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?
When Ellis Island was opened in 1892, the facility bore little resemblance to the Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts structure that people have come to know today. Made out of Georgia pine, the complex caught fire on June 15, 1897 and burned to the ground in about 6 hours. The current building was opened on December 17, 1900.