Just a mile south of Trailside lies Iona Marsh, a rich tidal habitat for Hudson River fish, birds, and other wildlife. Although protected as part of Bear Mountain State Park, Iona Marsh is threatened today by Common Reed (Phragmites australis), an invasive plant from Europe and Asia. Common reed has gradually spread throughout the marsh, displacing the native cattails and rendering the habitat less suitable to marsh nesting birds and other wildlife.
In 2008, Trailside partnered with the Highlands Environmental Research Institute (HEnRI) to restore ten acres of marsh habitat. Funded under a three-year grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the project calls for removing the reed to make way for the return of native plants. After two years of management, the results look promising. Only a small fraction of the reed remains in the project area and native plants have begun to populate the site. Stay tuned here for updates.