ONC Nature Center 2016

From March – August 2016, I was the educational coordinator and head horticulturalist for the O’Hara Nature Center (ONC) in Irvington, New York. The scope of my work involved overseeing and maintaining 10-acres of land, developing new gardens, rejuvenating old gardens, implementing organic pest and weed management systems, as well as conducting instructional lessons for district schools, visitors, part-time summer workers, and volunteers. Through this work I was able to develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for how short and long term strategies for the grounds, gardens, and educational activities would best serve the community, schools, and visitors.

O'Hara Nature Center Overview
Over the course of my work at the O’Hara Nature Center I carried out the following activities: teaching workshops in grafting, plant propagation, organic pest and weed management, as well as tree pruning. I also coordinated and directed plantings, designs, and development of gardens, as well as worked to rejuvenate the grounds and older gardens that had been neglected in previous years. These projects were done in conjunction with many wonderful people and organizations such as: the Irvington Eagle Scouts, the Woods Committee, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Department of Public Works. and the Irvington School District.
Developing the ONC Upper And Lower Rain Gardens
From March through July of 2016, I coordinated efforts toward the excavation, maintenance, design, and plantings of both rain gardens at the O’Hara Nature Center. The work above documents the gardens development when I took over as coordinator of the ONC and the work I did in conjunction with the Irvington Parks and Recreation, Village Trustees, and the Department of Public Works.
Developing Grounds and Demonstration Gardens
Prior to my hire, the grounds and gardens of the O’Hara Nature Center had not been properly maintained for approximately a two-year period. My role was to restore the gardens and the plants back to health, along with training summer workers, interns, volunteers, and the Irvington Parks and Recreation Staff. This involved best management practices for maintaining the health, look, and productivity of the gardens and the native plantings. Above are a few photos that document some of the gardens and grounds from when I first took over the position in March 2016 until my job completion in August 2016.

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