New Nature Trail 4-2014

WELCOME TO THE EAST HAMPTON NATURE TRAIL

It is maintained for your enjoyment by: The Ladies’ Village Improvement Society, The Village of East Hampton and The Garden Club of East Hampton. We care for the Nature Trail. Please join us in respecting it.

The rambling, natural wonder that is the 27 acre East Hampton Nature Trail, is a treasure belonging to East Hampton Village and a source of great delight to the LVIS and its fifteen-strong committee members — all devoted to its well-being. . . To read more scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Photographs: Dell Cullum

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Photographs: Dianne Benson and Durrell Godfrey

INTERESTING FACTS: The Nature Trail is 24 Acres (23.92 to be exact). There are many benches, 25 little bridges and a shrine to St. Francis. It is best to stick to the paths to avoid the marshy areas.  The Nature Trail was once a beautiful private Japanese garden. It was open to the public in the 1940’s and given to the Village in 1951 by Mrs. Mary Woodhouse. Our resident waterfowl were introduced at this time. THE SEASONS The breeding/mating season begins in April and by late May you should start to see beautiful ducklings and cygnets. Our ducks do not migrate, so you can visit them year-round. Colorful ducks are males (drakes) & more subdued (brown) are females.

FEEDING: Human food is not good for the ducks (especially bagels and hamburger rolls).
Nutritional food like CRACKED CORN and POULTRY FEED is available at:
One Stop Pets – Amagansett Agway & Wild Bird Crossing-Bridgehampton

If these nourishing foods are not available to you, the following are better than bread:

Oats – uncooked (rolled or quick)
Any birdseed
Grapes – in half or chopped
Frozen peas or corn – defrost first
Rice – cooked or uncooked
Please be courteous in The Nature Trail and do not leave any foodstuff behind. Thank you.

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Map: Elizabeth Hooper

. . . Continued from top of page:
The rambling, natural wonder that is the 27 acre East Hampton Nature Trail, is a treasure belonging to East Hampton Village and a source of great delight to the LVIS and its fifteen-strong committee members — all devoted to its well-being. Together with the Garden Club of East Hampton, our Nature Trail Committee concentrates its efforts on the half-acre portion of the sprawling woods where the waterfowl, and the occasional muskrat and some others of its rodent cousins, congregate. This charming inlet of Hook Pond crosses beneath Davids Lane and is hugely popular with our resident ducks, swans, seagulls and various geese because there is invariably a gaggle of adoring families ready to feed them.

Benches and bridges make The Duck Pond – its popular name – a built-in tourist attraction. Of course, in the dead of freezing winter or midst of a howling snowstorm, tourists are scant and it is then that we, the Nature Trail Committee, are really committed to the welfare, health and safety of the ducks. There are enough of us to maintain a rotating daily feeding schedule and we pride ourselves in counteracting the usual white-bread diet imposed by most tourists by concentrating on nutritional feed. In the pleasant summer months when our population swells and our fat fowl are overfed, our focus morphs from feeding to upkeep – with an ever-vigilant eye. The birdwatchers, hikers and nature lovers can be curiously careless.

Certainly one of the most tangible attractions of our beautiful village, The Nature Trail can be accessed from Huntting Lane or Davids Lane, with several trails and stopping points throughout. Though once a fanciful and heralded Japanese Water Garden, the wetland corridor is now desirably void of proper gardening and a mecca for ferns, bittersweet, the skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus, and it is stinky) that we fondly call ‘our native Hosta’, and the extremely invasive reeds, phragmites, that we do pay to keep under control.

Our latest mission is to adopt an acceptably natural identification kiosk/sign/placard to allow the Nature Trail visitors another layer of enjoyment, “Look Mom – there’s the American widgeon!”