Thanks to a grant from the Jerome Levy Foundation, WLT launched this project in 2015 at the 370-acre Leon Levy Preserve located on Routes 35 at 123 in South Salem. The Town of Lewisboro owns the Preserve while WLT holds the conservation easement which ensures its permanent preservation. The goal of this multi-phase project is to restore the native flora by removing invasive plant species that have taken a foothold.
Native ecosystems provide better air purification, water retention, erosion control, and climate regulation than ecosystems where invasive species have taken over. Additionally, local wildlife is better adapted to and thrive off of native plant species. This project will encourage biodiversity through the regeneration of native plant species, which in turn will welcome more butterflies, flowers and birds to the habitat, creating a more enjoyable experience for visitors to the Preserve.
During this first phase of the project, invasive plants such as Japanese Barberry, Burning Bush, Tree of Heaven, and Norway Maples will be removed from a 4-acre area around the main entrance, White Trail and Black Mansion area. These invasive species are shading indigenous tree saplings and smaller shrubs preventing them from growing. During future phases of this project, native species will be reintroduced and young seedlings and saplings will be protected from deer browse by netting, tubing and wire caging, ensuring that nature encourages the right native plants to grow in just the right areas.