What happened to the trees in the park?
The town of Morristown is cutting down diseased and dead ash trees in Foote’s Pond Wood due to the danger they pose after being infested by the emerald ash borer insect. The EAB is an invasive wood-boring pest that infested ash trees in 36 states over the past 20 years, killing tens of millions of ash trees. Trees impacted by EAB dry out due to damage to the tissue supplying water from the roots, making them brittle and hazardous. Branches and even trunks easily split and fall. Morristown is removing the dead and hazardous ash trees in Foote's Pond Wood, and throughout the town, in the interest of public safety.
Some trees were meant to be "topped" to leave tall standing "snags" that have tremendous value for birds and insects and even fungi while others were meant to be cut to the ground. Most fallen wood is to remain in place on the forest floor. This approach prevents damage to the soil from equipment that would be required to drag big logs out and provides habitat for local fauna. The downed wood will slowly decay and return carbon and nutrients to the soil.
We know this change is shocking and will work with the tree crew, arborist and Shade Tree Commission to make things look better. See images below
Stop and see the little things
There are beautiful pixie cup lichen and British soldier lichen at Foote's Pond dock. See the 22-second video to get the full context of what you are looking at.
Mushroom walk - Sunday Sept 25, 2022
With a keen eye, a walk along the main path in FPW can uncover many varieties of wonderful fungi. Katie's and Michelle's explanations were so much fun that we have scheduled a second walk on Saturday Oct 29 at noon.
Here are just a few photos from the day. You can find more at Robert Decroce's website.
MORRISTOWN - BEST PLACES TO LIVE
Livability listed Morristown as one of the 100 best places to live in the United States. Among many reasons for this, Foote's Pond Wood is the best kept secret.
FOOTE'S POND WOOD IS FEATURED ON INSTAGRAM
Get a quickie tour of Foote's Pond Wood courtesy of ms.morristown.
SCREECH OWL BOX
LITTLE NOAH WAS IN CHARGE OF CUTTING THE RIBBON
ALL HUMANS AND OWLS WERE INVITED TO CELEBRATE THE NEW HOME.
Friends of Foote's Pond Wood recently won an accolade from the Morris Park Alliance at the 2022 Community Recognition Awards, and we want to show it off. You can see the images below, or check them out in person while they are on display at the Morristown & Morris Township Library (1 Miller Road Morristown).
Some of the group with our awards at The Pond
WHAT'S IN BLOOM AT FPW?
PHILADELPHIA FLEABANE (ERIGERON PHILADELPHICUS) - TALL PLANTS WITH TINY YELLOW CENTERS WITH A FRINGE OF THIN WHITE PETALS, AGAIN, A DAISY-LIKE FORM.
BLACK-EYED SUSANS (RUDBECKIA HIRTA) - YELLOW DAISY-LIKE FORMS WITH DARK BROWN CENTERS ARE JUST OPENING. THEY SHOULD GIVE US A BIG DISPLAY SOON.
LANCELEAF TICKSEED (COREOPSIS LANCEOLATA) - BRIGHT YELLOW DAISY-LIKE FORMS WITH YELLOW CENTERS.
FOXGLOVE BEARD'S TONGUE ( PENSTEMON DIGITALIS) - THE TALL WHITE SPIKES OF SMALL TUBULAR FLOWERS OFTEN HAVE BEES DIVING DEEP INTO THESE.
ECO FUN FEST - UNITY CHARTER SCHOOL
On Saturday May 21, Friends of Foote's Pond Wood hosted a table at the Unity Charter School's Eco Fun Fest in Morristown. FoFPW shared information on environmental concerns as well as provided crafts for the kids.
FOFPW MONTHLY MEETING
Is there a better place to hold a Friends of Foote's Pond Wood Meeting than at Foote's Pond Wood? Certainly not. We had a beautiful night for our May meeting on Monday May 9, brought our own chairs, and met at the dock - both dogs and humans.
MORRIS PARK ALLIANCE COMMUNITY RECOGNITION EVENING
April 20, 2022
MORRIS PARK ALLIANCE
ENVIRONMENT / CONSERVATION AWARD
FRIENDS OF FOOTE'S POND WOOD
Girls on the Run - On Sunday November 14, girls from Thomas Jefferson School's Girls on the Run ran laps around the pond trail to complete a 5K.
IT'S FALL AT FOOTE'S POND
Visit the Park, Read a Book
Kids will love the opportunity to walk around the park while reading oversized pages from a children's book. It starts and ends near the Foote's Pond Wood entrance on James Street (near the fireplace), so bring the kids there while you can.
What a Difference Since the Hyrdoraking
FOOTE'S POND BEFORE HYDRORAKING
Next time you walk by the pond, look how big it is compared to this photo prior to the hydroraking.
A LITTLE TENDER LOVING CARE FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Can you figure out which are the before and after images? Wow!
The Morristown DPW crew floated and anchored a new turtle platform in the pond this week. By that afternoon, turtles were on top, basking in the sun.
FOOTE'S POND AERIAL IMAGE
This image is a composite based on aerial drone imagery (March 2021). See the full, high-resolution image.
We continue our native plantings around Foote's Pond, both near the dock as well as in the main meadow adjacent to James Street and Jefferson School. Meanwhile, the battle against invasive plants continues as well.
Recognizing the contributions of the Landaus
John and Susan Landau, who have done so much to support Foote's Pond as well as the Friends of Foote's Pond Wood, were honored with an inscribed brick installed near the fireplace.
