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Old 12-05-2014, 01:42 PM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
Gloria's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default Staten Island mountain-mint

I highly recommend that you read the entire article at the NY Times link.

While it is far to late to save this little patch of wildflower and few acres that had sustained it over the years, hopefully the story will move a few readers to future action for preservation. Or maybe not... some days optimism is hard to sustain.
The op-ed article is written by a familiar NYC naturalist, Mariellé Anzelone , a favorite of my own in the "someone you should know" category.


In 2003 a relatively small cluster of Torrey’s mountain mint was found along a forested roadside in a sleepy part of southern Staten Island. Local naturalists cheered this discovery of a wildflower that had not been recorded in the five boroughs since 1897. The news was less welcome to the city agency and developer that planned to raze the woodland habitat and build a strip mall in its place. Located near the street, the plant itself would survive the bulldozer, but it would be isolated as its surroundings changed from pastoral to paved.
As construction approached, I said goodbye to what would be lost: sweeps of meadow beauty, partridge pea and blue-eyed grass. Spicebush swallowtails and other winged wildlife could flee to neighboring woodlands, at least. But what of the ants? I imagined them buried beneath the macadam, entombed in their underground chambers like an insect Pompeii.
Today, surrounded by strip malls and cheaply built housing, that once quiet Staten Island road is bustling with traffic. In this environment, Torrey’s mountain mint’s days in New York City are surely numbered. For now, the wildflower is blooming. At least, that is what colleagues tell me. I cannot bear to revisit the site. At some point, every conservation biologist is bound to have her heart broken. This is how it happened to me.
Mariellé Anzelone, an urban conservation biologist, is the executive director of NYC Wildflower Week.

These two links are previous encounters with Mariellé Anzelone here at Wildlife Gardeners.

A garden you should know.

Biodiversity awareness...NYC leading the way?
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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island, mountainmint, staten

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