On the hikes you will see the views that appear in some of the most beloved landcape paintings of the 19th-century and hear stories that bring their history to life. The hikes range from easy walks to moderately vigorous climbs. [Read more…] about Guided Hikes of Hudson River School Locations
Dr. Joel W. Grossman, the archaeologist who directed the excavation of the early-17th century shoreline block of the Dutch West India Company at Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, will discuss “Dutch Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants in 17th Century New Amsterdam” on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:00 noon in the Arthur and
Janet Ross Lecture Hall, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
The dig exposed the deeply-buried remains of the colony’s first warehouse, the artifact-filled cisterns of its earliest inhabitants, and a well-preserved record of changing colonial plants. Grossman’s lavishly illustrated talk will explore the intriguing transatlantic links between the Leiden Hortus, or botanical garden, of the University of Leiden, East and West India Company doctors, institutionalized plant collecting and Native American informants in 17th Century New Amsterdam.
Grossman’s talk is presented as part of the New York Botanical Garden’s Quadricentennial Celebration: The Glory of Dutch Bulbs: A Legacy of 400 Years: May 1-June 7, 2009. Discover indoor and outdoor displays that feature large swaths of bright flowering bulbs and companion plants inspired by the great tulip and lily gardens of Holland. See Nybg.org/dutch_bulbs for other offerings on June 6th, and all the events being offered as part of the Glory of Dutch Bulbs program. For directions please call: (718) 817-8779; for general info: (718) 817-8770.
A new web site (now in Beta) sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows viewers what New York City looked like before it was a city. After nearly a decade of research the The Mannahatta Project uncovers online the original ecology of Manhattan circa 1609. According to the site:
“That’s right, the center of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife and sustaining people for perhaps 5000 years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609. It turns out that the concrete jungle of New York City was once a vast deciduous forest, home to bears, wolves, songbirds, and salamanders, with clear, clean waters jumping with fish. In fact, with over 55 different ecological communities, Mannahatta’s biodiversity per acre rivaled that of national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains!”
The goal of the Mannahatta Project is no less than “to re-start the natural history of New York City.” The site includes a virtual Mannahatta map that allows you to see Mannahatta from any location, block-by-block species information, lessons on the science and technology used to create the site, hundreds of layers of digital data, place-based lesson plans for elementary and high school students that meet New York State standards, an online discussion page, and event listing.
Recent updates to Mannahatta include the ability click on a city block to find out what type of plants and animals called it home, whether the Lenape people lived or worked there, and what kind of landscape features appeared on that block. You can also use the slider bar to fade from Mannahatta to modern day to see how the island has changed in the last 400 years.
Last week a related multimedia exhibit “Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City” also opened at the Museum of the City of New York.
In his new book, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, Douglas Brinkley (Professor of History and Baker Institute Fellow, Rice University) looks at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid bird-watcher and naturalist with Adirondack ties at the American Museum of Natural History’s Linder Theater in New York City tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 pm. Admission will be $15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens).
Roosevelt was a pioneer of the conservation movement and was involved with the American Museum of Natural History from childhood. As a matter of fact, the original charter creating the Museum was signed in his family home in 1869, and the Museum has a permanent hall in tribute to Theodore Roosevelt and the contributions he made to city, state, and nation throughout his life. A book signing will follow this program.
Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History and Baker Institute Fellow, Rice University, is the author of several books, including The Unfinished Presidency, The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, and The Great Deluge (which won him the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award); he is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and an in-house historian for CBS News. He has earned several honorary doctorates for his contributions to American letters and was once called the “the best of the new generation of American historians” by the late historian Stephen E. Ambrose.
For questions regarding this event, please contact Antonia Santangelo at 212-769-5310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the heart of the Adirondacks is the Town of Newcomb, population about 500. The town was developed as a lumbering and mining community – today tourism and forest and wood products are the dominate way locals make a living. As a result the Essex County town is one of the Adirondacks’ poorer communities.
The folks in Newcomb (and also in North Creek in Warren County) often promote their communities’ connection to Theodore Roosevelt’s ascendancy to the presidency. TR’s nighttime trip from a camp in Newcomb to the rail station at North Creek as William McKinley lay dying from a bullet delivered by Leon Czolgosz‘s .32 caliber Iver-Johnson handgun is usually considered Roosevelt’s great tie to the Adirondack region. [Read more…] about Teddy Roosevelt and The Adirondack Forest Preserve
The mid-1800s Natural History Survey of New York has been posted online at the New York State Library here. According to a recent note from the Library’s staff:
The Natural History Survey of New York, undertaken in the mid-1800s, covered zoology, flora, mineralogy, geology, agriculture and paleontology. The NYS Library has digitized the first three components of the survey so far. The “Zoology of New York”, or the “New York Fauna,” is a five-volume set published from 1842-1844. This pioneering study by James E. De Kay addressed both recent and fossil mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, mollusks and crustaceans. The hand-colored plates in part 1 (Mammalia), part 2 (Birds) and part 5 (Mollusca and Crustacea) can be found at the end of those volumes. “A Flora of the State of New-York,” a two-volume set by John Torrey, was published in 1843; at the time, it was the largest single work of its kind published. The hand-colored plates are listed after each volume. “Mineralogy of New-York” by Lewis C. Beck was published in 1842 and provided detailed descriptions of minerals found in the state, with information on their uses in the arts and agriculture.
Here is a description of the Northern District from the Survey’s preface (note the presence of wolverines [photo above] – alternate spellings are in the original):
The Northern District comprises, as its name imports, the northern portion of the State, which forms an irregular truncated triangle, bounded on its western side by Lake Ontario and the River St. Lawrence, on its eastern side by Lake Champlain and Lake George, and lying north of the Mohawk valley. This district, in its southern and southeastern portions, rises into numerous conical peaks and short ranges, attaining in some places an elevation of more than five thousand feet. Towards Lakes Champlain and George, these subside suddenly to the level of those sheets of water. To the north and northwest, this descends by a gradual and almost imperceptible slope towards the River St. Lawrence. This slope is watered by the Oswegatchie, the Moose and Black rivers, the Raquet [sic] and Grass and St. Regis rivers, all arising from numerous lakes embosomed in the mountainous regions of its southern parts. Lake Champlain, a part of its eastern boundary, extends north and south one hundred and forty miles, is twelve miles wide in its broadest part, and discharges its water through the Sorel river into the St. Lawrence. Into the southern part of this lake is also poured the waters of Lake George or Horicon, thirty-seven miles long, and varying from one to seven miles in breadth. The cluster of mountains in its southeastern portions may be considered as an offset from the great Appalachian system, which, descending through the States of Maine, New-Hampshire and Vermont, passes southwesterly between the Western and Hudson river districts, and is continued under the name of the Allegany range of mountains. In this region too we find the Sacondaga, Cedar, Jessup, and other tributaries of the Hudson, within a short distance of those which pour into the St. Lawrence. This mountainous region comprises the counties of Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer and Warren, and the southern part of the counties of Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence, and has been estimated to contain an area of about six thousand square miles. Its zoological character is strongly impressed by the features just alluded to. The chief growth of trees in this district are the Spruce, Pine, Larch, Balsam, Fir and Cedar. We find in this district many of the fur-bearing animals, such as the Sable, the Fisher, and the Beaver. Here too roam the Moose, the Wolverine, and others now only found in high northern latitudes. It also forms the southern limits of the migration of many arctic birds; and we accordingly meet here with the Canada Jay and Spruce Grouse, the Swan, the Raven and the Arctic Woodpecker.