|The one-acre Bird Homestead is outlined in red, above. It is on Blind Brook, near Milton Harbor and Long Island Sound. Areas outlined in green represent other already-protected properties.|
To view a slide show of the Bird Homestead, click here.
Acquisition of the Bird Homestead Historic site protects a 19th-century property that played an important role in the history of science; a historic neighborhood at the head of Milton Harbor; and a small but environmentally important parcel with frontage on the tidal portion of Blind Brook; and will provide canoe and kayak access to Milton Harbor and Long Island Sound.
Plans for the site include landmarking and restoring the Bird farmhouse, converting it into an education site relating to the history of science, protecting the land for flood protection and wildlife protection; and providing a canoe and kayak launch.
The property lies within the Long Island Sound Coastal Corridor priority area of the New York State Open Space Conservation Plan.
The City of Rye is well-known for its historic landmarks and National Register sites, including the Square House, the Post Road Historic District, and Playland. The Bird Homestead is one of the last remaining 19th-century farms in the area.
The Bird Homestead encompasses approximately one acre, and consists of a Greek Revival farmhouse built in 1835, an 1886 barn, and another outbuilding. The property has been in the Bird family since 1852. It was the home of Henry Bird, an entomologist with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH); his sons, Junius Bird (1907-1982, the AMNH's curator of South American Archeology), and Roland Bird (1899-1978, a pioneering paleontologist at AMNH); and his daughters, Doris Bird, who was the childrens' librarian at the Rye Free Reading Room for decades, and Alice Bird Erikson, a nature illustrator.
The property is next to the city-owned Friends Meeting House, and is one of a number of buildings along Milton Road that date from the 19th century and earlier.
|The farmhouse, built in 1835.|
The property is located near the mouth of Milton Harbor, on the tidal section of Blind Brook. A kayak and canoe launch site will provide a small but excellent public access point to the Sound. Protecting the land from further development will keep its valuable buffer lands intact and provide flood protection.
The river itself provides important salt marsh and mudflat habitat for wading birds and anadromous fish. Protecting the land from further development will limit non-point pollution from reaching Blind Brook, Milton Harbor and Long Island Sound.
For more information, email Anne Stillman of Save the Bird Homestead (firstname.lastname@example.org);