The Iroquois Museum ~ Nature Park

photo: courtesy of the Iroquois Museum Website
excerpts from the Iroquois Museum Website:

The Iroquois Museum Nature Park has a Stream and a River, Shagbark hickory stands, Fields of wildflowers, deer, raccoon, occasional beaver, woodchucks, squirrels, birds. All nature as kin -- alive, possible medicines, a realm of the spirit co-existing with humans.

This Nature Park of forty-five acres introduces you to the Iroquois view of nature -- Our Mother the Earth, our Elder Brother the Sun, our Grandfathers the Thunderers, our Three Sisters (Corn, Beans, and Squash), the earth as Turtle Island, the nine clan animals, the four beings who are the winds, our Grandmother Moon, Morning Star, the Seven Dancers, and the Little People who control the medicine and herbs given by the Creator. The Nature Park is literally an island that time forgot, but the living beings in the park are involved with a struggle to survive in the modern world. The Museum also tells that story.
The Park consists of fields and woods, with a feeder stream winding its way down to a creek, which flows along the entire southeast corner of the park. Sometime in the last century, a huge stone dam was built across the stream, but one of those "once in a century" storms took out the center of the dam, leaving mute but dramatic testimony to the power of the surrounding watershed. Today the stream is classified as a trout stream by DEC, but trout have yet to be discovered. Other fish, frogs, crayfish, green heron, kingfisher, and a rare visiting beaver have been noted.

Deer and racoon are plentiful, as though the site has become an island of safety for them. The woods has a strong group of shagbark hickory trees, with many venerable and stately hemlocks. A few dignified maples are engaged in their silent struggle against "Maple Decline", and the Park's many ash trees are trying desperately to survive what is called locally a "Die Off", caused by some mysterious virus. We believe acid rain is making survival difficult for all these trees.
There is particular interest in the Park’s ecology, of which some points of focus have been the bird population, the life in the stream, the watershed, the floriculture, wild flowers, and plants growing in the Park that have special uses for the Iroquois, particularly as medicines.
"These are our living kin, sharing with us a spiritual universe in which the common language is thankfulness."
The Iroquois Museum