plains is usually found near large bodies of water. Although the lake that formed the Plains is now gone, the area is still home to specialized plants and insects including the purple picture plant, wild blue lupine, dewdrops and the endangered frosted elfin butterfly.
The Rome Sand Plains is owned and managed by a consortium of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, the Izaak Walton League, Oneida County, the City of Rome, and private landowners. Of the 16,000 acres of the Rome Sand Plains, more than 4,000 are protected.
Bob Allers is currently a Volunteer in Parks with the National Park Service at Fort Stanwix National Monument. He received a BA in Geology from Hamilton College and an MAT in Geological Sciences from SUNY Binghamton. For 34 years he taught Earth Science at VVS and New Hartford Schools and retired in 2010. Further work has also included special projects with the NY State Education Department, and the State Geological Survey. He has led many field trips for outdoor education groups in Central New York.
The Rome Sand Plains program is free and open to the public.
The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church Street, Rome. For more information, call (315) 336-5870, or visit their website.