News Flash- The Blue Herons have returned to their nesting site at the Morristown Red Barn Preserve. The Rookery has over 60 active nests and has been home to the birds for many years. Hikers and bird watchers can observe the birds along the blue heron hiking trail established last year at the Preserve. The trail is located one quarter mile from the entrance to the farm to the boardwalk viewing area. Visitors should bring warm hiking clothes and binoculars. The nests are about 500 feet from the trail at the end of the large pond.
Last month’s article about the Red Barn Preserve written by Patty Mondore and published in the Thousand Islands Life Online magazine has generated a lot of “buzz” in the community. The article outlines the history of the Preserve and the legacy of Alan and Loraine Bogardus. If you did not get an opportunity to view this please paste the link below into your browser:
The Board of Directors of the Gateway Museum met recently to discuss some of the plans that are in the works for this summer. Much of this discussion centered around the work at the Preserve. Listed below is a partial list of plans for this year:
- Construct a second hiking trail. The Town of Morristown has agreed to have the Highway Department help with the building of a new 300 foot long boardwalk across marshy areas along Pond #1. We are also planning to build a viewing stand along Pond #3 that will enable visitors to have better views of the Blue Heron nesting site as well as wildlife in the ponds. The new trail will be at least ½ mile long and intersect the existing Blue Heron hiking trail that was built last year. The new trail will be opened by Memorial Day
- Complete Renovation work for the Red Barn area of the Preserve. We expect to repair the North foundation wall, paint the roof with aluminum paint, replace some worn out siding on the south side of the barn, and replace the stone wall fence along River Road East. The success of these projects depends upon receiving grant money.
- Complete major renovation work in the farm house. We are extremely proud of this house that was built in 1835. Generous donations have been collected to enable our team to replace windows, bathrooms, flooring, ceilings, water heater, and kitchen appliances. We hope to have this renovation substantially complete by Labor Day.
For a complete list of the Gateway Museum’s 2019 activities please look at the home page of this website and the tab entitled “2019 Events”.
Our garden at the Preserve is going to look a lot different this year. We have obtained seeds for growing Atlantic Giant pumpkins and will attempt to grow a 500 pound pumpkin. Giant pumpkins are regularly grown to 2,000 pounds or more each year. We thought we would be modest and strive to create a 500 pound beast. The seed stock we obtained says the female pumpkin named “Sproule” was 1,650.8 pounds and the male pumpkin- “Kline” was 1303 pounds. The secret to this project is chicken poop. I intend to provide lots of updates to this project as we get into the growing season.
The museum would like to thank all of you that have made donations over the last year to the museum. We have been very successful seeking donations through our patron letter and fund raising activities. What has surprised us a bit is that donations continue to flow to us in the off season. We are grateful to have such dedicated donors. Our long list of projects are easier to do when we have funding.
If you know anyone that would like to volunteer some of their time working at the Museum or Red Barn Preserve- please reach out to us by commenting on this website or call me on my cell phone (614-205-8437) Our volunteers have fun working on the many projects and events outlined above and would welcome new faces to the team.
Updated March 25, 2019