Peconic Land Trust: News & Activities, January 2018



Take a few minutes to look back on 2017 . . . 
 and . . . we look forward to seeing you this year!


Peconic Land Trust Receives NYS Grants in Support of Agriculture and Water Quality    


Regional Aquifer Protection Land Acquisition Program

The Trust, in partnership with the Peconic Estuary Program and the Town of Brookhaven, will be administering a new grant program under Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funded by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This funding will support the protection of properties in the Special Groundwater Protection Areas within the Peconic Estuary and Forge River Watersheds and the South Shore Estuary Reserve.

New York State Grown & Certified Program 

The Trust will also be administering a new grant from the New York State Ag & Markets. This grant assists Long Island farmers who need to make capital investments in order to meet the food safety requirements of the NYS Grown and Certified program.
We are so thankful to have been awarded these important grants to invest in the future of our water quality and our important working farms, both on the land and under the sea. Currently, the details for these programs are being finalized and we look forward to sharing additional information in the coming months.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Josh Halsey, Conservation Programs Assistant at 631.283.3195.



Blattmachr Family Protects Woodlands Near Big Fresh Pond 

Our sincere thanks go out to Betsy and Jonathan Blattmachr for choosing conservation!
At the end of the year, the Blattmachrs donated a conservation easement to the Trust on 1.8 acres of undisturbed woodlands that will add a natural buffer for the benefit of the pond’s integrity, the natural habitat and the community. This gift is a welcomed additional to an assemblage of protected land known as Tuckahoe Woods. This conservation easement is a voluntary gift that restricts development on the property.
“The land has been in our family for over 100 years. Being able to contribute to the preservation of the local ecology and habitat surrounding Big Fresh Pond for the benefit of future generations is important to our family. The land will forever be undisturbed and we are pleased to have been able to work with the Peconic Land Trust to see this wish fulfilled,” said Betsy and Jonathan.

In Appreciation


Trust Unveils Plaque at Edwards Farm in Honor of Joe Townsend

We recently unveiled a plaque honoring East Marion resident Joseph Townsend Jr., a former member of the Trust’s Board of Directors and former Greenport Mayor and Southold Town Councilman.
Joe Townsend with Tim Caufield and John v.H. Halsey, December 2017
The plaque was installed at the Edwards Farm at Orient Point, which has been preserved by the Trust with the extraordinary assistance of the community, Town of Southold, and Mr. Townsend, who recently was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The plaque was installed at the head of a trail that eventually will lead to a new nature observation platform honoring Mr. Townsend overlooking Hallocks Bay and Orient Beach State Park beyond.

Donor Spotlight


Mary Welker Gives the Gift of Her Time

Mary Welker is a long-time donor to the Trust.  
She also gives another important gift: her time.
Over the past several years, Mary has volunteered at countless Bridge Gardens events. She told us that she is “passionate about supporting this demonstration garden where people can learn about the importance of low impact, organic landscapes and garden practices.” And at the same time enjoy nature, music, food, and companionship!
Mary credits her commitment to the Trust to the enduring and dynamic vision of our President, John v.H. Halsey, and to our staff and volunteers. She first learned about the Trust when John led the effort to found the organization in 1983.   Since then, Mary has been deeply impressed with our work to preserve open space and our ability to inspire others to support that vision. She has watched the organization grow and change throughout its 35 year history, all the while reflecting the needs of the community and the East End.
We thank you, Mary, for all you do for the Trust! And we are grateful to all of you who are part of our 100+ volunteer corps for making our work possible.
Want to learn more about how your volunteer time can support the Trust?  Contact Kathy Kennedy at 631.283.3195

Community Conservation


Campaign to Protect Indian Rock Extended

The fundraising campaign to protect and preserve
Indian Rock has been extended to February 28!  
We need your help! Joining with community groups, the Peconic Land Trust is raising funds to save Indian Rock — a 3-story glacial erratic in Rocky Point.
This historic, natural wonder is an ideal outdoor classroom and connection to Long Island’s past. Read Sara’s story on why she thinks the “rock” as she calls it is “great” and join her to ensure its survival as an educational resource for children forever.

