The natural resources of the park are represented by a small, but unique collection of 332 mounted plant specimens. The specimens were gathered during collecting trips to Ellis Island from September 18, 1997 to August 10, 1998. The collection consists of a prevalence of plants that are not native to the New York-New Jersey region. The conclusion of the study indicates that this mixture of plant varieties is the result of the high degree of disturbance of the original island ecosystems caused by the human presence cultivating the landscape on the islands and surrounding area, or inadvertently carrying the seeds to the island.
Did You Know?
Although Ellis Island is federal property and has always been historically considered in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed a "Special Master" to mediate. The ruling in 1998 determined that the original island belongs to New York and the rest of the island, added after 1834, belongs to New Jersey.