Thompson Pond

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Thompson Pond
Thompson Pond view from northeast.jpg
Thompson Pond in summer
Location Pine Plains, New York
Coordinates 41°57′40″N73°40′43″W / 41.961118°N 73.678737°W / 41.961118; -73.678737 Coordinates: 41°57′40″N73°40′43″W / 41.961118°N 73.678737°W / 41.961118; -73.678737
Type kettle pond
Primary outflows Wappinger Creek
Basin  countriesUnited States
Surface area75 acres (30 ha)
DesignatedMay 1973

Thompson Pond in Pine Plains, New York is a 75-acre (30 ha) 15,000-year-old glacial kettle pond at the foot of 1,403-foot (428 m)Stissing Mountain. It is the source of Wappinger Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River that drains much of Dutchess County.

Wappinger Creek river in the United States of America

Wappinger Creek is a 41.7-mile-long (67.1 km) creek which runs from Thompson Pond to the Hudson River at New Hamburg in Dutchess County, New York, United States. It is the longest creek in Dutchess County, with the largest watershed in the county.

Tributary stream or river that flows into a main stem river or lake

A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

Hudson River river in New York State

The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and Jersey City. It eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York at its southern end. Further north, it marks local boundaries between several New York counties. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson Fjord, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson's flow from as far north as the city of Troy.

Contents

The pond and mountain are part of a 507-acre (205 ha) nature preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy. [1] The pond was designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973 [2] for its calcareous bog, [3] unlike the more common acidic bogs in the Northeast. [4]

The Nature Conservancy Organization

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a charitable environmental organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, United States.

National Natural Landmark national natural areas program in the United States

The National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only national natural areas program that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in both public and private ownership. The program was established on May 18, 1962, by United States Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

Calcareous An adjective meaning mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate

Calcareous is an adjective meaning "mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate", in other words, containing lime or being chalky. The term is used in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.

History

Thompson Pond and two other nearby bodies of water, Stissing Lake, and Twin Island Lake, were all originally connected, but separated over time.

The pond is supposedly named for Amos Thompson who settled in the area around 1746. [5]

Thompson pond and Stissing Mountain were the inspiration for the New York State Environment displays in the Warburg Memorial Hall at the American Museum of Natural History built in 1951. [5] [6]

American Museum of Natural History Natural history museum in New York City

The American Museum of Natural History, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, is the largest natural history museum in the world. Located in Theodore Roosevelt Park across the street from Central Park, the museum complex comprises 28 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. The museum collections contain over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time, and occupies more than 2 million square feet (190,000 m2). The museum has a full-time scientific staff of 225, sponsors over 120 special field expeditions each year, and averages about five million visits annually.

In 1958 the Executive Secretary of the Conservancy, Elting Arnold, convinced Briarcliff Farms to sell the land to the Conservancy for $20,000 which was raised from public donations.

Briarcliff Farms Former farm in New York

Briarcliff Farms was a farm established in 1890 by Walter William Law in Briarcliff Manor, a village in Westchester County, New York. One of several enterprises established by Law at the turn of the 20th century, the farm was known for its milk, butter, and cream and also produced other dairy products, American Beauty roses, bottled water, and print media. At its height, the farm was one of the largest dairy operations in the Northeastern United States, operating about 8,000 acres (10 sq mi) with over 1,000 Jersey cattle. In 1907, the farm moved to Pine Plains in New York's Dutchess County, and it was purchased by New York banker Oakleigh Thorne in 1918, who developed it into an Angus cattle farm. After Thorne's death in 1948, the farm changed hands several times; in 1968 it became Stockbriar Farm, a beef feeding operation. Stockbriar sold the farmland to its current owners in 1979.

Visiting

Stissing Mountain from across Stissing Pond; a firetower is visible at the summit Stissing Mountain and pond.JPG
Stissing Mountain from across Stissing Pond; a firetower is visible at the summit

The preserve is open dawn to dusk, every day of the year for passive recreational and educational use. There are hiking trails around the pond and one that goes to the top of Stissing Mountain. There is a firetower at the summit that is open to the public. [7]

Plants and wildlife

There are more than 387 species of plants in the preserve including pipewort, round-leaved sundew, St. Johnswort and cattails. The surrounding woods include oak, sugar maple, ash, hemlock and hickory trees.

The preserve is part of the migratory flyway, over 162 bird species have been spotted here. There are also 27 types of mammals identified in the preserve.

See also

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Battle Creek Cypress Swamp protected area and United States National Natural Landmark in Calvert County, Maryland

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References

  1. Nature Conservancy site
  2. "National Natural Landmarks - National Natural Landmarks (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2019-04-15. Year designated: 1973
  3. Stissing House
  4. NYNJCT botany guide
  5. 1 2 Rootsweb essay
  6. AMNH description of New York State Environment
  7. http://stissingfiretower.org/