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+Race Track Nature Preserve: December 2017 update

After the decisive actions taken in the Spring and Summer of 2017 to eradicate the invasive vegetation in the 12+ acre flat basin, transformation work take a recess as winter sets in. But the hardy Deviners are continuing their weekend task of freeing the trees from strangling vines. They are also clearing field stones from the flat basin to prepare it for mowing by the DPW in March next year. The mowing will further weaken any residual invasive shrubs and weeds. Weather permitting, in June 2018, we will be doing Phase 1 seeding and planting of the native meadow. We will post more details closer to time.

Native meadows in our own gardens!

On Saturday September 30, Penn Marchael, Native Meadow Expert from Larry Weaner Landscape Associates spoke to residents about creating native meadow landscapes in our home gardens — as driveway borders, as garden accents, and in combination with turf/lawn.  Native meadow flowers and grasses are beautiful and ecologically positive: they provide an excellent habitat for wildlife, and absorb storm water to prevent soil erosion and run-off of fertilizers and other nutrients into our drinking water. They are also low-maintenance/cost-effective: meadow plants, once established in year two, need only once-a-year mowing in March, compared to weekly mowing of lawns.  

A progress report on the Race Track Nature Preserve was also given by the Tree Advisory Board.

Click the following to hear a recording of the presentation in it’s entirety.

+October 2017 Race Track Nature Preserve: transformation highlights

  • A new north entrance with a safe parking area on East Lake Stable Road, connecting the pre-existing circular path with the Fox Hill Trail

  • A new “Savanah” trail in the middle of the basin to improve viewing experience

  • Eliminated the bulk of invasive brushes and weeds in the basin

  • Planted 2 dogwood trees, 1 tulip tree and 6 grey (spreading) dogwood shrubs

  • Many native flowers, grasses and shrubs have returned (e.g., Milk Weed, Spiderwort, Black-eye Susan, Golden Rod, Trillium, Sassafras, etc.)

  • Removed many invasive Norway Maple trees

  • Cut strangling vines off trees

  • Graded the basin area to prepare for seeding next year

  • Seeding of the entire flat basin with native flowers and grasses planned for June 2018 (the best time to seed a meadow)

We are most grateful to local artist Mae Shore for creating this beautiful limited-edition (150) woodblock print, “Native Meadows”, to benefit the Race Track Nature Preserve. Mae is presenting the framed print to any person who donates $500 to the Preserve. This donation for a public cause is tax deductible. More than a third of the prints have been claimed/reserved. For more details, please contact Mae at, or visit

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS when visiting the Race Track Nature Preserve. Read more.

Lawn and other fertilizers containing phosphorus are banned by law in Tuxedo Park. Read more.

+ Our first summer volunteer deployed at the Race Track Nature Preserve. Read more.

Felix Sanchez, son of Race Track Nature Preserve Founding Stewards Maria Nunes and Peter Hempel, volunteered to work with the Tree Advisory Board for the month of July. His many assigned tasks included helping Tree Advisory Board member Christopher Gow to create new paths that connect the pre-existing circular trail with the new north entrance to the Preserve. He hand-pulled the highly invasive mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass and garlic mustard at the embankments. He cleared some rocks from the basin of the Preserve to prepare it for the eventual seasonal mowing. He watered the shrubs we planted at the southern end of Tuxedo Lake (for the purpose of establishing a denser vegetative buffer against storm water run-off that carries nutrients into our drinking water and aggravates the spread of milfoil). Felix also developed a Google Drive document to house important data that have informed the work of the Tree Advisory Board (e.g., environmental and engineering studies of the Preserve, flora and fauna lists, etc.) and to maintain a historical record of our work (e.g., our meeting agendas and minutes, presentations to the BOT, etc.) Thank you, Felix!

Couldn’t join the May 21 or September 30, 2017 Bird Walk at the Race Track Nature Preserve? Read about what you could have seen. May 21, 2017, September 30, 2017.

If you missed the July 8, 2017 seminar, Managing Common Invasive Species in Home Gardens by master gardener Ann Barry, watch the video here.

