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Natural Heritage


The upland vegetation is red maple (Acer rubrum) and sugar maple (A.saccharum) forest on the upper slope, and mixed oak forest on the lower slope. The wetland forest is dominated by red maple, but hemlock and white pine are also abundant. The swamp thicket near the inlet is dominated by meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), cranberry viburnum (Viburnum trilobum), and smooth alder (Alnus serrulata). The shrub thicket at the inlet is part of a very large drainage divide swamp.


Along the inlet creek, rare freshwater sponges of the genus Spongilla have been found. Sponges are extremely sensitive to pollutants and disturbance, but thrive in clear, clean, calcareous streams like this one. Some sponges, like this one, are found only in a single or a few localities. Once out of upstate New York, you have to head for Siberia to locate some of these sponges again. Other aquatic organisms make the sponges home. The spongilla flies, related to lacewings, are entirely dependent on the sponges as a food source.