Wildflower Island

The two-acre Wildflower Island is a refuge within the greater Teatown preserve. This unique sanctuary is home to over 230 native and endangered species of wildflowers.

The Island’s flora is unusually diverse; the surrounding lake provides favorable light and moisture, as well as isolation from the disturbances of people and animals.

Wildflower Island is “managed” only to the extent that invasive alien plants are removed and certain native competitive species are not encouraged. We invite you to take a guided tour of Wildflower Island and enjoy the beauty of our natural heritage.

The creation of Wildflower Island occurred in 1924 when then property owner, Gerard Swope, Sr. dammed Bailey Brook to create Teatown Lake. Water soon separated this remnant of higher farmland from the mainland.  Since then, the island has remained in undisturbed isolation as Teatown Lake Reservation, the magnificent gift of the Swope heirs in 1962, grew up around it.  The island has experienced little invasion of alien species well-established on the mainland.
The Island garden was developed in 1982 by Warren Balgooyen (then Director of Education) and aided by Marjorie Swope. Wildflower Island was formally dedicated on May 15, 1983 to Louise Malsin, a longtime supporter of Teatown, who, until her death, was a member of the Board of Trustees. Jane Darby was the first curator and her work is continued today by Leah Kennell.