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Education Pavilion and Native Garden













This handsome pavilion is the first major project at Rhinoceros Creek Reservation. It is the heart of Somers' newest green space – a place to meet, to gather for educational programs, to read, draw or paint, to dream, listen to the orioles sing, catch the beaver swimming by and let the stress of your day fade away.

Like all projects, the pavilion and its native garden patio has a behind-the-scenes story. Our story begins on a snowy day in December, 2017, when Gail and Jan wrote a grant application. Spring brought the exciting news that we had won the NYS grant administered through the Land Trust Alliance. We wasted no time in ordering the pavilion and rounding up our dedicated volunteers to start the project.

A&V Home Improvements laid the foundation then after the pavilion was finished, they returned to grade the surroundings, add an array of boulders, and lay a bluestone patio.

The following spring, volunteers gathered to plant native species of trees, shrubs and perennials.  Not only do the plantings offer beauty to the human gaze, but importantly, they provide pollen to native species that are under duress. 

 Highlights of the project are below.


The Green Loop Trail

Are you adventurous, with good boots and a sturdy hiking stick? Then clamber up the slope at the start of this trail to reach the upland half of this beautiful mile-long loop – a rough gem in the making. A diversity of habitat and views at the top make it worth the effort.

In rainy weather, water may seep down the slope from Heritage Hills, making the side hill-traversing parts of the upper trail muddy. The lower section along Rt. 202 wends its way through a maze of wetlands. Scouts are adding bridging, planking, stairs and other features to make it passable any time of year.

The trailhead is  at the point where the entrance drive turns sharply left. A small sign stands at the start. Green paint blazes mark the way. Download a detailed trail map here.

Jones - RCR Pavilion gravel Bob.jpg
Jones - RCR Pavilion Gail lugs.jpg
Pavilion at Rhinoceros Creek
Pavilion at Rhinoceros Creek
Pavilion at Rhinoceros Creek
Pavilion at Rhinoceros Creek
Pavilion at Rhinoceros Creek
Flagstone patio construction

Thanks to the following for their contributions to the pavilion project!

Most grants require matches of time and money. Your generous donations and volunteer hours help us meet our grant match.

Volunteers who gave their time and muscle to build the pavilion include:  Jan Antonucci, Michael Barnhart, John Engel & John Engel Jr., Donald Gambino, George Gatta, David George, Barry & Michael Graziano, Doug Lee, Geoff Line, Mike Lubchenko, Ron Miller, Rick Morrissey, Tom Newman, Frank Petruzzi, Gail & Dan Simpson, Rosey Van Wart, Lorin Woolfe.

Are we missing someone?  Please let us know Photographs courtesy of Jan Antonucci, Donald Gambino, Lauretta Jones, Dan Simpson, and Gail Simpson.

Jan & Bob Antonucci

A & V Home Improvements

Deborah Behler

Wayne & Karen Eadie

George Gatta &                             Elizabeth Simpson

Ed Hicks/Orienteering               Unlimited, Inc.

Heritage Hills Hikers

The Jantos Family

The Louras Family

Claire L. McLean

Eric Morrissey

Mattie Perelman

The Peters Family

The Russ Family

Gail & Dan Simpson

Jane Smalley

Somers Democratic Town         Committee

Somers Lions Club

Somers Women's Club

Michael Summo

Angela Velardo

The Whipple Family

Lorin Woolfe

Ruth M. Woolfe in honor of

    Lorin Woolfe

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