Exciting Day at Parade Grounds!


Doug Tallamy, entomologist, points out large polyphemus caterpillar hidden in oak tree in Demonstration Garden. He had seen a tiny caterpillar egg in this tree weeks ago and, against all odds, found the full-grown caterpillar in the same tree Aug. 11 at the beginning of “Conservation on Parade”.

“So creative!” “So well done!” “What a wonderful afternoon!” These were just a few of the comments heard as people left FIConservancy’s first-ever “Conservation on Parade” Sat. Aug. 11 at the Parade Grounds.

Overcast skies cooled the summer heat and humidity that had previously clung to Fishers Island, and predicted rain never materialized. Sixty families, comprising some 200 parents, grandparents, young children and teenagers, responded to FIConservancy’s invitation to visit the Parade Grounds’ restored grassland.

Small, bright white tents popped up amidst the Demonstration Garden and meadow, each one with a different theme: birds; bugs, live animals, face painting; marine debris education. Free ice cream from an ice-cream truck was a popular attraction for visitors.

FIConservancy has spent the past 10 years transforming 175 acres of tangled invasive plant growth in the Parade Grounds, and around the airport and South Beach, into a native garden and meadows. Island residents and visitors don’t usually stop to walk the paths and listen to singing birds and buzzing native insects.

Now that so many have seen the ease of enjoying the Parade Grounds, FIConservancy is confident that the community will understand that it takes work, but together we can achieve success in protecting and maintaining the natural resources of Fishers Island.

In the pictures below, follow the preferred route of visitors to “Conservation on Parade”. Viewing from left to right, start at the Demonstration Garden, walk the meadow path to the Bugs/Live Animals/Face Painting Tent, continue to Marine Debris Tent and finish at the Bird Tent.