Part of the beauty of visiting AGM is the opportunity to immerse yourself in many different ecosystems and features that offer a wide range of experiences at AGM. Some highlights include:
- Meadows: A woodland meadow is maintained by mowing near the Emerson Garden Road entrance. This meadow supports wildlife, especially birds and plans, that require a meadow ecosystem. Extended views of a large wetland meadow are available from the extension of the C trail.
- Boardwalks: Plants and wildlife and great views are abundant from the Lily Pond Boardwalk and the Finger Marsh boardwalk. [add photos]
- Infinity Pond/Vernal Pools— a certified vernal pool [wanted to insert infinity pond pic here, have a november one when dry, see below, doesn’t look right]. Two vernal pools, including “Infinity Pond” which is certified, can be found on the north side. In these communities, 251 species of plants have been identified, including some that are uncommon. These pools are wet in the spring and dry up during the summer.
- Woods: The upland communities include grasslands, successional mixed deciduous forest, oak forest, and a mosaic of black oak, pitch pine, and scrub oak. A glade of multiple-trunked gray birch trees line part of the CD trail [fact check]. The pitch pines form a wooded area that is shady in all seasons, with fragrant needles on the trail. A notable willow [check accuracy] stands in the wetland near Finger Marsh Boardwalk. [need to specify type..add pictures.]
- The size of AGM, in conjunction with its diversity of plant communities and geologic features, support a good diversity of animal life considering its proximity to a large urban center.
- Mammals: Some of the most notable animal species found in AGM are coyote, red and grey fox, fisher, porcupine, mink and weasel. Deer as well have been observed on occasion although they are not abundant. Beaver activity: the path near Fottler Ave shows beavers are back in AGM. You need to look closely but this is not a log jam or made by humans. There is muck piled behind the sticks and the water level of
the stream behind the dam is about 1 foot higher than the main (Mill)
brook it’s feeding into. [Insert David’s beaver dam picture]
- Insects: Many butterflies and other insects thrive at AGM as well.
- Bee house [insert picture of bee house here, also want to indent this under insects] Students at the Waldorf School, abutting the bike path near AGM, built a resting house for native bees, not far from the bike path entrance.
- Reptiles and amphibians: 12 species of reptiles and amphibians have been identified.
- Birds: 56 species of breeding birds have been identified. [link to bird list] AGM is particularly noted for
- Woodcocks: The American Woodcock is a signature species of AGM. For many years people have been coming here in March to observe the dramatic mating displays. As the meadow succeeded into woodland, crucial habitat for this bird was disappearing. Maintaining its habitat was a key consideration in the meadow restoration project, and for maintaining a mowed meadow near the Emerson Gardens Road entrance.