Food for Thought -2020

The Coronavirus pandemic mandated that the CAC postpone its summer events in Tymor Park, but on Saturday, Oct. 3, it did go ahead with its first 2020 Food for Thought event. Fanelli’s food truck, serving hot dogs, pretzels and other casual food, was present for picnickers by 6:00, and at 7:00 two short films about the local environment—"A Living River” and “Farmscape Ecology”—by  local filmmaker Jon Bowermaster were screened in the bandshell. A flyer promoting the community event had been sent out the week prior to a variety of social media venues as well as by Union Vale mail to town residents. There were between 30 and 40 attendees, a fine turnout for a brisk October evening.  All thanks to CAC member Rachel Von Wettberg and Union Vale events planner Wendy Fred for organizing such a successful evening! 

Conservation Advisory Council

Click here to see the full Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) for Union Vale with maps & text! 

Bluebird Boxes Installed in Tymor Park    

The Coronavirus pandemic has necessarily slowed some of the CAC initiatives for 2020. That said, we are happy to announce that over the course of the spring Tymor Park Manager Jake Gosnell, Tom St. Onge and the rest of the Park crew have installed the bluebird boxes. Built by Kevin Murphy, the cedar boxes have been sited at the following locations. 

--3 boxes dispersed along the at the top of the disc golf course hill

--1 box creek side, cross foot bridge near playground and head north (left)

--1 box near the little league field

--1 box northwest corner of the field behind the town hall, near Bruzgul Road on black birch tree

--1 box on the trail behind the town hall, heading north (right) at the T, toward Bruzgul road

--1 box on the equestrian center phone pole (closer to the rink)

--1 box on a post, on the trail heading south out of the equestrian center at the waterfall

--2 boxes dispersed in the field behind the pool on the wood line

We are so grateful to Kevin, Jake and the whole Park crew!

Union Vale Natural Resources Inventory      

​In February, 2020, the Union Vale town board unanimously approved a resolution for the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) to develop a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). The Union Vale CAC began work on the NRI in March of that year under the guidance of Nate Nardi-Cyrus, conservation and land use specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program/Cornell University, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and Sean Carroll, GIS/environmental resource educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County. Funding generously provided by the Hudson River Estuary Program allowed for the compilation of the NRI at no cost to the town.

Now completed, the NRI has gathered and compiled data regarding important naturally occurring resources such as forests, wetlands, surface and ground waters, and farmland. Data also includes cultural resources, such as historic sites, scenic vistas, and recreation areas. That information is presented here in a series of maps and an accompanying report with narrative descriptions, supporting data tables, and recommendations. While this NRI covers a wide range of resources from farmland and topography to important aquifers and forests, it is based on existing data and does not involve new studies.

An NRI is used for comprehensive land-use planning that proactively considers a community's land and water resources, and provides the foundation for open space planning and protection, zoning updates, conservation overlay districts, critical environmental areas, and other municipal plans and policies. The underlying premise of an NRI is that a town cannot protect what it has if it does not know what that is.   


Buy your lawn sign at Town Hall !

​​​​​​​​Food for Thought 2021

Invasive Species
On Saturday, June 12th the CAC hosted a “Hike for Thought” at Tymor Park with Brent Boscarino, the Invasive species citizen science program coordinator at Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). The mission of PRISM is to “…protect the rich biodiversity and ecosystems of the Lower Hudson region through partnerships and collaborations that focus on controlling the introduction, spread, and harmful impact of invasive species.” Brent led the group on a brief hike along the Furnace Pond trail and discussed invasives present in the park such as Japanese barberry, bittersweet, honeysuckle, and multi-flora rose.  In addition to the invasive plant species discussed, damage from invasive insects was noted in the ash trees (Emerald Ash Borer) and the hemlock forest (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid).

The CAC and Town Recreation staff have continued to work with Brent and have formulated an action plan to help mitigate the invasives.  A volunteer is currently taking inventory of the invasive plant species in this section of Tymor Park with next steps including park staff incorporating careful and monitored removal into their yearly planning and continued collaboration with PRISM.

The PRISM website ( contains a wealth of information to help citizens identify invasive species, including tutorials on using the Seek and iNaturalist apps. These apps allow users to simply use the camera of their smartphone to learn about the living organisms we encounter in our environment. 

​Pollinator Pathways
On May 22nd , 2021 the CAC welcomed Chet Kerr from the Irvington, NJ Pollinator Pathway Project.  About 25 people were in attendance, along with Caboose on the Loose ice cream truck for those who were interested in a sweet treat. Pollinator Pathway Project is a volunteer-run organization that aims to establish habitat and food sources for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The project began in 2017 in Wilton, CT and is now established in over 200 towns in CT, NY, MA, NJ and PA. Chet presented ideas for how to start improving pollinator habitat at any scale. Even small changes, such as reducing mowing frequency or planting native flowers in garden beds can make a difference. There is a wealth of information to be found on the Pollinator Pathways website ( including native plant lists and garden designs. Thank you Chet for an interesting and informative evening!

Trees for Tymor
High school student and Girl Scout Julia Hogencamp has initiated a tree planting program for Tymor and Godfrey parks. Thank you, Julia! To date, she has raised over $800 for the purchase of trees. On September 18, Julia, her troop, and a number of volunteers planted some 100 trees—sugar maples, tulip poplars, serviceberry among others. Many were 6-foot saplings, which is to say, real trees. The project, which will continue on an annual basis, is aimed at keeping UV carbon neutral by replacing those trees lost each year to storm damage, invasive insects, species decline. Brian Scoralick from the Dutchess County Soil & Water Conservation District and highway department supervisor Ed Kading were instrumental to the success of the project, but great thanks are due as well to Tom St. Onge on the parks department who has committed to watering the trees and to Jake Gosnell, park manager for all his ongoing help and support for this project.

  • , Chair
  • Rachel von Wettberg
  • Pat Cartalemi, ex officio
  • Lisa Martell 
  • Rhonda Sundlof
  • Lisalotte Vince
  • Brittany Hedrick

Click the Picture to See the NRI Interactive Web Map for Union Vale

Photos of damage done by Emerald Ash borer (left) and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (right)
(Photo credit: Gary Lovett)