High Rock Park
200 Nevada Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
Meet by the restrooms next to parking lot
Trip Leader: Marielle Anzelone
High Rock Park is a jewel within the Staten Island Greenbelt. Its varied topography of knobby glacial terrain and low-lying ponds supports a diverse array of plants in upland woodlands, wet meadows, and swamp forests.
In the freshwater wetlands we’ll see plants such as Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), and Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). We’ll also view a rare grove of persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), a tree more commonly seen south of NYC.
The drier oak-beech-hickory forest is where we’ll see an abundance of Pinxter Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides), perhaps the best stand of it in the five boroughs. It grows among Common Juneberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum). In wetter shady spots are the uncommon species red chokeberry (Photinia pyrifolia) and Netted Chain Fern (Woodwardia areolata).
We’ll be focusing on Pinxter Azalea especially because it’s currently running for city-wide office—it’s Staten Island’s candidate for an official New York City wildflower. To learn more about the NYC official wildflower campaign and cast your vote, visit wildflowernyc.org
What to bring: water, snack, hand lens (we will have extra), long pants (as a precaution against ticks)