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Natural Heritage

This forested parcel extends from the floodplain of Cayuga Lake up to the crest of the hill in Cayuga Heights. The west-facing site is open and dry, with exposed bedrock. It is bounded by two small ravines that are branches of Pleasant Grove Creek; the northern ravine is the deeper and moister of the two.

In the forest stand, red, white, black, and chestnut oaks are common, together with shagbark (Carya ovata), pignut (C.glabra), and bitternut (C.cordiformis) hickories. Also present are species such as red and sugar maples, basswood, white ash, black cherry, and hemlock, typical of more mesic sites. Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea) and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) are present in the understory. The ground cover is characterized by dwarf ericaceous shrubs, such as blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), mosses, and lichens. The diversity of goldenrod species is high and includes the locally rare elm-leaved goldenrod (Solidago ulmifolia).