In the News

Scott Chaskey Featured in Podcast . . .

Chris Blanchard — the host of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast — interviews Quail Hill Farm’s poet/farmer Scott Chaskey. This online radio show “for farmers by farmers” gives listeners an inside look into farms across the country.

Take a listen as Chris and Scott explore a wide range of topics, including soil health, the farm’s Advanced Apprentice program, and how Scott started in farming back in Cornwall, England.

Bridge Gardens

Planting for Winter Interest . . .


Did you see Rick Bogusch’s December Bridge Gardens E-News? He discusses what works best in winter . . . you’d be surprised how many of our native plants provide great sculptural impact in winter:

“Many of the trees and shrubs that grow well on Long Island provide us with beautiful sculptural branching, interesting bark textures, and colorful berries. If you are thinking of making changes to your landscape come spring, consider those that will also offer you off-season interest,” said Rick.
It’s Time to Get Out and About . . .



Thank you for coming out and joining us in 2017 — over 2,000 people came to one of over 55 Connections events last year. Throughout the year, we partnered with over two dozen organizations and individuals who made these activities rich and full — our gratitude for everyone’s support is overflowing!

We are just getting underway for the 2018 season . . . we look forward to connecting with you at our local farms, on trails, shorelines and in the many special places that make the East End so special.

To get a jump start, here are a few early Connections programs in January and February. And be on the lookout — the March/April Connections calendar will be in mailboxes in early February.  

  • Saturdays, January 13 and February 10: Riverhead Farmers Market
We have a table at the Riverhead Farmers Market, located at 117 East Main Street — please stop by and say hello!  It’s a great opportunity to talk and shop with local growers and artisans — and learn more about their businesses. The market is open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm— a wonderful way to get out of the cold.


  • Friday, February 16: Growing Farmers Screening and Discussion at the Southampton Arts Center.

We are partnering with SAC to bring this award-winning documentary, first shown at the Hamptons Film Festival in 2012, and a panel discussion with local farmers, including Fred Lee and Gregg Kessler.

Joining the panel will also be filmmaker Michael Halsband. The screening is free and will be followed by refreshments. Screening starts at 6 pm.
  • Saturday, February 17: Visit to Gabrielsen Farms

Farmer Carl Gabrielsen will lead a talk and walk through their amazing hydroponic operation, which allows them to grow fresh lettuce and herbs without soil all year round. Program is $5/person and reservations are required.

For more information on these programs, visit our Connections calendar online or call us at 631.283.3195.


2017 Fall Newsletter Available Online!

Click here to read it online today . . . with news about:
  • Farmland protection;
  • Bridge Gardens toxin-free lawn and landscaping programs;
  • Quail Hill Farm’s favorite greens: lettuce;
  • and much, much more.

Job Opportunity


Cornell Cooperative Extension is Looking for an

Associate Farm Supervisor

The Associate Farm Supervisor will be a working supervisor who develops and oversees all aspects of the Dorothy P. Flint 4-H camp farm in Riverhead, including livestock, growing vegetables, fruits and herbs, managing farm workers, seasonal staff and volunteers.


Give the Gift of Conservation!

We have some fantastic items in our online store — hats, market bags, aprons, books, and notecards featuring images created by the artists of Plein Air Peconic.
We Need Your Help . . .
Help us spread the word! The Peconic Land Trust does not collect or distribute the 2% real estate transfer tax that funds the East End Towns’ Community Preservation Fund.
The Trust raises its funds primarily through charitable gifts. The 2% real estate transfer tax paid by buyers goes directly to the East End Town in which the property purchased is located: East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Southold, or Shelter Island.
You can help us by getting the word out to your neighbors, friends, and family.  
Thank you.  

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