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PLT - Hampton Bays Preserve 20493



Donated in the memory of Leo Marder in December 1985, by Mr. and Mrs. Jacob K. Fischbach, this beautiful shoreline preserve juts into Shinnecock Bay in the Rampasture area of Hampton Bays. Photographer Christine Kraft captured this beautiful winter scene in January 2008.  


Conservation News / February 2016


PLT - Preserve Amagansett 20492



The D’Urso Family Donates Nature Preserve in Amagansett


The D’Urso family has donated a .7 acre pristine natural habitat near Napeague State Park in East Hampton Town. The new preserve will be added to the Trust’s Ship Wreck Preserve, an assemblage that includes upland pitch pine woodlands and coastal dunes featuring native flora and fauna. The property is a known migration point for monarch butterflies who rely on the nectar of seaside goldenrod — a protected New York State flower — that flourishes on this preserve. 

“All of us at the Trust thank the D’Urso family for choosing to conserve this fragile and sensitive piece of natural habitat. It is through the generosity of landowners and communities that conservation opportunities such as this become a reality,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust. 

Want to learn more? Contact Melanie Cirillo, Director of Conservation Planning or Pam Greene, Vice President of Stewardship, at 631.283.3195. 




PLT - Wolf Preserve, Southold 20491



In April 2003, Mrs. Lenore Wolf left an incredible legacy for the community through a testamentary gift to the Trust in her will: 20 acres of woodlands along Main Bayview Road in Southold (south of Rambler Road).  Lenore’s love of nature and wildlife inspired her to make this gift so that “people would have a place to breathe and renew their connection to the land.”  

The Wolf Preserve includes habitat for a wide variety of fauna with vibrant wetlands, meadows, and woodlands. The Wolf Preserve was opened to the public in 2006 with two trails winding through the property. 

To learn more about legacy gifts and their impact, contact Rebecca A. Chapman at 631.283.3195.

PLT - Wolf Map @ 740 20496




unnamedWhite pine forest of Wilson’s Grove, donated 2008.

Wilson’s Grove Preserve East Hampton

The white pine forest of Wilson’s Grove, East Hampton. 

The beautiful, and majestic, white pine and oak forest of Wilson’s Grove Preserve, donated to the Trust by Marillyn Wilson in 2008, is a wonderful gift to the community and a vital link of the 45-mile Paumanok Path system of trails that runs through Southampton and East Hampton towns to the Montauk Lighthouse.

“Marillyn’s property, Wilson’s Grove, is clearly one of the most unique properties on the East End. And her love of that property and her willingness to share it with the public speaks volumes about her humanity,” said John v.H. Halsey, President of the Trust.

Interested in hiking the trails? The trail-head for Wilson’s Grove can be found in the Northwest Woods section of East Hampton on Old Northwest Road, just south of the intersection with Northwest Road. The kiosk is on the west side of the road. While enjoying the white pines and oaks, also keep an eye out for Wild Blueberry, Wild Geranium, Mountain Laurel, Wintergreen, Sassafras, Bayberry, Blue-eyed Grass. Click here for a trail map and kiosk information for Wilson’s Grove. 

Stay tuned: a trail hike through the preserve is being planned for the Fall of 2016.

We are forever grateful to Marillyn for her generosity and her life-long commitment to conservation. Please read the story of Marillyn’s gift here

To learn about legacy gifts and their impact, contact Rebecca A. Chapman at 631.283.3195, ext. 40.




Kurt Billing Memorial Trailhead

Nature’s Preserve, North Sea


On October 24, 2009, the Peconic Land Trust joined with the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, the Group for the East End and the Town of Southampton to celebrate the life of Kurt Billing (known as Nature to many of his friends) and honor his memory with the dedication of the Kurt Billing Memorial Trailhead at the Tuckahoe Hills Preserve and with the dedication and the renaming of the Trust’s Big Fresh Pond Preserve to Nature’s Preserve.

