Monday, June 18, 2012

Springs and wells in Inwood Hill and Isham Parks

Don points to paths of active waters.
Last Saturday, June 16, 2012, Don Rice gave a detailed and informative slide lecture and walking tour on the springs and wells of Inwood Hill and Isham Parks at the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center.

After Don's Powerpoint introduction to the topic, we strolled out of the Nature Center to have a look at the real thing. The weather was ideal and tidal waters in the marsh were low, enabling us to see where springs and ground waters still feed into the marsh.  During Don's slide show we had a preview of this condition, as his stills transitioned to video to demonstrate the movement of the waters.

We visited the spring on the south side of the soccer field known as  "Gaelic Field," where Don had explained he and his "Lost Inwood" co-presenter Cole Thompson were told by neighborhood players they had often slaked their thirsts during games at that spot. 

Next we strolled to the glacial potholes where Don explained that the movement of water could actually be up instead of down.

Then on to the site of a still extant well.  Don also pointed out places where cisterns are located but difficult to visit due to overgrowth of poison ivy.  Then we overlooked the mighty Hudson River at the Henry Hudson Bridge and walked down the path cut by WPA workers in the late 1930's, noting drill marks where the paths had been cut and wet places where ground waters or springs still leave their trails.
Don lecturing at a well site n Inwood Hill. Photo: Jeff Dugan
We wondered aloud about Hydrofracking and its potential effects on our beautiful state and its legendary waters.

Hope you can all come out to the Nature Center next Sunday June 24th to hear about the mid-20th century construction events in Inwood and both parks!  And please try to make it on Saturday June 30th for our final event in the Art Stroll series:  Julia Isham Taylor's birthday celebration.

Sunday June 24th, 1:00pm meet at Inwood Hill Nature Center:
Art Deco/ WPA design in Isham and Inwood Hill Parks
A slide lecture ending in a walking tour with Pat Courtney.  Take a look at the Art Deco/WPA era design and structures in both parks.  Learn of the designers discovered during the process of the study for potential historic districts in Inwood which was selected in 2011 as one of the inaugural “Six to Celebrate” communities by the Historic Districts Council.

Saturday June 30th, at 1:00pm at the Isham memorial terrace in Isham Park, above Broadway, enter the park at the stone gate across from West 212th and up the sloped path or stairs by the Ginkgo tree to the terrace (follow signs). In case of rain, meet at the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center:
Julia Isham Taylor, birthday celebration (JITs actual birth date: June 28, 1866) Come help to celebrate the birthday of the woman who initiated the gift of Isham Park in 1911-12.

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