Saturday, August 12, Wave Hill, Bronx: Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

Toxomerus marginatus on NOID Asteraceae, Wave Hill, June 2021

Saturday, August 12, join me at Wave Hill in the Bronx. I’ll be leading two Native Pollinator Walks, part of their Bees, Butterflies, and Blooms weekend of events. My walks will step off at 11am and 1pm from the Perkins Visitor Center, where the gift shop is located.

I’ll be staffing their Pollination Station information table between walks.

For a list of all that weekend’s events, Saturday and Sunday, August 12th & 13th, see:

Wild Garden, Wave Hill

Native Pollinator Walks, Wave Hill, Sunday, June 27

Update, 2021-06-23: These walks are now FREE with your admission to Wave Hill! Pre-registration is no longer required, but space is limited. Register on-site, the day of the walks, at the Perkins Visitor Center.


I’m proud to announce that Sunday, June 27th, I will be leading two Native Pollinator Walks at Wave Hill in the Bronx. This is one of several events they have scheduled for their Native Pollinators Day, at the end of Pollinator Week.

Me hosting the NYCWW Pollinator Week Safari in my Front Yard, June 2014. Photo: Alan Riback

I’ll be doing two walks:

FREE with your admission admission to Wave Hill’s grounds.

Flowers attract the attention of both human and animal visitors. Honeybees, bumblebees, and butterflies are easily spotted in the garden but solitary bees, beetles, and other native pollinators are often overlooked. Learn about pollination and observe native pollinators busy at work in the garden with naturalist and gardener Chris KreusslingAges 10 and older welcome with an adult. Native Pollinators Day event.

Registration required, onsite on the day of the walk, at the Perkins Visitor Center. Space is limited. Questions? Please email us at or call 718.549.3200 x251.

Related Content

NYC Wildflower Week Pollinator Safari of my Gardens, 2014-06-21


Native Pollinators Day, Wave Hill

Rabies reminder from NYC DOH

Not to fan the annual flames of rabies hysteria we usually get in the Brooklyn blogosphere, but the New York City Department of Health, in response to recent identification of rabid animals in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, issued a press release today to remind New Yorkers to 1) avoid contact with wild animals, and 2) have your pets vaccinated for rabies. Note that NYC law requires rabies vaccinations of pets.

Six rabid animals — all raccoons — have been identified in New York City this year. Four were found in the Bronx, one in Manhattan (near Inwood Hill Park), and one in Queens (Long Island City). Raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animals in New York City. Rabid raccoons are a relatively common occurrence in Staten Island and the Bronx, but rare in Queens and Manhattan. Bats with rabies have also been found in all five boroughs.

People and unvaccinated animals can get rabies, most often through a bite from an infected animal. Infection leads to a severe brain disease that causes death unless the person is treated promptly after being bitten. To reduce the risk of rabies, New Yorkers should avoid all wild animals, as well as any animal that seems sick, disoriented or unusually placid or aggressive. Report such animals by calling 311. Animals that have attacked or may attack should be reported to 911.

The six reported animals lags far behind the 19 reports for 2008. In recent history, Staten Island has the highest incidence of rabies among wild animals, followed closely by the Bronx. Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn lag far behind. See Rabies in NYC: Facts and Figures for more info.

To protect yourself against rabies

  • Do not touch or feed wild animals, or stray dogs or cats.
  • Keep garbage in tightly sealed containers.
  • Stay away from any animal that is behaving aggressively or a wild animal that appears ill or is acting unusually friendly. Call 311 or your local precinct to report the animal.
  • If you find a bat indoors that may have had contact with someone, do not release it before calling 311 to determine whether it should be tested. For information on how to safely capture a bat, visit

To protect your pet against rabies

  • Make sure your dog or cat is up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.
  • Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended.
  • Do not try to separate animals that are fighting.
  • If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact your veterinarian, and report the incident to 311.
  • Feed pets indoors.

If you are bitten by an animal

  • Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and water.
  • Seek medical care from your health care provider.
  • If you know where the animal is, call 311 to have it captured.
  • If the animal is a pet, get the owner’s name, address and telephone number to give to the Health Department so they can ensure the animal is not rabid.
  • Call the Animal Bite Unit (212-676-2483) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or file a report online at
  • For information about medical follow-up, call 311 or your medical provider.


