Alley Pond Park is located in New York City in Queens between the Long Island
Expressway and Grand Central Parkway. It was acquired by New York City
in 1929 and is the second largest park in Queens (655 acres).The park
lies on a glacier-formed moraine, a ridge of sand and rock that formed
15,000 years ago, marking the southern terminus of the Minnesota Ice
Sheet. The glacier dropped the boulders that sit on the hillsides of
the southern end of the park and left buried chunks of ice that melted
and formed the ponds dispersed throughout the valley. Alley Pond Park’s
forests range from oak-hickory forests dominated by dry, white oak (Quercus alba)
on top of knobs, to red maple-hardwood swamps in a series of kettle
ponds. In between are moist oak-hickory forests with American beech (Fagus grandiflora) and red oak (Q. rubra), as well as rich forests dominated by tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera).
Many trees in the park are more the 200 years old. The most notable of
these is the Queens Giant, a 350-400 year old tulip poplar that is over
133 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter.
Meteorological data are measured every 15 minutes and include air temperature, precipitation amount, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and photosynthetically active radiation. In addition soil temperature is measured at two locations under the forest canopy, and a soil moisture is measured both with probes and a unique weighing lysimeter. A web cam view of the forest surrounding the met station is taken every day.