This state park, formerly part of the Rockefeller Estate, together with
privately owned adjacent lands, forms one of the largest undeveloped
tracts of land in Westchester County. The site is located in the drainage
basin of the Pocantico River and includes rolling hills and tributaries.
Habitats include woodlands (mixed deciduous and hemlock), fields
(some cut every year), wooded and shrubby wetland, wet meadow, and
a 24-acre lake.
The mix of habitats supports a diversity of species. At-risk species
breeding here include the Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler
(two or three singing males), Worm-eating Warbler, and Kentucky
Warbler (one singing male). Surveys of a limited area of the park have
documented three to eight singing male American Redstarts.
Deer browsing and cowbird parasitism are thought to be significant
threats to the habitat and to reproductive success of the birds. A
research project has been proposed to study the effects of deer browsing
on the understory. Adjacent lands will be added to the preserve as they
become available. An additional 288 acres on Buttermilk Hill was
recently added to the preserve.