Related Content

Rabies in NYC: Facts and Figures, 2008-07-08
Meta: Rabies More Popular Than Sex, 2007-03-07
News: Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies in Manhattan, 2007-02-28


Press Release

Final NYC Compost Giveback

The Fresh Kills Composting Site in Staten Island
Compost Pickup, Fresh Kills Composting Site, Staten Island

The very last ever, until something changes, NYC Compost Giveback takes place this weekend in the Bronx, and in two weeks in Staten Island. Since there’s no funding in the budget for fall leaf pickup, there will be no more leaves, and no more givebacks, after this.


Saturday & Sunday, OCTOBER 4 & 5, 8am to 2pm (rain or shine)
Soundview DSNY Composting Site (at the end of Randall Ave. close to the Bruckner

Saturday & Sunday, OCTOBER 18 & 19, 8am to 2pm (rain or shine)
Fresh Kills DSNY Composting Site (off West Service Rd. near exit 7 of Rt. 440)

NYC residents and community groups from any borough can get unlimited amounts of
free compost at these events. This high-quality, natural soil enhancer is made out
of leaves that DSNY collected from City residents and institutions.

At the Compost Givebacks, NYC residents can also purchase discounted compost bins
for $20 (subsidized by DSNY-BWPRR) to make their own compost.

Related Posts



Fall 2008 Compost Givebacks and Bin Sales
Sanitation Announces Plan to Collect Fallen Leaves [as garbage, not for composting], Press release, Department of Sanitation, New York City, 2008-09-22
NYC Compost Project

Rabies in NYC: Facts and Figures

With all of the recent interest in raccoons and other wildlife, rabies is frequently raised as a concern. The New York City Department of Health has information on rabies on its Web site. Anyone concerned about the risk of exposure to rabies from interactions with wildlife in NYC should review the DOH information, which I’ll summarize here:

  • There have been no human cases of rabies in New York City for more than 50 years. In all of New York State, there have only been 14 cases since 1925.
  • Staten Island, with 29 rabid animals reported last year, and 35 in 2006, has a greater incidence of rabid animals than the rest of the city combined. The risk there is serious enough that DOH has issued a Rabies Alert [PDF, English/Español] for Staten Island.
  • The Bronx, with 14 reports last year and only 6 the year before, has less than half the incidence of Staten Island.
  • Brooklyn has had only 5 rabid animal reports in the past 15 years, and only 1 in the past 5.
  • Although city-wide, raccoons are the most frequently reported rabid animal, in Brooklyn no raccoons have been reported in the past 15 years.

So, although caution is always wise, there’s no need to fear these animals. Except for Staten Island, the risk of exposure is extremely low. Spending time outside in New York City, you’re more at risk from West Nile Virus than rabies.

What is rabies?


Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals (including humans) most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. The vast majority of rabies cases in the United States each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Animal rabies is reported annually in New York City and State, primarily in bats, skunks and raccoons. New York City first saw rabies in animals starting in 1992, and continues to every year, especially among animals in the Bronx.

In the United States, rabies rarely infects humans because of companion animal vaccination programs and the availability of human rabies vaccine. There have been no human cases of rabies in New York City for more than 50 years. New York State has reported 14 human cases since 1925.

Human rabies vaccine, if administered promptly and as recommended, can prevent infection after a person has been bitten or otherwise exposed to an animal with rabies. The human rabies vaccine is given in a series of five vaccinations along with one initial dose of rabies immune globulin (RIG). The one time dose of RIG and five vaccines administered over the course of one month is referred to as post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

What Can People Do To Protect Themselves Against Rabies?

(New York State Department of Health)

Don’t feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.

Be sure your dogs, cats and ferrets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. [Note: This is the law in New York City.] Vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and man. Protect them, and you may reduce your risk of exposure to rabies. Vaccines for dogs, cats and ferrets after three months of age are effective for a one-year period. Revaccinations are effective for up to three years. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors. Some new vaccines have now been licensed, and therefore, can be used for younger animals.

Don’t try to separate two fighting animals. Wear gloves if you handle your pet after a fight.

Keep family pets indoors at night. Don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. [And your compost bins containing food waste or scraps.] Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.

