Stewardship Update

—– Harold A. Reese Preserve —– 

—– Posted 10.3.2022 —– 

New Trail Opens at Reese Preserve

The Harold A. Reese Preserve in Southold is now open to hikers. This summer a 1/2 mile trail connecting the preserve to the adjacent Wolf Preserve trail network was completed. Passing through woodlands and along wetlands, you can go from North Bayview Road to Bayview Road.

Acknowledging that people with mobility restrictions have a hard time enjoying the outdoors, the Trust designed the trails to remove some of the barriers to access. All trails have been widened to six feet to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers and leveled to maintain an approximate grade of 0-3 %. 


New kiosk signs at both trailheads feature an updated trail map (shown above) and information in both English and Spanish. We’re planning to add more informational signs along the trails to help you discover the species and history of the Great Hog Neck Peninsula. Also, the stewardship department maintains four native plant nurseries for future native plantings at the preserves, in addition to the 600 plants added last Spring

Help us improve accessibility on our preserves! The Trust is currently fundraising to improve the trail system at the Wolf and Reese Preserves. We’re grateful to the generous support of the preserves’ neighbors and friends who have made this work possible so far!

For more information, you can contact Matt Swain, Director of Stewardship and Geographic Information Systems or Amanda Abraham, Director of Development.


Preservation Milestone 



32-Acres Donated to the Trust in 1997 

25th Year, 2022


Did you know there’s a 32-acre preserve neighboring Tanger Outlets in Riverhead? While shopping at Tanger II and III you might have noticed the woodlands behind the shops. This is the Andrew Sabin Nature (Tanger) Preserve donated to the Trust in February 1997.
A tiny amphibian led to the land’s preservation. 17 Tiger salamanders, a New York State endangered species were found in the area during an environmental impact review. In the 1990s, the outlets were in the process of an expansion. Development was excluded within a 500′ radius of the salamander breeding habitat. The habitat was donated to the Trust by Tanger Properties Limited Partnership to remain as a nature preserve. 
Pink lady slipper, native orchid found at the preserve.
Now just past its 25th birthday, the preserve is home to a diverse community of fauna and flora. In addition to the Tiger salamander, turtles, dragonflies, lady slippers and more can be found on the preserve. Over 25 acres of woodlands accompany two areas of freshwater wetlands.


Bernard Hayduk, Trust volunteer and Kathy Kennedy, Senior Manager of Outreach at the
Andrew Sabin Nature Preserve during a volunteer clean-up this March.
Want to visit the preserve? We periodically host hikes and clean up sessions for the community.
To learn more about this preserve, contact Jessie McSwane-Marcus, Senior Stewardship Manager at JMarcus@PeconicLandTrust.org


Conservation News 


100 Acre Former Duck Farm Acquired in Riverhead 

There’s great news on the conservation front! Broad Cove, a 100-acre waterfront parcel on Flanders Bay in Aquebogue, was purchased by the Trust on December 31, 2021. For decades a top conservation priority on the East End, a key step has been made toward the permanent protection of this environmentally sensitive parcel in the Peconic Bay Estuary.
“Our family is thrilled with this outcome,” said Andreas Weisz, managing partner of Walo, LLC who owned the property. His grandfather, Stanley Weisz, acquired the land over 30 years ago. “My grandfather always wanted to see the land preserved, what we called the duck farm. We see this as his legacy,
his pride and joy.” 
Trust Project Manager, Julie Wesnofske and Andreas Weisz, managing partner of Walo, LLC. 
Broad Cove has been sought after by conservationists and developers alike for many years. Zoned for a high impact, mixed-use resort, the owner, Walo, LLC, accepted an offer from a developer in late 2020 and a contract was under review. Fortunately, when Andreas Weisz learned that the Peconic Land Trust was prepared to make an offer as well, he agreed to hold off in hopes that the property could be conserved instead.
“We’re thankful to the owner for working with us to conserve this incredible property,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust. “We also thank our supporters for stepping up at this time to loan the Trust the funds necessary to complete the acquisition quickly. By acting when we did, we were able to secure the conservation that has alluded this property for so long.” 
The Trust was able to purchase the land with funds from six lines of credit provided by Trust supporters totaling $11.5 million for the purchase and $500,000 for carrying costs. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has expressed interest in partnering with the Trust to permanently protect the property.
Acting DEC Regional Director Cathy Haas said, “We commend our colleagues at the Peconic Land Trust for their work to protect this one-of-a-kind parcel. For decades the Broad Cove property has topped government acquisition lists, including New York State’s Open Space Conservation Plan. This acquisition is a great step toward permanent protection of a landmark property and DEC looks forward to continuing to work with Peconic Land Trust in their ongoing work.”
“We had very little time, but we couldn’t let Broad Cove slip through our fingers,” Halsey said. “It’s so important to the Peconic Bay Estuary for climate change resiliency, water quality, and plant and animal habitats.” 
Adjacent to Indian Island County Park, the property includes 25 acres of tidal wetlands and 8,000 feet of shoreline on Terry Creek and Broad Cove in Flanders Bay. It also features woodlands and open fields.
“Over the past six months, as we were working out the details, I’ve spent so much time walking the land. I’ve come to appreciate how special it is – its peacefulness and the crystal-clear waters of the canals. Ideally, this is what this land should be – a nature preserve and a place for people to enjoy the woods, the water. I look forward to visiting in the future with my family,” added Andreas.  
Betty Celic Holden, daughter of Joseph P. Celic Sr. at Broad Cove.  
Broad Cove is the site of the former Broad Cove Duck Farm
founded by Joseph P. Celic Sr. in the 1930s. 
Susan Holden, current Orient resident and granddaughter of Joseph P. Celic Sr., speaking on behalf of the Celic family said “Our family is so delighted that the Peconic Land Trust has saved this very special piece of waterfront property from development. We look forward to supporting its restoration and supplying the Trust with historical information of its time as one of the largest producers of famous Long Island duckling.”  
To learn more about this project, contact Julie Wesnofske, Project Manager at JWesnofske@PeconicLandTrust.org.

Restoration Continues

at the Widow’s Hole Preserve


Good news for fans of the

Widow’s Hole Preserve in Greenport!

The Trust was recently awarded $250,000 for Phase II of our restoration project. The grant came from the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative – an initiative that supports community revitalization and growth throughout New York.
Widow’s Hole Preserve was donated to the Trust in 2012. Only a 10-minute walk from the village, the preserve is located on the corner of Fourth and Clark Streets and extends into Greenport Harbor. Over the years, volunteers and Trust staff have cleaned up debris, removed invasive species, and planted a variety of native plants to beautify and protect the site.
Phase II of the restoration will continue the creation of a living shoreline to reduce erosion, serve as a natural buffer for the impact of storms and runoff, and improve upland habitat. Living shorelines use native plants and materials to protect an area rather than artificial structures like bulkheads. In addition, bi-lingual (English/Spanish) interpretive and educational signs will be installed. This will allow for greater enjoyment and understanding of the preserve.
Interested in learning more about living shorelines? Check out our Zoom program from January 2021 to hear from three experts in the field. Contact Matt Swain, Director of Stewardship and Geographic Information Systems for more information.