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Dear  --FNAME----
As we are loving all the fun the land and water has to offer this time of year, we are also working hard to preserve and protect these resources. In this newsletter, we remind you to take the Great Healthy Yard Pledge not to use toxic chemicals on your yard, and see our tips below to take care of your land naturally.  We also update you on the great work being done by the Town of Bedford and other local organizations to remove invasive species and promote use of native species in landscaping. Thanks for taking care of your land responsibly and Forward to a Friend!

-Bedford 2020 Water and Land Use Task Force
Natural yard care keeps toxins out of our drinking water

With the summer heat Bedford 2020’s Water and Land Use task force has some reminders of things we can do now to protect our water quality.

  1. Mow grass long. 3” or even 3 1/2 “ if it is very hot and dry. This lets the roots grow long and helps the grass to withstand droughts.
  2. Leave the clippings, and use a mulching mower if possible. The clippings don’t cause thatch. Instead they will help prevent water loss, and they will return nitrogen to the lawn naturally as they decompose.
  3. Don’t use synthetic pesticides, weedkillers, and fertilizers on your yard and garden. They will wind up in your drinking water, and they are no good for you! Join your neighbors to protect our drinking water from these chemicals by taking The Great Healthy Yard Pledge not to use them (except on rare occasions in a localized manner to protect habitat). We all share our aquifer.
  4. Remove invasives. If you have invasive vines that are choking native trees, now is the time to cut or pull them. Give your trees every chance to survive this dry heat.
  5. Go Native. Think about adding native plants to your garden this fall. Once they are established they will not need any chemicals or much watering (if they are in a place they like), and they will help support our pollinators and birds. 

Here is a picture of Task Force member Virginia Maybank at her daughter's weeding under her native Cucumber Magnolia tree. Everyone looks beautiful, and so does the tree!

Click below to take the Pledge and  Forward to a Friend to encourage others to take the Great Healthy Yard Pledge, too! 
Take the Pledge

Use this not that!

Thinking of fall? Consider native substitutes instead of these invasive species: Burning Bush, Norway Maple, Yellow Flag Iris, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Stiltgrass, and Japanese Barberry.

Glen Ticehurst, Partner at Benedek & Ticehurst Landscape Architects, gave a presentation at Westmoreland Sanctuary on May 19 instructing participants on beautiful native species to use as substitutes for these non-native landscape plants. Click for a link to the presentation: Native Alternatives to Invasive Landscape Plants.
More Information
Kiwi Eradication Update

The Town of Bedford's project to remove invasive Hardy Kiwi vine from our community kicked-off on June 11th when local volunteers, including B2020 Executive Director Midge Iorio, assembled to cut kiwi vines on Town land at Tucker Preserve. An expert from Trillium Invasive Species Management, the professional group hired to lead the kiwi eradication effort, instructed volunteers on how to properly remove the vines using tools and equipment donated by Bedford 2020. 

The Hardy Kiwi removal has taken place at other properties along Route 172, including at Rippowam Cisuqa School and the Unitarian Universaist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, and has been effective. The Town Conservation Board will assess the progress in the fall to see if there has been grow back and plan for next season’s efforts.
Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped work on this project!
Want to help? See below for an opportunity to clear invasives at John Jay Homestead's Sedge Meadow and stay tuned for more opportunities this fall. The Town Conservation Board plans to gather volunteers again for a late Fall Oriental Bittersweet cutting event using the vine cutting tools donated by Bedford 2020.  
Club funds local organizations' conservation projects

Rusticus Garden Club’s Grant Fund, which recently granted a total of $20,000 to five local organizations dedicated to conservation and environmental causes:

  • Bedford Hills Live – to install edible plantings in the Bedford Hills hamlet.
  • Fox Lane Garden & Sustainability Club – to design and construct a school composting system at Fox Lane High School.
  • Friends of Hilltop Hanover- to create interactive signage for a pollinator garden located at the Farm.
  • Mianus River Gorge Preserve – to restore native wildflower communities at the Preserve.
  • Westmoreland Sanctuary – to establish “Bees in the Classroom” program at the Sanctuary.

Rusticus is also funding six internships with local organizations this summer, including the Energize NY intern who you may see tabling with Bedford 2020 this summer at the pools and local farm markets. 

Thank you, Rusticus for supporting these worthy endeavors. We look forward to seeing these projects developed for all to learn from and enjoy!
Boosting the Ecosystem in Your Own Yard

Lecture, Sunday, July 10 at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining 10:00 am - 11:15 am. 

Environmental Horticulturist Kim Eierman explains how the design choices you make, the plants you select, and the maintenance practices you use can make a huge difference in creating a beautiful, healthy ecosystem, filled with life. Kim specializes in ecological landscapes and native plants and teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center, Rutgers Home Gardeners School and several other institutions. 

Registration required. To register call 914-762-2912, ext. 110.
John Jay Homestead Sedge Meadow

A group began clearing the Homestead's Sedge Meadow last summer after being alerted that butterfly counts (of Appalachian Browns, Black Dash and Mulberry Wings) were diminishing and the sedge tussock was an important plant to these three varieties.  Click here for more information. 

Volunteer to help the Sedge Meadow and its butterflies flourish:

 9:30am-12:30pm on Monday, July 11. Meet on the Farm Lane at John Jay Homestead. (The sedge meadow is to the right of the farm lane about halfway up the drive). Wear long pants and long sleeves and bring clippers if you have them! Contact Dot Voorhees, 914-232-8119 or dotv@johnjayhomestead.org

Bedford 2020, PO Box 812, Bedford Hills, NY 10507
Phone: 914 620 2411  |  Email: info@bedford2020.org​