Presented by Ann Barry, Master Gardener Armed with a little knowledge, there are ways to prevent invasive species from taking over a home garden or yard. This presentation will focus on mechanical ways and least toxic methods of managing and possibly eradicating a list of 12 common yet pesky invasive terrestrial plants.

+ A community party in Tuxedo launches Mae Shore’s woodblock print. Read more.

On April 29, Mae Shore’s limited-edition print was launched to an enthusiastic gathering at the Cheymore Gallery, Tuxedo Square, Town of Tuxedo. The multi-media exhibition included photos of Mae at work, carved woodblocks showing the stages of color printing, a slide show of historical and contemporary images of the Race Track, antique relics found on site, and a map created by Larry Weaner Landscape Associates showing the different natural habitat zones of the basin.

+ A party in New York City launches Mae Shore’s benefit print. Read more.

On May 10 in New York City, Mae Shore’s print was launched with the same multi-media presentation at the Blumka Gallery, by the generous courtesy of Lois and Tony Blumka.

+ Tuxedo Park celebrates Arbor Day on April 29, 2017. Read more.

On April 29, the community celebrated 2017 Arbor Day. More than 80 residents and guests attended the Ceremony at the Race Track Nature Preserve. We unveiled the bronze plaques commemorating the extraordinary generosity of the Race Track Nature Preserve Founding Stewards – 29 residents/families who donated a significant sum to enable us to hire the renowned natural-area design firm, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates and to begin the first stages of restoration work at the Preserve. We presented the 2017 Arbor Day Award to John C. Yrizarry, who spent more than ten years observing flora and fauna at the Race Track. The data he gathered, his enthusiasm and his advocacy were instrumental in the Village Board of Trustees’ unanimous votes in August 2016 to allow the transformation of this 21-acre basin into a community nature preserve. A tulip tree will be planted in John’s honor at the northern end of the Race Track near the planned new entrance, along with 2 flowering dogwoods and six shade-loving gray dogwood bushes in other locations of the basin.

Oak tree killing disease found in Brooklyn and Long Island: help prevent it from coming to Tuxedo Park by not pruning your oak trees until winter. Read more.

+ Larry Weaner Landscape Associates presents the Race Track Nature Preserve transformation plan. Read more.

On April 8, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, the renowned natural area landscape firm chosen in an open bid process to transform the Race Track into a community Nature Preserve, presented their vision, strategy and methodology. More than sixty residents attended the open meeting. Listen to the presentation and Q&A here.

+ Click here to learn how you can help conserve and protect our community Nature Preserve

Each resident of Tuxedo Park is responsible for the stewardship of the natural resources of the Race Track Nature Preserve. By doing so, we ensure the Preserve remains a place where we can have the unique experience and pleasure of being surrounded by nature. We need to protect the native wildlife and flora, and conserve the distinctive habitats identified by environmentalist Spider Barbour: different types of meadows; swamp, marsh and seasonal wetland; and forest. We must strive to produce long-term benefits to wildlife and promote native biodiversity, in accordance with sound and generally-accepted soil and water conservation methods.

To take responsibility for this proactive stewardship of our Preserve, visitors are reminded to:

  • stay on the mowed circular path (for your own safety because there is a defunct drainage system covering a large area of the Preserve);

  • carry out what we carry in/remove any litter;

  • keep pets on a leash (for their safety as well) and pick up after them (be considerate to fellow visitors);

  • not smoke (we don’t want to start a forest fire);

  • not play loud music (we don’t want to disturb the nesting birds and animals);

  • not capture, release or feed animals;

  • not take out any plants or animal/bird nests and eggs;

  • and generally not to disturb any components of the natural landscape (not even the rocks).

Thank you for being stewards of the Race Track Nature Preserve.


October 24, 2016 planting with the DEC at the Southern end of Tuxedo Lake: volunteers in their best “tree” pose.

© Bryna Pomp, winner, Nature Photo of the Month.

Trees are vital to Tuxedo Park

Trees keep our drinking water clean.

Trees sustain our clean air.

Trees contribute to the rustic character of our landscape.

Trees nurture a wildlife habitat rich in biodiversity.

Trees provide the underpinning of our historical provenance.

Trees are an invaluable environmental and economic asset.


Each resident is a guardian of this resource for the benefit of current and future generations.