West Rock Ridge State Park is one of the most botanically interesting areas in Connecticut. It is noteworthy for containing a high concentration of species that are rare in the state and for possessing several rare to uncommon assemblages of vegetation. Despite its botanical importance, no systematic inventory of the plants occurring the park has been conducted and most herbarium records from the Park are over one hundred years old.
A collaborative inventory
To document what currently occurs in West Rock Ridge State Park and environs, the Peabody Museum Division of Botany is conducting a multi-year vouchered plant inventory of the area. As part of this effort, the Yale University Herbarium has partnered with Common Ground School to enlist students to assist in the inventory of the Park. The variety of habitats and botanical diversity of the park make it an ideal outdoor classroom setting where area students can study natural history and ecology related topics. The students have the ability to participate in the inventory in a variety of ways, including collecting GPS tagged digital images of plants that they encounter and by participating in inquiry driven lessons that tie into their curriculum.
How can you help?
Through this website authorized users can upload images of specimens for review and identification by herbarium staff. Once approved and identified, the images are available for viewing by the general public via the View Plants page. The general public is invited to participate in the inventory by submitting images of plants found in the park. Visit the Register page to sign up and begin participating!