Post Hurricane Sandy, Lewis Woodlands, that well-hidden park in the Village of Warwick, looked “like some steroid version of pick-up sticks,” as a Dirt writer put it. “What was once a genteel estate garden with a gentle carriage path, now seems a derelict woodlot.”
Two years later, the 15 acres have re-emerged as a living classroom in woodlands lifecycle and regeneration, and a model for how multiple players can work together to accomplish something that none could have done on their own. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, a local tree company, a local sawmill, the mayor, the Village Department of Public Works, Sustainable Warwick, the Lewis family, the Warwick Valley Gardeners and Future Farmers of America high schoolers have formed a coalition that spans the private sector and public, federal government and local, old and young.
The woodlands are back open and there are new ideas in the works. The downed wood will go toward making a bridge within the woodlands, and a massive tree stump will become a historical marker. Ashley Smith
Thanks to communal dedication, it seems that this hidden forest will be surfacing to the public eye. We’re wondering just how much longer it’ll be one of Warwick’s best kept secrets.