Nature’s Preserve — a 1.1-acre freshwater wetland and upland on Big Fresh Pond — was conserved in 1986 due, in large part, to Kurt. Only in his late twenties at the time, Kurt took out a personal loan to assist in the purchase of this property, an inspiration to other Nature lovers. Over the course of many years, Kurt led the charge to preserve Tuckahoe Woods, the pristine wetlands, woodlands, streams and creeks that make up the natural lands surrounding Big Fresh Pond. He engaged numerous public and private agencies in his efforts to promote the beauty and fragility of the area and ultimately garnered the support necessary for its protection. The conservation of over 160 acres would not have been possible without his unswerving dedication and commitment. 

This weekend is a perfect time to get out and explore . . . and take a moment to remember Kurt and his dedication to our natural lands. Click here for a trail map of Tuckahoe Woods provided by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society.

Do you know a property in your neighborhood that could be protected? Contact Melanie Cirillo, Director of Conservation Planning, to learn more about all of the possibilities! 





Daniel and Anna Mulvihill Preserve

Bridgehampton Moraine


The fragile ecology of the Bridgehampton Moraine and nearby Great Swamp was of great concern to Dolores Zebrowski — a longtime friend of the Peconic Land Trust and many local organizations. Dolores made it one of her priorities to protect the land she loved: in total, Dolores and her brother Bill Mulvihill protected nearly 125 acres in Bridgehampton.

Dolores @ 360 22137

This woodland is now a pristine nature preserve — the Daniel and Anna Mulvihill Preserve in honor of the parents of Dolores and Bill — including Bill and Dolores’ childhood home, which is now the visitors center for the preserve. The Peconic Land Trust was fortunate to work with Dolores, the Town of Southampton and Suffolk County on the protection of the land.

The woodland and wetland property straddles the Ronkonkoma moraine and serves as a groundwater recharge area — helping to protect our drinking water. The Southampton Trails Preservation Society blazed a trail on the property, which is open to the public, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful solitude of a woodland walk and a chance to admire woodland plants and wildlife including an amazing variety of migrating birds, as well as wild blueberries and dogwoods, a white pine forest, tupelo maple trees, birch and beech trees growing alongside vernal ponds and more.

DANIEL @ 360 22136

Carol Mulvihill Ahlers, daughter of Dolores’ brother Daniel, told us, “The Mulvihill family is proud of Dolores’ work with the Peconic Land Trust and grateful to her for preserving our grandparents land for future generations to enjoy.”


Interested in taking a hike? Click here for directions to the trail head, located at 820 Brick Kiln Road — drive in between the two white pillars and to the end of the driveway, and you will see the kiosk.  To read more about Dolores’ gift to the community, see our Fall 2001 Newsletter and 2011 Newsletter, which features the original 75 acre preservation (2001) and Dolores’ additional protection in 2011 — just prior to her passing in 2012. 

This woodland would not be here if it weren’t for Dolores’ visionary thinking. We are truly grateful for her generosity and dedication to her community and for Dolores’ trust in us. Legacy gifts are an important way to preserve the places you know and love — and can take many forms. To learn more, contact Rebecca A. Chapman at 631.283.3195.  





Laurel Lake Preserve, Southold Town


Walking the trails of Laurel Lake Preserve will give you a new perspective on nature. With an abundance of wildlife, a large water-filled kettle hole that was formed more than 10,000 years ago — home to a diverse fish population including Large Mouth Bass and Rainbow Trout, 14 miles of hiking trails within a hardwood forest dominated by oaks, hickories, beeches and maples, this is a special place. The Laurel Lake Preserve was created through the protection of over 18 parcels, assembled over the course of nearly 15 years!  Patience and perseverance are definitely two of the prevailing hallmarks of our conservation efforts. 


