Ira Gershenhorn

Joined: Sep 29, 2016 Last Active: Sep 21, 2020

I'm a swim nut, oyster nerd and forager (I will likely try to eat much of what I observe that are plants and not mushrooms) also was obsessed with the Traveling Rings in Riverside Park at 105th til June 2018 when my shoulder stopped liking it.
Three times a week I do the early morning lap swim at Riverbank State Park. I travel there from my home on 104th and Riverside Drive by bicycle. On the way back I often stop at Fairway and stop along the Greenway and pickup a bag of trash. Between Sept 2016 and April 2019 I've picked up about 450 bags of trash along the Hudson River between 100th and 180th. Most of it has been between 100th and 124th.

In 2017 I swam in the Hudson almost every two weeks from July through September (twice at the Little Lighthouse Festival). In 2018 I was in the river more often though it was challenging in July and early August as it was so rainy. The water is generally clean now. Its historically bad reputation is stuck in people's minds. I am participating in citizen water sampling since 2015 and captured samples at 100th, 133rd, 145th and 172nd. In 2016. 90% of the samples indicated perfect beach conditions. From 2017 on I have sampled at 133rd, 145th and 172nd and not 100th. The samples were pretty poor in 2017 and not good in 2018 prior to mid August. This is the main water sampling page of the group with whom I am associated. http://www.nycwatertrail.org/water_quality.html

I have been a volunteer gardener associated with the Riverside Park Conservancy for almost 30 years. I maintain several areas in Riverside Park.

Last year 2018 and this year (2019) my project will be developing the West Harlem Piers section of the Hudson River. As part of my interest in waterfront plantings, I'm curious about what species are already growing on the waterfront.

In 2017,2018 I led Riverkeeper Sweeps / cleanups of the Little Red Lighthouse area and during the first sweep one of the participants pointed me to the north side of the GWB. There is an untouched area there that was fouled by much trash (much has been removed), a large salt marsh, and large stands of japanese knotweed. In 2017 I cleared the knotweed and planted beach plum, northern bayberry and rugosa rose. The former two are non-invasive natives and the latter is a non-invasive non-native. There is already much solidago sempervirens and butterfly weed there which I have encouraged.

I am working with an organization known as HarborLab which has a small plot on Newtown Creek where much common milkweed, american pokeweed and shadbush is grown.

I use a Lumix TZ-25 which does 16x zoom and tolerable macro but I need better. I leave it set on intelligent auto because it seems I can not do better manually.

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