October Newsletter

Goodbye to our 2017 Season

Congratulations on a “Blockbuster” of a season! Through your hard work we have had 43 blocks completed in the throughout the Lower Hudson Valley, and we continue to receive more data each day. Our amazing volunteers have put in over 650 hours of effort this season, and have done an awesome job of showing those invasives who’s boss! We also want to take a moment to recognize those volunteers who went above and beyond, completing Opportunistic surveys as well! The Opportunistic Surveys are done outside of the regular surveys of a block and were entirely optional. Thank you to those of you who were extra diligent in the hunt for invasives:

Carol Bier       Georgette Weir         Karen Dean-Dancis    

Nancy Faust     Dawn Hannay         Joanna Tomik   

Kimberly Beazer    Robert Bullions     Laura Harris   

Elizabeth Triano      Joyce Tomaselli                           


Please fill out our 2017 volunteer survey and help us plan for another great season in 2018. 

Species Spotlight

Salvia glutinosa

Part of managing invasive species is monitoring plants as they first become invasive.  These newcomers may be plants that escape the horticulture trade, hitch a ride on a packing crate or even spread from a single specimen plant.  Often, they aren’t on anyone’s radar until they are already established and spreading. 

One of these plants is Salvia glutinosa, commonly known as sticky sage.  It’s an herbaceous perennial with large, bright green, hairy leaves and yellow flowers speckled with maroon.  The leaves are toothed and have "wings" at their base.  The whole plant is covered in sticky glandular hairs which it evolved as a defense against herbivory in its native Eastern Europe.  This defense seems to have translated well to the new world as it seem that just about nothing will eat it here.  The sticky seeds also appears to have the ability to stick to people and animals as a means of dispersion.

Salvia glutinosa was first spotted in New York in 2009 near the town of Dover near a section of the Appalachian Trail in a patch about 70 acres in size.  Since then, treatment protocols have been developed and implemented with the goal of complete eradication.  New York is the only place where this plant has escaped into the wild and we are at a crucial juncture where we can prevent the spread before it get out of hand.  To do this, we need constant vigilance from our volunteers and partners in spotting this plant and preventing it from getting established.

We encourage anyone who spots a plant matching the description of Salvia glutinosa to record the gps location and report it through imapinvasives or directly to us at

Salvia glutinosa found in Dover, New York

Welcome Mike Young and Eric Stone

Mike Young is our new Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Manager and may seem like a familiar face to many.  In 2015, Michael received his BS in Landscape Architecture with a concentration in Ecological Design from Rutgers University.  While at Rutgers, Mike interned with the Central Park Conservancy as a Project Manager and spent two seasons with Maplewood Township in New Jersey as a Horticultural Specialist.   Before returning to Rutgers, he worked as a Material Planner in corporate aviation for Dassault Falcon Jet.  Earlier in life, he was the Trail Maintainer for Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary along the Palisades where a desire to protect our native environment was fostered.  Some people might recognize him from his work as a crew member on the 2016 Invasive Strike Force crew of the Trail Conference Conservation Corps.  He has hit the ground running by working on mapping out the extent of Salvia glutinosa in Dover, New York and developing new formulas for prioritizing invasive species removal projects.


Eric Stone joins the Trail Conference as the Invasive Species Educator and Volunteer Coordinator after three years as a Naturalist with Westchester County Parks.  He graduated from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY in 2012 with a BS in Natural History Interpretation and minors in Recreation Resource Management and Environmental Writing and Rhetoric.  While in school, he developed a passion for connecting people to the land through hands-on experiences.  This he brought with him to experiences with San Mateo Outdoor Education in La Honda California, Trackers Earth in Portland Oregon, Berkshire Outdoor Center in Becket Massachusetts and Primitive Pursuits in Ithaca, New York.  In his free time he enjoys teaching ancestral living skills to kids and adult through his own business.  Eric is working hard to retool the Blockbuster Survey Program and build visibility for invasive species issues in our region.

Both Eric and Mike are full-time hires under the five-year contract with the Lower Hudson PRISM.  

Mike Young, Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Manager

Eric Stone, Invasive Species Educator and Volunteer Coordinator

Reflections on Membership Hike

The sunlight was just beginning to warm our first chilled morning of the season as Trail Conference Members began to pull into the trailhead parking.  It was a beautifully diverse group of 25 hikers with some very familiar faces and others who were joining us for the first time.  We all gathered to admire some of the hard work of the Invasive Strike Force at Ramapo Mountain State Forest including the clearing of Black Jetbead from the castle and learn a little about why the work was so important. 

If you have hiked Ramapo Mountain, you know how stunning the land truly is.  There is everything from castle ruins to beautiful views out to New York City, from rare American Chestnut trees, to wildflower meadows. 

We were joined on the hike by Dr. Ben Burton, a true conservationist who has been buying up private land around the preserve to conserve and restore it with native plants.  He gave our group a small tour of his gardens and shared the story of his efforts to conserve lands from developers and invasive plants. 

We received some great questions on everything from the species we were seeing to how birds and insects interacted with the invasive plants.  The hike was such a success we hope to continue to offer these as educational opportunities next year.

                      The Invasive Strike Force worked hard to clear Jetbead and other invasives from Ramapo Mountain State Forest

Program Updates

Mile-a-minute vine is well known and well established in our region yet there is a lot we can still do to manage the spread.  Our Mile-a-minute Intern, Alyssa Coleman has been gathering information on new sightings in Gardiner, Lagrangeville, and Woodstock New York and evaluating the potential for management at each site.  In Woodstock, we are happy to say that over 350 plants were removed thanks to the help of volunteers and Trillium Invasive Species Management.  In Lagrangeville and Gardiner we hope to work with landowners to treat these sites in the coming seasons.

Trillium Invasive Species Management has been awarded a contract from New York State to control Kudzu (Pueraria spp.) in our region.  Kudzu is listed as a Tier 2 Emerging Invasive with somehwat established populations in Westchester County and isolated populations in Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Rockland Counties.

Join us for our 2017 Lower Hudson PRISM Summit at the New York Botanical Garden on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 10am to 4pm.  In this enlightening summit in Ross Hall, five experts share their hard-won insights about best practices to manage and restore ecosystems, and engage in audience conversation about how to establish goals, prioritize, take action to implement projects, and overcome challenges to achieve long-term success in both small- and large-scale sites.  For more information visit the NYBG website here. 

Join the Native Plant Society of New Jersey for their Annual Fall Conference on Saturday, November 4th from 10am to 4pm at the Raritan Valley Community College Main Campus Conference Center.  There will be speakers, vendors and a native seed swap.  More information can be found here.  


Dense blanket of mile-a-minute 

Join the Habitat Helpers!

Sunday, October 29th: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join us once a month to remove weeds and invasive plants and learn about some of the native plants in our habitat around the Trail Conference headquarters.  Bring work gloves, and your favorite gardening tools if you have some.

Please sign up so we know how many people to expect and we can let you know of any changes of plans due to weather.

If you'd like to receive monthly reminders, sign up here for the Habitat Helpers!




October 13: Saving the American Ash Summit (Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden)

November 3: Native Plant Landscaping Workday (Trail Conference Headquarters, Mahwah NJ)

October 14: Pound Ridge Land Conservancy Volunteer Work Session to Remove Invasive Species and Plant Native Plants (Caroline's Grove: 217 Stone Hill Rd, Pound Ridge, NY)

November 3: Invasive Species Summit: Restoration and Long-Term Management    (Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden)
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New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
600 Ramapo Valley Rd
Mahwah, NJ 07430-1199
United States