The final piece of the puzzle was the conservation of 30 acres owned by Jack and Mary McFeely in 2005 — which brought the entire property to more than 500 acres preserved and enabled the creation of a trailhead to access the 14 miles of hiking trails around Laurel Lake between the Main and North Roads. The Trust worked with the McFeelys and and Town of Southold to finalize this important piece, creating an amazingly complex group of properties owned by the Town of Southold, Suffolk County Parks Department, Suffolk County Water Authority and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 

In May, the Trust hosted a birding walk through some of the trails led by naturalist Frank Quevedo of the South Fork Natural History Museum. We were thrilled to spot a wide variety of birds, including downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, red tailed and fish hawks, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Winged Warbler, and even a Northern Parula, among others. Did you miss the walk in May? Visit the trails anytime you like!  Click here for directions to the trail head, at 5501 Main Road in Laurel. To read more about the Laurel Lake conservation see our Fall 2005 newsletter.

unnamedThis woodland would not be here if it weren’t for families like the McFeelys who see conservation as an option — one they were are inspired to pursue. We are truly grateful to the McFeelys and the hundreds of families who have trusted us to help them protect their family’s land. Want to learn more about how you can conserve your family land? Contact Director of Conservation Planning Melanie Cirillo at 631.283.3195.  


Woodpecker photographed by Walter Henning, Spring 2016





Silver Beech Preserve, Amagansett


In February 2003, the Trust received a spectacular gift of land from cousins Margaret de Cuevas and Deborah Carmichael — Silver Beech Preserve, 189.3-acres of mature forest featuring American beech, white oak, red maple, sassafras and flowering dogwood which provides valuable habitat and sits above the deepest part of our sole source aquifer in Amagansett.

“We have known and loved this land since we were children in the 1960s,” said Maggie in a profile in the Trust’s 2003 Summer newsletter speaking about why she and her cousin Deborah took the initiative to protect the land. “Taking a walk through the woods was a big adventure back then, and we took many walks to visit the great big trees that grow out of the deep kettleholes in the Silver Beech Preserve. The landscape of the South Fork has changed so much since then — species diversity has declined and water quality has become a problem in many areas. We wanted to help preserve what’s left.” 


The woodlands in the North Amagansett area of which Silver Beech Preserve is part — approximately 600 acres preserved — is critical for the bio-diversity of the forest, offering habitat for a wide variety of sensitive species including red-shouldered and broad-winged hawks, ruffed grouse, great horned owls, innumerable migrating birds, Eastern box turtle, and three species of salamander. Equally important, the preserve land is part of the Town of East Hampton’s Water Recharge Overlay District, sitting above the deepest part of the aquifer, our sole source of drinking water. Through land conservation, we are all working together to improve the quality of our precious water resources. See our online map for more information about conservation efforts in East Hampton and throughout Eastern Long Island

Interested in hiking the preserve? Check out the map and information from the kiosk before heading out! 

To read more about Maggie and Deborah’s donation, including the land’s history and environmental importance, see our Summer 2003 newsletter.

This expanse of woodland would not be here if it weren’t for families like Maggie and Deborah’s — including Evan Frankel, the Potter family, Mary and Peter Stone, Andy Sabin, William Lange, Drs. Robert Abel & Helen Carter, and Deborah Light — who believed that conservation outcomes were possible. We are truly grateful to them and the hundreds of families who have trusted us to help them protect their family lands. Want to learn more about how you can conserve your family land? Contact Director of Conservation Planning Melanie Cirillo at 631.283.3195 ext. 27

A Legacy Gift as part of your estate plan is another way to consider conservation of your land. To learn more, contact Rebecca Chapman, Vice President of Philanthropy, at 631.283.3195 ext. 40




Reel Point Preserve, Shelter Island



The fragile sand peninsula of Reel Point Preserve, donated to the Peconic Land Trust in 1995 by Marsha and Herb Stern, is a beautiful wildlife habitat at the tip of Ram Island on Shelter Island. With American beach grass, seaside goldenrod and bayberry, the peninsula is a haven for migratory birds and butterflies, including osprey, piping plovers and Monarchs. But its existence is threatened by erosion. Your support is needed!

