The murder contract worked.
Work crews recently cleared invasive, tree-killing non-native plants invading almost 15 new acres of forest along City Island Road and Rodman’s Neck in Pelham Bay Park.
The work was done as part of two Parks Department contracts, said Pelham Bay Park administrator Marianne Anderson.
Work crews cleared out tree-killing underbrush from an area between Range Road and City Island Road in Rodman’s Neck, and on a 700-foot-long and 100-foot-wide swath of land straddling the north side of City Island Road, said Anderson.
“There were trees there that were toppled during the 1992 Nor’easter that were leaning against an old chain link fence, and it was atrocious,” she said, adding that all of the wood from the tree removal will remain to decompose and add nutrient value to the soil.
Scores of leveled trees remain in an area that is now much clearer looking than it was before the massive pruning and plant removal project.
One of the ultimate goals, she said, is the reforestation of the area.
Eight acres of forest at Rodman’s Neck near the ball fields there had invasive plants removed in 2011, along with another project that same year that provided for an ecological restoration of native plant species in and around Turtle Cove, an inlet of water from the Hutchinson River.
Funding was provided by MillionTreesNYC, said Anderson.
If all goes according to plan, she said, park stewards who are part of the MillionTreesNYC program will start the replanting next year to reforest the area with various kinds of oaks and hickories, sweetgums and black birch.
“Without (this work) you would have toppled trees and vines covering everything, and that is just not quality habitat,” said Anderson.
The Parks Department’s Natural Resources Group may soon look into the feasibility of removing similar invasive vines behind Turtle Cove Driving Range, said Anderson.
City Islander Barbara Dolensek said that the look of the roadway leading to the popular summer destination had improved.
“It’s great,” she said. “They took down all of the dead trees back a certain number of yards from the roadway.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393