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY
May 8, 2021
To celebrate the many improvements to Foote's Pond Wood, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty and many other city representatives joined a crowd of participants on a rainy Saturday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The path through the park, completion of hydroraking, a new sidewalk, and many new plantings are some of the highlights.
Read the article or watch the video from Morristown Green, and see the photos below.
MEADOW MANAGEMENT - SPRING 2021
A Guide to Landscaping with Native Plants - Morris County Edition
Native plants have evolved over thousands of years to be adapted to conditions in a particular region and to the other plants and animals around them. This brochure will help you select the native plants best suited to the growing conditions in your yard.
See the before after shots of the Foote's Pond dock as a taste of what a difference hydroraking has made.
Hydro-raking is moving forward and making great, visible progress.
The hydro-raking contractor and the Morristown mayor led a discussion on the planned hydroraking on Monday evening September 28. A few tidbits include:
Hydro-raking is like excavating a milkshake - every time you scoop some silt, more flows into its place.
The goal is to return the depth of the water to between three and four feet, and make the pond the same size as it was 30 years ago.
There will be no impact on wildlife
They hope to finish by Thanksgiving.
Path will be closed in one spot each day during work, but a temporary wood chip detour is in place. The detour will be removed every evening.
The water level in the pond will lower during excavation and will need some time to refill.
Don’t talk to the contractors!
Foote's Pond hydro-raking begins around October 5
HAND DELIVERED September 17, 2020
To: Residents and Property Owners on James Street, Erskine Drive, Maxwell Court, and Ogden Place
T.R. Weniger, Inc. has been awarded a contract to hydro-rake Foote’s Pond. Construction is anticipated to start on or about Monday October 5, 2020.
Completion is anticipated within 45 days. Hydro-raking is an NJDEP-approved alternative to dredging, used to restore water surface area and water depth in a pond or lake. A mechanical hydro-rake, similar to a backhoe and mounted on a small barge or pontoon, is deployed into the pond. It rakes out and removes only vegetative matter, both live and decomposed, down to the original lake bottom. The hydro-raked material is deposited into a container on the shoreline to allow excess water to drain off back into the pond, then loaded into sealed containers and trucked away. The project will yield a substantial improvement to the ecology of Foote’s Pond.
There will be a Public Information Session held on site at Foote’s Pond Wood next to the fireplace on the James Street side of the park on Monday, September 28th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Municipal representatives will be present to provide more detailed information on the project and field questions.
What to expect during construction:
1. Work hours will be 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some Saturdays possible.
2. The work area and equipment access point will be along the James Street side of the park, to the right of the main park entrance across from Erskine Drive. A temporary stone access pad will be installed, and 10-20 truck trips per day between the street and water’s edge will occur at this location. James Street will remain open to traffic with minor disruptions only as trucks enter and leave the park. Traffic control will be provided as necessary.
3. Limits of land disturbance will be confined to Town property.
4. Limited tree trimming and removal at the shoreline access point will be performed by Town personnel prior to the start of work in order to provide sufficient room for hydro-rake access.
5. Active work areas will be cordoned off and not accessible while work is ongoing.
6. Contractor will be using motorized equipment and manpower to complete the required work and will generate some noise typical to municipal construction work
7. Hydro-raked material will generate an earthy-type odor while exposed to the air, however the material will be efficiently trucked off site to the Lake Road Recycling Center and never left overnight or over a weekend or holiday.
8. The pond water surface level may lower slightly during the work, but will quickly return to normal
9. The work presents little to no threat to aquatic creatures as the pond will not be drained, and aquatic life will retreat to another area of the pond while a particular area is being hydro-raked. Contractor’s personnel have been trained and directed to be vigilant for displaced aquatic life and return such to the water immediately upon discovery.
10. Contractor will remove the temporary stone access pad and restore all disturbed areas to preexisting conditions upon project completion.
11. The Morristown Engineering Division will inspect the project and will be available to help you with any special concerns. Maser Consulting will be technical support to the Engineering Division.
12. Any and all inquiries, comments, or concerns regarding the project should be sent directly to the Engineering Division at the number above, or to:
MEADOW WEBINAR FROM THE NJ HIGHLANDS COALITION
Jared Roesenbaum runs Wild Ridge Plants (https://wildridgeplants.com/) with his wife, Rachel Mackow. See his video on creating meadows. To skip past the introductions, you can forward to Jared's intro at 2 minutes 50 seconds in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbyrdE_35Lk
MEADOW WEBINAR FROM THE NJ HIGHLANDS COALITION
September 16, 7 pm.
This talk goes over various landscape uses for native plants ranging from meadow patches to formal gardens. It focuses on selection of native plants based on their functions (e.g., screening, foundation plantings, plants for shade, etc.), emphasizing the value these plants provide to birds, bees and butterflies — contributing to increasing the health of our natural world. The talk also covers how to select deer resistant plants and develop creative ways to protect any native plant from marauding deer.
July 7, 2020
Master Gardener, Ilona Ontscherenki will speak about the ten most common invasive plants found in Morris County and various methods to use to remove them, as well as suggestions and descriptions of native plants that can be substituted for them. Learn how to protect your landscape from these invasive plants and what you can do to help protect the environment and native habitat for wildlife.
Registration for this program is FREE at:
MAKE YOUR BACKYARD A HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE
June 9, 2019
This presentation from University of Delaware's Doug Tallamy entitled Nature's Best Hope, how to save the planet by making your back yard a haven for wildlife.
June 9, 2019
Birds love Foote's Pond and the park as much as people do. See the 87 species of bird identified in the park just this year at eBird.