Pop-up walk Sunday June 11 Cunningham Park, Queens

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Pop-up walk Sunday June 11 Cunningham Park, Queens

An air quality warning has been issued by the US National Weather Service which is set to end Friday June 9th at midnight. However, it is possible that the hazardous conditions will persist through the weekend. If the air quality conditions are predicted to be unfavorable on Sunday we will cancel this walk by Saturday at noon. Please monitor your email inbox for a cancellation notice. Please have a safe week.

Because of the ongoing drought we’ve been finding fungi only in very limited numbers, mostly crusts, polypores and ascomycetes. While we hope there will be interesting fungi at Cunningham Park there are no guarantees.

Bring lunch and water.

If you’ve never been on a mushroom walk with us before, here is what to expect. We highly recommend using the iNaturalist app to document the fungi you find. Find out how to use it here.

The walk
We will meet at 11am at Cunningham Park Southeast Preserve trailhead. To reach Cunningham Park take the E or F train to the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station and switch to the Q46 Bus. Take the Q46 Bus to the Francis Lewis Boulevard stop at the corner of Union Turnpike and Francis Lewis Boulevard.

If you arrive after we have departed the meeting spot, call or text the walk leader to find us. We don’t move very fast, so odds are you will catch up!

Check the MTA Service Advisory web page for updates on other planned service changes.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday (air quality permitting).


Document your findings

We are committed to documenting biodiversity and many of our members use the iNaturalist app to document their finds. This generates valuable records for science and conservation.

Bonus: expert identifiers will ID your specimens. We have four projects – one for NYC & the 5 boroughs proper, one for outside NYC & the surrounding areas, one for Slime molds of NYC and one for DNA Sequenced Collections – and we encourage you to join them. Instructions on how to use iNaturalist are here if you need them.

Arachnopeziza, Elan Trybuch, March 4th, 2023, Cloves Lake Park, NY, NY


Frequently asked questions
Are there Bathrooms?
  • Most of our walks start and end somewhere where there is a restroom.
What time does the walk actually start?
  • We wait 15 minutes for people who are late (unless the walk starts with the arrival of a particular train or bus). If you are ever very late or lost, text the walk leader, whose phone number is provided in the email. They will guide you to the group’s location.
  • We usually stop for lunch somewhere between 1 and 2pm though feel free to eat whenever you’re hungry.
How long do walks last?
  • Walks often last for quite a long time. Walks can end up being as long as five hours or more on a good mushroom day. But that does not mean you have to stick around
  • New York City walks feel free to leave whenever you have seen enough, are hungry or tired.
  • Walks outside of the city: You will sign your name on a sign-up sheet. Please notify the walk leader if you are leaving the walk early. We do not want to leave anyone behind in the forest, so we try and keep track of walk participants via the sign-up sheet.
  • Note that cell reception is often spotty or non-existent on our walks upstate
How should I prepare?
  • Bring a lunch and make sure to stay hydrated, especially in the summer.
  • Protect yourself against ticks and mosquitoes (insect repellent and long pants). Ticks in particular are a year-round hazard these days.
  • We highly recommend documenting your finds on iNaturalist, a great website and app that records your observations for posterity. Instructions on how to use it can be found here.
  • A loupe/hand lens is a great tool for looking at important details and we use them a lot. We will lend you one for the walk but you might decide to buy one yourself. A cheap triplex loupe (x10) can be had for under $10. The club’s favorite hand lens is a 10x hand lens made by Belomo.
  • Many walks in the summar and fall end up at a table where we spread out our finds and discuss them. Do consider bringing a brown paper bag for collecting interesting finds for that discussion. Fungi are best stored in paper bags, never in plastic bags – plastic speeds decomposition which makes identification difficult or impossible.
Picking edibles – general etiquette
  • Always make sure it is legal to pick in the area where you are picking edibles. All New York City Parks and cemeteries as well as some state parks and reserves have rules that prohibit collecting fungi.
  • As a courtesy, please do not pick in the areas of scheduled club walks in the couple of weeks beforehand.
  • In areas where it’s legal to pick, if you find fungi in abundance consider sharing them with others.
  • Do not over-pick edibles. Leave some for others, for the animals who depend on them and for reproduction.
  • Make sure the edible fungi you are collecting are in good condition and not buggy or tough before harvesting.
  • If you are not sure if a mushroom is edible, do not collect a whole bunch – just take one or two for identification purposes.
  • Do not ask people for their edibles spots, unless you know them well 🙂
  • When you first try a new species, be 100% sure it is what you think it is.
  • Eat only small amounts of a new species to make sure it agrees with you, since people can be allergic even to common edibles.
How may I be a responsible park user?
  • Be mindful of the natural world – don’t step on or trample wildflowers, or other plant and animal life. When an area is fenced off it’s usually because it is newly planted or contains sensitive flora and fauna, eg nesting birds.
  • If you are turning over logs and branches, put them back where they were. They provide shelter to a whole microcosm of creatures
  • Pick no more than one or two of a specimen – leave some for others to enjoy and admire. Spare beautiful specimens next to trails; they might just spark curiosity about fungi in the next person.
  • Consider donating to or volunteering for the many organizations that maintain our parks.
Pop-up walk Sunday June 11 Cunningham Park, Queens
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