During the 1880's, government and non-governmental organizations began vigorous attempts to restore and preserve the scenery at Niagara Falls. Botanical Heritage of Islands at the Brink of Niagara Falls treats the historic context of the native and recent floral assemblage of the islands at the brink of the iconic Niagara Falls, and summarizes the effects on the flora of such attempts. The author, Patricia M. Eckel, is a Research Fellow at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Part 1 describes the physical features that contribute to make Niagara Falls a unique conservation challenge. Part 2 describes the vegetation in detail and through time in each of the several habitats on Goat Island and neighboring islets. Part 3 reviews the botanical activity at the Falls, an attraction for many famous botanists in the past. Part 4 is a complete list of species including vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, fungi, lichens and algae.
There is also a summary of the rare plants of the Goat Island Complex, weeds, noxious plants, numerical studies (floral changes on Goat Island, numerical summary of the flora), and a discussion and breakdown of the author's conclusions. Botanical Heritage of Islands at the Brink of Niagara Falls describes and evaluates efforts since 1885 at re-creation of the natural habitat at the Falls, and, as an exemplary history, is a fundamental reference for environmental restoration projects and F. L. Olmsted's legacy of park planning.