Nature Preserve

The Nature Preserve protects more than 385 acres with natural forest, meadow and aquatic plant communities, including a rare kettle hole bog. Almost a third of the trees native to New York occur here naturally. The Preserve supports indigenous plants in their natural environment, together with the wildlife that depend on them. Natural areas can often serve as inspiration for your own home landscape.

Farm, Forest and Lake

A short drive from the the Gardens, our managed forest preserve borders a shallow lake. An "antique" farmhouse and barn are located at the edge of the forest.


From spring through summer, this gallery highlights the diversity of native flora found throughout different areas of the Preserve.

Kettle Hole Bog

One of the more interesting areas of the Preserve is a small kettle hole bog, a relict of ancient glacial origin. Carnivorous plants and some of the other unique flora found here are limited to bogs and found nowhere else.

Hemlock Ravine

The Hemlock Ravine comprises a large portion of the nature preserve. The hemlocks are endangered by an exotic insect, the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA).

Blueberry Barrens

We call this area of the Preserve blueberry barrens because blueberries, both highbush and lowbush (Vaccinium spp.) are the dominant species of plants found here in the sandy, depauperate soil, with mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia), another member of the heath or Ericaceous family. running a close second.

Natural Meadows

The title of this gallery could accurately be re-titled "Successional Hayfields," as these fields have had no inputs other than occasional mowing for the last 20 years. It is fascinating to see species of goldenrod and asters, as well as common milkweed, overcoming timothy and other hay grasses.

Northern Hardwoods

While hemlocks make up the largest percent of our forest cover, we also have a diverse assortment of northern hardwood species and their associated understory, especially on the higher, drier terrain.

Successional Shrubland

The field we call successional shrubland is likely abandoned pasture, and probably never produced hay. Unlike the other fields that had been mowed at least annually for hay, this field is well on its way toward reverting back to forest.

Antique Apples

While there are native species of crabapples, the trees that produce edible apples are not. They are useful, however, for native insects as host plants and, of course, for nectar. Our black bears like them, too. The older "antique" apple trees are still producing, and we have planted additional heritage varieties.