Rosemary H. Straight

Rosemary H. Straight Bird Sanctuary

Water passing through this preserve gets filtered before entering Cassadaga Lake’s middle basin just across from Dale Drive. This ensures that pollutants are removed and keeps the water quality in the Lakes high for all to enjoy. The sanctuary provides a haven for birds, and it provides birdwatchers with ample opportunity for spotting local bird species.

Size: 6 acres

Year Conserved by CWC: 2003

Conservation Values: The preserve’s floodplain wetlands allow floodwater from Cassadaga Creek to collect and slowly infiltrate, minimizing erosion and sedimentation downstream.  Trees protect and stabilize the bank of the creek. Water is filtered through riparian vegetation, improving water quality in the watershed.

Recreational Use: No formal trails have been installed at this site, it is quite wet with standing water and muck several feet deep. It is primarily used by botanists, birdwatchers, and other passive recreationists.

Location and Parking: Located on Dale Drive in Cassadaga. Only roadside parking is available, so please access this site respectfully and safely.

Features of Interest: This is an excellent site to watch birds and wildlife. The old buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) shrub thickets on site are unique in their own right, and support a variety of birds as they pass through the wetlands to the lakes.

Species of Interest:

Trees: quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata), black cherry (Prunus serotina)

Shrubs: witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Wildflowers: Canadian lily of the valley (Maianthemum canadense), Jack in the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), goldthread (Coptis trifolia), skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)