FREE Guided Nature Walks and Talks on Staten Island organized by Protectors of Pine Oak Woods   for the month of December.

Explore the varied and lush acreage that makes Staten Island the greenest borough.  Discover the wildlife of Staten Island- big, small, furry, feathered, winged and crawling.  Learn to identify native plants, animals and distinguish from invasive species. Guided by experienced and knowledgeable members from Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, a 40-year-old plus organization of people committed to the stewardship of Staten Island’s existing parkland, bluebelt corridors and nature preserves. 
Upcoming FREE GUIDED walkstalks, and preservation activities are:

Estuary, Springs, and Mills of Staten Island
Meet at  St. Andrews Church, RichmondTown, Old Mill Road
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Enjoy a stroll along the multi-use trail overlooking Fresh Kills with Protector’s  Guide Ray Matarazzo. Walk back in time as you pass the famous Hessian Spring as it crosses the path and views Fresh Kills estuary as you work your way toward the remains of Ketchum’s Mill. Along the way observe traces of the past, examine the present woodland ecosystems and search for evidence of present inhabitants especially deer and other mammals. Meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, alongside St. Andrew’s Church. For more information phone Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.
Owl Prowl through High Rock Park
Saturday, December 8, 2018
High Rock Park
200 Nevada Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
During sunset hungry owls awake with a strong desire to search for food. Join Protector’s President and expert guide Cliff Hagen as he walks the woods of High Rock Park in search of our nocturnal neighbors. With his calls, hoots and whistles Cliff entices the screech and great horned owls to share identifying responses. Often owls respond and show themselves to participants. Prowlers will meet atop Nevada Avenue. For more information call Cliff Hagen at 718-313-8591.
Forest Restoration Workshop
Saturday, December 15, 2018
St. Andrew’s Church
40 Old Mill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10306
 Meet at the bike path entrance on the Old Mill Road (west of Richmond Hill Road) next to the old St. Andrews Church. Walk west to where the pines have been planted at left on the trail below the bike path. On that trail participants continue west cutting invasive vines that strangle saplings along the trail (our 268th monthly workshop). If you don’t have your own, Protectors will supply gloves, pruners & refreshments. For more information call Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036 or Chuck Perry at (718) 667-1393. (Service credit is available.)

Up Close with a Pine Barren Ecosystem

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Meet at 2351 Veterans Road West, Staten Island
Explore the unique pine-oak woodlands and wetlands of this iconic park and wildlife adapted to this pine barren ecosystem. As a child this was one of the guide’s favorite places on the South Shore of Staten Island. In those days, Clay Pits Preserve was hidden away among the surrounding woodlands. Over time, human development has closed in making the preservation of this park even more essential. Meet at the parking lot for the park located at 2351 Veteran’s Road West. For more information call Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.


Snowy Owl at Great Kills Park by Marie Wu Fusaro
Winter at the Bay, Lemon Creek Park by Christine Cosgriff