Reinstein Woods to be dedicated in Old-Growth Forest Network
On the morning of Friday, Sept. 11, the Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve will be dedicated as the 49th forest in the Old-Growth Forest Network.
“The Old-Growth Forest Network connects people with nature by creating a national network of protected, publicly accessible forests,” said a release from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Dr. Joan Maloof, founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will be on hand to present a dedication sign and a certificate to Meaghan Boice-Green, center director.
Following the dedication ceremony, participants will walk through the preserve to view the Champion Beech Tree, which is the largest American Beech tree in New York State, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Reinstein Woods will be the first forest in Erie County to join the ranks of the network, with the next-closest dedicated areas being DeVeaux Woods State Park in Niagara County and Zoar Valley Unique Area in Cattaraugus County.
“When we look at a forest, very little appears to change from year to year, but change is happening slowly. Forests, like humans, can be classified as young, mature or old. Because of past disturbances old forests are the rarest,” reads the network’s website. “Sometimes the disturbance has come in the form of a tornado, an insect, or an intense fire; but most often the disturbance has been from logging. As a result only a few percent of the western forests are old-growth, and only a few tenths of a percent of the eastern forests are old-growth.”
Among the aims of the network is the mission to make forests accessible to younger generations now and in the future by having a minimum of one forest in each county where they naturally grow, left wild forever. According to the network’s website, of the 3,140 counties which span across the country, it is estimated that 2,370 of them will naturally support a forest.
The dedication ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew.
Refreshments will be served at the event and local officials, Michael Gettings, president of Friends of Reinstein Woods, volunteers and partner organizations are expected to attend the event.