WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester Land Trust has selected Yorktown resident Michael Kaminski and Kristen Gamboa as interns in the fields of landscape architecture and plant ecology.
Beginning in early June, Kaminski will create a land-use plan for WLT’s Sugar Hill Farm headquarters that targets the impacts of invasive plants and stormwater runoff by incorporating the patterns of natural areas to yield a vibrant landscape with depth and relevancy.
Kaminski will also design expanded parking for the Westchester Wilderness Walk/Zofnass Family Preserve in Pound Ridge, the Frederick P. Rose Preserve and the Rock Shelter Preserve in Lewisboro— measures that aim to enhance the visitor experience at these heavily frequented preserves.
Kaminski is from Yorktown Heights and is a graduate of Binghamton University, where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology. He also holds a master's in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Gamboa will execute a series of targeted plant surveys at select WLT preserves. These efforts will further inform land management decisions by producing information on the presence/absence of species of conservation concern and identify specific threats to these species and their habitats.
Gamboa will also inventory plants found within two new deer exclosures — an area of forest floor, surrounded by fencing, that keeps deer out — at the Westchester Wilderness Walk/Zofnass Family Preserve. Browsing by white-tailed deer has continually been the main factor inhibiting successful plant regeneration, and exclosures serve as dramatic practical illustrations of their effect.
Gamboa is from Craftsbury, Vt., and is studying ecology at Sterling College and looks forward to learning about the biophysical region of Westchester through the identification of native plant species and their unique habitats.