This cluster of leaves comes from a Water Oak, an unusual tree to find in our region. How did we learn that this rare species is in White Oak Park? We partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on a study of the park's ecology. This assessment identifies various tree and plant species, the location of nuisance invasives and provides a snapshot of the region's history that impacts the park today, among many other important details.
The assessments also make recommendations on improvements to the natural condition of the parks, such as adding meadows and planting trees and protecting areas with rare species like spring ephemerals from deer.
We have also completed a similar study of Round Hill Park, our region's unique demonstration farm. Both assessments were completed with funding provided by the Benedum Foundation. We have now completed a total of six assessments of our nine-park system. We are awaiting funding to complete assessments in North, Harrison Hills and Deer Lakes Parks.