Over the years the Trust, in partnership with the Town of Shelter Island and neighbors from Ram Island, has worked to stabilize the land with limited success. Storm erosion has significantly changed the configuration of the property. Since Hurricane Sandy, the Trust has worked with the Town to replenish Reel Point with dredge materials from nearby Coecles Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay and plant materials purchased and installed with funds raised from contributions from Shelter Island residents.


Unfortunately, this remediation has been temporary as erosion continues, and funds are needed to help us develop a better strategy. Earlier this year, the Town Board passed a resolution to grant the Trust half of the cost to conduct a study and develop a management plan for Reel Point. The study will be led by Lockwood, Kessler & Barlett, Inc., a highly respected and successful Long Island-based engineering and consulting firm.

We are asking our supporters to contribute to the study through a gift to the Trust. Please consider a gift today. If you have any questions, please contact Stewardship Manager Matthew Swain at 631.283.3195 ext. 36 or

It is through the generosity of people like the Sterns that these fragile properties are protected for the future. Your support is also crucial as we work to ensure its future.






Photo by Christine Kraft

Ocean and Bayfront Preserves in Quogue

Offer Perfect Winter Walks


Everyone talks about the beauty of the changing leaves in the fall, but our beaches are equally inviting once the summer crowds have thinned. Now is a perfect time to take a walk on the beach — for peaceful contemplation, for some vigorous exercise, or just to catch a glimpse of a surfer taking advantage of a wave break.

In Quogue, with the help of the Trust, the Village, Town and County conserved about 65 acres of wetlands and shorelines on both the ocean and bay sides of Dune Road. Included in this collection of preserves is a property now called The Snail House — the Village’s oceanfront beach access complete with a snack bar and lockers. In the off-season, from Labor Day to Memorial Day, you can park and take a walk on the beautiful ocean beach. 


Across the street and just a bit further east up the road are the former Rich, Steinberg and Richman properties. These bayfront wetlands offer outstanding views of Shinnecock Bay and ample opportunities to spot both migrating monarch butterflies and song birds as well as many waterbirds that make the wetlands their year-round home. You can park in a small parking area near the fence and take a walk along the Village’s boardwalk down to the bay. Don’t forget your binoculars!

With our unusually warm autumn, this weekend would be a perfect time to get out and explore our coastlines!

Interested in seeing where conservation is in your neighborhood? Visit our online map




High Point Preserve, East Hampton

The view from the high point in the appropriately named High Point Preserve is breathtaking — and best seen in late fall and winter. Three Mile Harbor opens up in all its splendor and is a treat for those who make the trek through this beautiful wooded preserve in North Amagansett.  Donated to the Trust in February 2003 by Maggie de Cuevas, the nearly 50-acre High Point Preserve is part of an impressive assemblage of 600 acres of woodlands. 

The trails through High Point Preserve connect to the Trust’s neighboring Accabonac and Silver Beech Preserves through which the famed Paumanok Trail winds its way. The trailhead and kiosk are located on Stony Hill Road, just to the east of Accabonac Road.

This hilly preserve is a mixture of pitch pine, oak and beech, hickory and maple forest  — which provides fantastic exercise especially in these days where we are more inside than out.

The preserve is located in an East Hampton Water Recharge Overlay District contributing to the protection of the water quality of our sole-source aquifer. It also is a sanctuary for many local wildlife — including migratory birds — and many of New York State’s protected birds call this preserve home, including red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, screech owl, American kestrel, downy woodpecker, American robin and eastern bluebird. Bring your binoculars to see who may be around! 

We thank Maggie for gifting the property to the community . . . and we hope you are able to visit the preserve soon! Have questions about High Point Preserve, its trails and ecology? Contact South Fork Stewardship Manager Matt Swain at 631.283.3195 or



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