Students at Cayuga Secondary School are continuing the partnership with Ruthven Park who have generously allowed us access to a nine acre parcel of forest. Our goal is to study this parcel in its entirety and to gain an understanding of the wonderful biodiversity that exists in our back yards. Students are currently working on activities such as photographing, identifying and categorizing species in the forest. Some students have begun to use GPS devices to map the forest. We are in the fourth year of our annual Garlic Mustard pull which is an effort to eradicate this invasive species from the forest and protect its natural flora. (See Garlic Mustard) We would like to thank everyone at Ruthven Park for their support and interest in our efforts.

Earth Day

Ruthven club members and Cayuga students have made Earth Day a particular point of emphasis in the forest. As we are identifying the natural flora and fauna we have come across some invasive species which threaten indigenous wildlife and plants. We are attempting to rid the forest of invaders such as Garlic Mustard, Purple Loosestrife, and Dames Rocket. Students identify and pull these plants and dispose of them in a way that minimizes their proliferation. We believe our efforts have produced positive results and are happy with our contribution to our adopted forest.


The encyclopedia is an inventory of all species found and identified by C.S.S. students. All of the pictures are from the forest we are studying except for some of the Bird pictures which were taken at the bird banding station at the Ruthven Estate. If there is an error in any of our identifications please e-mail

GPS Maps

Students are using hand held GPS devices to record mapping locations in the field, and then compare the data with mapping software available on the internet. Learning the software has proven to be a challenge but we are beginning to see results. The following image reflects a slight discrepancy between field measurements and internet maps. The red line indicates the path the students walked around the forest edge as recorded by the GPS receiver.