Bats can be particularly difficult to keep out of buildings because they can get through cracks as small as a pencil. Methods to keep bats out (batproofing) of homes and summer camps should be done during the fall and winter. If bats are already inside (e.g., in an attic or other areas), consult with your local health department about humane ways to remove them.

Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten by any animal. Tell children not to touch any animal they do not know.

If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control officer who will remove the animal for a fee.

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your local health department. Don’t let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies. Depending on the species, it can be observed or tested for rabies in order to avoid the need for rabies treatment. This includes bats with skin contact or found in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or someone with mental impairment. Bats have small, sharp teeth and in certain circumstances people can be bitten and not know it.


NYC Department of Health: Rabies (Hydrophobia)
New York State Department of Health: Rabies

No news is not good news: Courier-Life Publications Web sites displaced

Earlier this afternoon, Brooklyn Junction noticed that the Web site for Flatbush Life was down:

No one ever accused of being the most regularly updated website in the world. Coming from me, that doesn’t mean much these days. But gone? Say it ain’t so.

At first, the Flatbush Life Web site was responding with “404 – Not Found.” Shortly after, it was redirecting to an unfamiliar Web site: I contacted the Webmaster for and got this response: [is] redirecting to the newly-designed combines the newspapers of the Courier Life publications, Times Ledger publications, and Bronx Times/ Times Reporter.

The domain is owned by Courier-Life’s parent company, News Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. Within YourNabe, there are sections for different neighborhoods. For example, the new URL for Flatbush Life is

All Web sites for Courier-Life Publications‘ Brooklyn neighborhood newspapers are affected by this change:

  • Bay News
  • Bay Ridge Courier
  • Brooklyn Graphic
  • Canarsie Digest
  • Flatbush Life
  • Kings Courier
  • Park Slope Courier
  • Brooklyn Heights Courier
  • Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill Courier
  • Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Courier

Event, April 15, Bronx: Bartow-Pell’s Preservation of its Orangerie Doors

This is the first I’ve heard of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. I’m not generally one for musty old rooms. The Orangery looks lovely. And there are some formal gardens to sweeten the visit.

On Sunday, April 15th at 4pm, Curtis Barnhart and Nate Shellkopf will provide a hands-on presentation about the techniques used and the intricacies of restoring Bartow-Pell’s L’Orangerie doors. They will also discuss the importance of preserving historic structures in an age when older structures are often taken down and replaced by new building. The fee is $8/pp. Please call 718-885-1461 or email to make a reservation.

The Bartow-Pell home was built by Pell descendent, Robert Bartow, between 1836 and 1842. The property was annexed by the City of New York in the late 1880s and was then left in derelict condition. In 1914, the women of the International Garden Club saved and restored the site and opened the gates to the public as a museum in 1946.

During the years of 1915-1918, the firm Delano and Aldrich undertook the restoration of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and were credited with the creation of a new conservatory, otherwise known as L’Orangerie. After years of wear and tear; and witness to almost 100 years of history, the doors were in desperate need of repair. In the summer of 2006, the restoration and preservation of beautiful doors went underway. Curtis Barnhart of Barnhart Restoration and Nate Shellkopf of Southslope Woodworks were charged with the challenge of conserving the existing deteriorating wood, priming and painting of the word work. They also cleaned and conserved the door and transom hardware. At the end of the summer the team provided the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum with a beautifully repaired L’Orangerie.


Event, March 24: GreenThumb Conference

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 24, GreenThumb will hold its 23rd Annual GrowTogether Conference at Hostos Community College in the Bronx:

The theme this year is “Farming the Future.” …

The day will be jam-packed with over 45 workshops, many new this year, more hands on training and loads of opportunities to network and rub shoulders with all the greening groups represented in the tabling foyer. Offering lots of kids and teen programming, this conference promises to be fun for the whole family, and is an excellent educational resource for the city’s many teachers.

Participants are encouraged to sign up before the conference. Please fill out the form and mail the $3.00 registration fee to pre-register. Check-in will begin at 9:00am and a free continental breakfast is provided from 9:00 to 9:45am. All pre-registered participants will receive a lunch box and a t-shirt! Participants may also register on the day of the conference, but we will not guarantee a lunch box, and t-shirts will be $5.00 each.

Via Wendy Brawer at WorldChanging New York.