PLT: Preserve of the Month / 2017: Downs Farm Preserve, Southold — NEW 4.20


Preserve Spotlight / April 2017


Downs Farm Preserve, Southold



Beginning in the mid-1990s, the Peconic Land Trust worked with conservationist Russ McCall as well as the Baxter and Ginsburg families, the Town of Southold, Suffolk County, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Cutchogue/New Suffolk Historical Society, and the Old House Society on the protection of what is today over 200 acres of farmland, woodlands and historic resources — including the 51-acre Fort Corchaug and Downs Farm Preserve. Want to learn more about the conservation story, including Downs Farm Preserve, the McCall Ranch, and the Trust’s neighboring North Fork Stewardship Center? Click here. For an historic look back at the conservation story, check out our Newsletter from 1997!

Questions? Call Director of Conservation Planning Melanie Cirillo at 631.283.3195 or email


Preserve Spotlight / March 2017


Quail Hill Farm, Amagansett


unnamed-175Quail Hill Farm picking day, August 2016 by Michael Halsband

In its 28th season, Quail Hill Farm, under the direction of Scott Chaskey and Layton Guenther, is a model for Community Supported Agriculture across the country — and around the globe. A stewardship project of the Peconic Land Trust for all these years, the farm is located on the Trust’s Quail Hill Preserve, donated by Deborah Ann Light in 1990. The farm has nurtured hundreds of families and aspiring farmers! We have been fortunate to be a part of so many hopes and dreams and are looking forward to welcoming summer members in early June.

unnamed-176Apprentices in the fields, August 2016 by Michael Halsband.

In his letter to interested shareholders for the 2017 season, Scott said:

“Recently a potential Apprentice, applying for the 2017 season, began her letter of intent with this, “Objective: to provide honest labor…” This seems like an admirable place to begin, and just the right kind of promise that a farmer may make to those who have chosen to support the farm.

“Years ago, attempting to define an ecological approach to agriculture, I entitled a chapter of This Common Ground: “To Provide Some Harmony.”

“Harmony and honest labor: good words to repeat (and provide) as we enter our 28th season of community agriculture in Amagansett.” 


Quail Hill is a magical place — consider joining us this summer as a shareholder, or at one of the Connections programs at the farm this Spring, Summer and Fall — starting with our annual Seed Workshop on Saturday, April 1 at 10:00 amFor more on our Connections programs, visit our website.


Preserve Spotlight / February 2017


Winter Exploration:

Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve in Greenport


There is no better place for a brisk winter walk than the 52-acre Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve in Greenport (formerly the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve). Assembled by the Town of Southold using a combination of Community Preservation Funds and Open Space Capital funding, the Trust was pleased to have played a part in its protection, assisting the Town with the purchase of 24.8 acres from the Sutermeister and Neuer families in 2000. That portion of the preserve, along the southeast edge, includes over 1/3 of a mile of land along Hashamomuck Pond. 

The preserve showcases the diversity of the East End’s natural environment: tidal salt marsh meadows, pristine woodlands, vernal freshwater ponds and wetlands. Its forest lands are dominated by oaks and hickories, but also includes birches, maples, American beech and mature white pines. This diversity provides habitat for a wide-range of wildlife, including: egrets, salamanders, herons, hawks, crabs, deer, bats, and fox.


On November 17, 1983, in his “Focus on Nature” column that ran in the News Review/Suffolk Times for 50 years, Paul Stoutenburgh wrote:

“The openness of our area and the views across the farms and waterways give us something special. I never tire of the broad open spaces that Orient has to offer, the country roads and views along the North Road and Sound Avenue heading to Riverhead or the little quiet road from New Suffolk to Mattituck along the bay. Each of us has our own special place and as the seasons change we renew our acquaintance with these areas.”

Interested in reading more? An archive of Paul’s columns can be found on online.



Barbara and Paul Stoutenburgh along with their son Peter and Trust’s Tim Caufield at opening of our North Fork Stewardship Center in 1999.


His column that day was a call to us all to remain vigilant and to do what we can to protect what is special about the East End. His life — along with that of his wife Barbara — was dedicated to that purpose. Indeed, we are honored to have had Paul serve on the Trust’s Board of Directors for seven years. We thank the people of Southold for honoring Paul with the renaming of the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve to the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve in 2013.

Interested in hiking the preserve? Click here for the trail map, which can be accessed 2/10 of a mile east of the Port of Egypt Marina on Route 25, on the north side of the road. Have additional questions? Please contact North Fork Stewardship Manager, Denise Markut.

Address: 63445 Main Road (Route 25), Southold, NY). 


Preserve Spotlight / January 2017


Winter Exploration:

The Ruth Oliva Preserve at Dam Pond 


It may be cold outside, and our summer migratory birds may have flown south for the winter, but there’s still lots to see and experience if you are a bird enthusiast, or would just like a nice brisk walk after a few days of indoor hibernation. 

Head out to the Ruth Oliva Preserve at Dam Pond in East Marion and take in the winter beauty. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot a few waterfowl — including buffleheads, horned grebes and red-breasted mergansers who settle in at this important wintering spot on the East End. Click here for a trail map of the preserve.

The jointly managed County and Town Preserve is part of a 118-acre collection of land that was conserved through the work and cooperation of many, including the Trust, Suffolk County, Southold Town, landowners and partner organizations including the Oysterponds Historical Society. 

Who is Ruth Oliva? As our friend, and past Board member, Joe Townsend said: “Ruth was one of the earliest people to publicly work on behalf of preservation in Southold, from the early 1970s. She worked tirelessly. While she wasn’t the most outspoken, she was the most consistent and the area around Dam Pond was one she worked very hard for.” The preserve was renamed and dedicated to Ruth in September 2010.  We thank Ruth and the many people in our community who work day in and day out to make conservation happen.  


Want to read more about the conservation of this area?  
Check out our Fall 2012/Winter 2013 newsletter.  

Have questions about the Ruth Oliva Preserve at Dam Pond, the neighboring  Edwards Farmland Conservation effort or other conservation activities in the East Marion and Orient area? Contact Tim Caufield or Holly Sanford at 631.283.3195.


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