Lime Hollow Nature Center
Peaceful Pond at Lime Hollow

Plants and Animals at Lime Hollow

Lime Hollow is featured in NYS's Watchable Wildlife Sites.

Lime Hollow Nature Center provides a wide array of environmental education and recreation opportunities. Unfortunately, one of the many challenges we face in our efforts to connect visitors with the natural world is the widespread transformation of local ecosystems due to the continual spread of non-native flora and fauna.

As green and open space succumb to development and sprawl, it becomes increasingly necessary to protect and revitalize our remaining natural areas. In our never-ending struggle to safeguard localized biodiversity and ecological integrity, we face a host of daily struggles.

HoneysuckleAmong the many challenges we face to this end, however, the most prominent threat to our environment is the spread of invasive and non-native species throughout our forests, fields, and wetlands. While the transformation of these ecosystems often goes unnoticed and unobstructed, the effects are detrimental when closely examined:

  • many non-native species can displace or hybridize with native varieties,
    reducing biodiversity and native wildlife habitat
  • reduction of forest and aquatic health and productivity
  • irrevocable harm to ecosystem processes and the degradation of recreation areas

Native organisms including plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, and insects create an intricate web of life. This is a wonderful natural orchestration, with each species’ life cycle highly dependent on the others.

Unfortunately, native plants, a vital part of the natural web of life, are being lost at an alarming rate. Removing any one native plant from the landscape will likely remove the insect that feeds on that plant, which in turn may eradicate the bird that feeds on that insect, ad infinitum.

The loss of a species can quickly escalate to affect an entire ecosystem. To paraphrase Paul Ehrlich, author of Native Plants: Relationship of Biodiversity to the Function of the Biosphere, removing native species from an ecosystem is like taking rivets out of an airplane wing; it is impossible to know which one will be the last one that was holding the whole thing together.