Goetchius Wetland Preserve - Finger Lakes Land Trust


Goetchius Wetland Preserve - Finger Lakes Land Trust

Habitat remarquableHabitat d'amphibienForêt/Plantes Autochtone(s)Zone HumideAccueillant pour les piétonsHabitat Protégé/EntretenuObservation des insectesObs. d'oiseau/de vie sauvage

Vue d'ensemble

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Visiting these woodlands and wetlands, you may begin to understand the qualities of the preserve, which lure us into the heart of nature.

Out of a desire to honor the memory of their parents, as well as a precious piece of land, Susan Creed and Paul Goetchius donated 19 acres of wetland to the Finger Lakes Land Trust. In 1995, the Land Trust purchased another 18 acres at the southern end of the preserve from the estate of Mary Willsey and named the woodland "Mary's Woods" in her honor.

In 2007, another 35 acres were added to the preserve with funds from the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, which then did significant wetland restoration on it. This project will continue until at least 2017. The wetland functions should be significantly enhanced by this work, but in addition, there should be many benefits for birds, amphibians, and other wildlife.
Natural History

The entrance to "Mary's Woods" is characterized by the presence of a large sugar maple that overlooks the picturesque panorama of rolling hills and farmland. Now dead, the sugar maple serves as a food source for many animals and provides valuable nesting cavities. Black cherry trees, identified by their dark flaky bark, dominate the north section of the woods. A significant stand of American beech, much of it dying from the beech blight, is also on the preserve. Winter is a great time to watch for animal tracks such as opossum, raccoon and fox. You might even find a burrow, excavated by a woodchuck awaiting spring.

The wetland portion of the preserve is of particular interest because, unlike most marshes, the large wetland--of which Goetchius is a part--drains to both the north and the south, eventually joining the St. Lawrence and Susquehanna Rivers. The preserve also has a rich array of amphibians that thrive in the wetland. In spring, drive carefully to avoid ending the life of a spotted salamander or wood frog migrating across Flat Iron Road. In recent decades, the importance of wetlands has become clear. In addition to providing crucial habitat for fish and other wildlife, wetlands filter nutrients and sediments from storm runoff, protecting water quality. Because of the slow runoff rate, wetlands help reduce the effects of weather extremes by controlling flooding and providing water during a drought.

Although grasses and sedges are the most common types of vegetation in the wetland, there are populations of interesting plants that will satisfy even the most voracious botanist. Among them are winterberry, speckled alder and marsh marigold. On a quiet day listen for the calls of Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, and Northern Cardinal. Or watch a family of Wood Ducks fly above the water. The scurry of activity is not limited to feathered visitors. On a summer evening, the hum of cicadas and flashes of fireflies may turn Goetchius into a brightly-lit concert hall.
Acreage: 72 acres

From Ithaca, follow Rt. 79 east to Caroline; turn left (north) on Flat Iron Road. Preserve located on left, where road crosses stream.

TCAT bus route 52

To know more about this preserve and support the Finger Lakes Land Trust visit http://www.fllt.org/protected_lands/protected_lands1.php?id=34


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