By Edie Johnson
Blooming Grove -This is a critical Northeast "Greenway Corridor". right on the border ofBlooming Grove and Washingtonville and their important Biodiversity Corridors, especially the Schunnemunk Ridge and Valley beneath it where threatened and endangered species live. Parts of Chester and Goosepond are included in this Western Highlands Greenway. We should explore the potential for inclusion and related advantages! These 2 greenways carry great environmental advantages from Connecticut, through New York and on down the East Coast. In the map below, just to the left of the New York Highlands Region title, the significant notch cut out of the western edge is our local Schunnemunk Ridge and related biodiversity corridors.
The map shows the amazing results of several DEC and New York Estuary programs being designed to expand GREEN corridors for the habitats of animals, plants and waterways down the inner East Coast. Connectivity is critical to survival of many of these "Greenways inhabitant", since travel across land and water is their nature. It helps the land make natural formations and fertilization, and the carrying of nuts and seeds that will help species survive and flourish.
The naming of an area as an official "Corridor" gives it the potential for great benefits and conservation actions. Participation is key. For generations our areas have often been treated as "lands to the east of the Hudson River, and lands to the west of it." We know that this is an artificial manmade distinction and that as far as biodiversity corridors are considered it can be a unified swath. Parts of Chester are included....Let's see if we can be included too.
Blooming Grove 's eastern edge is already a contributor to this corridor. The steep ridges, forest and waterways leading down to the Moodna River, its tributaries and Valley could contribute significantly to these efforts at coordinated conservation and biodiversity from the North, through the Greater Hudson River Valley and continuing south along the East Coast. It can contribute even more if the connection becomes official.
The Green Corridors Plan for the Eastern New York Highlands Trust, used existing conservation and land-use plans, scientific data, field study, and community feedback to identify important areas for wildlife habitat connectivity in the Hudson Highlands east of the Hudson River. It was developed with input from residents in the towns of Philipstown and Putnam Valley, state agencies, and nonprofit partners. It showed the benefit of towns working together to develop greenway corridors which function outside of municipal boundaries.
These projects are funded by the DEC's Estuary Grants through New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program in partnership with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.