This page (http://nynjctbotany.org/whudson/nyelks.html) was kindly made available by Dr. Patrick Cooney of NY-NJ-CT Botany Online http://www.nynjctbotany.org/

ELKS-BROX MEMORIAL PARK
Port Jervis, Orange County, NY


Directions:

From Hastings-on-Hudson, take Saw Mill River Parkway north to US 87 over the Tappan Zee Bridge.  At about 39 miles pick up Route 17 (heads northwest).  Just before the town of  Middletown, pick up US 84 to Port Jervis (heads south west).  Get off at Exit 1.  Turn left and keep heading straight on this road.  (If you need an immediate break, the fast food restaurants are a left turn at the first light.)  From the bridge over the Neversink River, head straight through Port Jervis as if you were going to go to Hawk's Nest Drive.  Just before climbing a hill, there is a sign that says the left fork is for Fort Decker and the Delaware River Heritage Trail, while the road that climbs goes to the Elks-Brox Memorial Park.  The park is on the right side of the road, 2.2 miles from the Neversink River Bridge.  

Point Peter and Mount William - Entrance on Route 97 westbound side of road


Geology:

If you are on US 84, make sure to stop at the overlook.  You are actually on a road cut over the Shawangunk Mountains. You are looking over the Port Jervis trough, extending 100 miles from Kingston, New York to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  The Delaware and Neversink Rivers flow southeast and when they hit the trough, they quickly make a right turn heading southwest.  The town of Port Jervis is situated in the trough  along the Delaware River as it makes it bend southwest.  You can see the Appalachian Plateau beginning at Port Jervis.  The flagpole at the Elks-Brox Memorial Park is visible (much clearer, of course, with binoculars).  Look for the large mountain located right in Port Jervis.  

From the overlook at the Elks-Brox Memorial Park, you can look back at the roadcut over the Shawangunk Mountains. Looking south of the roadcut, the monument atop High Point Park in the Kittatinny Mountains is visible.  The Kittatinny Mountains are just a continuation of the Shawangunk ridge  -- same ridge, different state, different name.  The Neversink River is visible below in the town.  


History (source Port Jervis website):

As you proceed along West Main Street you pass beneath Point Peter and Mount William. They are on the edge of the large Appalachian Plateau that extends across the southern tier of New York State. Above, on the plateau, is the city-owned Elks-Brox Park with picnic areas, bathrooms and trails.

It was during the Gilded Age, from 1880-1920, that the entire nation began to yearn for open spaces that were fast disappearing as the west was being settled. It was during this time that the National Park system and Forest Reserves were being created by the U.S. Congress and the Catskill and Adirondack preserves were being created by New York State. Port Jervis has long associated itself with the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains. Its proximity to the forested wild areas was cause for great self promotion. In one brochure, it was called the "Scenic Queen of the Shawangunk Range."

It was also during the Gilded Age that the largest park in the city was developed, the Elks-Charles Brox Memorial Park, located on what was then called the Twin Mountain Tract, or Point Peter and Mount William. As early as 1911, local citizens became concerned with the future of the property that overlooked the city and had an important view of the Shawangunk and Kittatinny mountains, along with the Delaware and Neversink river valleys. At that time, the owner, Almira St. John Mills had just died, and the property was about to be disposed of by her estate.

Port Jervis residents turned down a proposal to buy it, by a vote of 191-123, but immediately after the vote, Port Jervis Lodge No. 645 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks began discussions to purchase the property. In 1914, the Elks, seeing the possibilities of the development of the area as a public park, raised the necessary funds to purchase the tract under the leadership of the Rev. William J. Donohue, then pastor of the Most Sacred Heart Church. The property was named Elks Park.

In the years that followed, Skyline Drive, a four-mile road that ran along the crest of the two mountains, was built and other improvements to the park were made. In 1932, Sarah Belle Thorne made a substantial donation in memory of her brother-in-law, Charles Brox, and the property was conveyed from the Elks to the city and became known as the Elks-Brox Memorial Park. In later years, part of it was used as a Girl Scout Camp and as late as the 1980s, a public campground. In 1996 the park was reopened and new picnic areas, trails, and bathrooms were constructed. Of all city's parks, none is as beautiful or serves as such a focal point of interest as the Elks-Brox Park with its panoramic vistas of the Neversink Valley.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney



Trees:
Acer negundo (ash-leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Catalpa speciosa (northern catalpa)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Pinus banksiana (jack pine) on 10/03/02 many of them dead or dying
Pinus resinosa (red pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) 5/23/98
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaultheria procumbens (teaberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) 5/23/98
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 5/23/98
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Lonicera sp. (rough on top -- smooth on bottom of leaf) 5/23/98
Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 5/23/98
Rosa sp. (w/ narrow winged victory stipule)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry) 5/23/98
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 5/23/98
Sambucus rubra (red elderberry) in fruit
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry) 5/23/98
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry) 5/23/98
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 5/23/98
Viburnum rafinesquianum (downy arrowwood viburnum) 5/23/98

Vines:
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/23/98
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/10/99
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine) 5/23/98
Apocynum sibiricum? (clasping dogbane?)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arabis glabra (tower mustard) 5/23/98
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) 10/03/02
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 10/03/02
Aster linariifolius (stiff aster) 10/03/02
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster) 10/03/02
Aster spp. (asters) 10/03/02
Aureolaria flava (smooth false foxglove) 8/10/99
Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo)
Bidens frondosa (devil's beggar ticks) 10/03/02
Bidens vulgata (tall beggar ticks)
Campanula rotundifolia (harebell bellflower) 10/03/02
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 5/23/98
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Comandra umbellata (bastard toadflax) 5/23/98
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 10/03/02
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Desmodium rotundifolium (round-leaved tick trefoil)
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane) 5/23/98
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed) 8/10/99
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) 8/10/99
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 10/03/02
Eupatorium sessilifolium (upland boneset) 10/03/02
Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 8/10/99
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/23/98
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) 10/03/02
Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaved sunflower) 8/10/99
Hieracium caespitosum (yellow king devil hawkweed) 5/23/98
Hieracium piloselloides (glaucous king devil hawkweed)
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)
Hypericum gentianoides (orange grass) 10/03/02
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass) 5/23/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lechea sp. (pinweed)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bushclover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 8/10/99
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/10/99
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 5/23/98 10/03/02
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Mentha pulegium (penny royal)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 10/03/02
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 5/23/98 8/10/99 10/03/02
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 5/23/98
Plantago major (common plantain)
Plantago virginica (Virginia plantain) 5/23/98
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 10/03/02
Polygonum pensylvanicum (Pennsylvania smartweed) 10/03/02
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-head tearthumb)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed) 8/10/99
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
Potentilla recta (silvery cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum muticum (short-toothed mountain mint)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) 10/03/02
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel dock)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (soapwort) 8/10/99
Sisymbrium altissimum (tumble mustard) 5/23/98
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) 10/03/02
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 10/03/02
Solidago canadensis var. altissima (tall goldenrod) 10/03/02
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod) 10/03/02
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/23/98
Tephrosia virginiana (goat's rue)
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 5/23/98 8/10/99 10/03/02
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 8/10/99 10/03/02
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) 5/23/98
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 5/23/98

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex comosa (sedge)
Carex crinita (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Cyperus sp. (esculentus or strigosus? (Nut or umbrella sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy chess brome grass) 5/23/98
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phleum pratense (reed canary grass)
Poa annua (annual blue grass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky blue grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian nut grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

Others:
Polytrichum sp. (haircap moss)
reindeer lichen