|All photos from Seneca Meadows|
In 2007, Seneca Meadows found it necessary to expand operations into existing wetlands at their treatment facilities just northeast of Waterloo, NY. Of course, the US Federal Government requires that when a company or organization destroys a natural watershed (wetlands or streams), the organization must "mitigate" the loss of natural resources, either through monetary compensation, or the creation of new natural watershed areas. The industry standard for this mitigation is 3:1 (three acres created for every one acre destroyed).
Seneca Meadows went way above and beyond what is required by the industry, sponsoring a total of over 1100 acres of both preserved and created wetland area as a home for countless birds, amphibians, and other animals - more than an 8:1 ratio of what they had taken! Of course, this fits right into our state's philosophy of eco-friendliness and preservation.
This was no small task! Existing wetland areas needed upgrades
and improvements to provide the best diversity of plant life and animal species in the form of additional plants added to the existing acreage. New wetland areas were a whole other beast, as six specific ecosystem types are needed to support a healthy overall wetland area. Each type has its own plant, sunlight, landscape, soil, and moisture requirements. And any invasive plants had to be cleared from the acreage to assure a healthy ecosystem. This means that the land had to be re-shaped for each ecosystem, methods for natural water aeration and cleansing had to be added, over 10,000 trees and shrubs were planted, and more than 450 acres of wetland and prairie were seeded. Upkeep of the area continues to this day, thanks to the National Audubon Society.
What does this mean to our visitors?
- Seven miles of hiking trails, open all year
- A Nature Center that offers information and education
- A large number of bird species for discovery, including the threatened and rare Least Bittern
- Animal habitats that you may not see in a non-wetland environment
- Gorgeous vistas, no matter what the season
Upstate New York is arguably one of the best places for outdoor activities and appreciation in the country. Yes, we have lakes. Yes, we have waterfalls in our many area parks. And yes, we have wetlands and savannah at the Seneca Meadows Wetlands Preserve! Whether you're a bird-watcher, animal-lover, or just appreciate natural surroundings, consider a visit during your bed and breakfast stay!