The Land Alliance held its Annual Members Meeting on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Locust Valley Public Library. This was our largest Annual Members Meeting to date, with more than 50 members in attendance. Board Chair Carter Bales welcomed members and talked about the Land Alliance’s vision for the future.
Hal Davidson, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Trustees, conducted the election of Trustees, where the following individuals were elected for three-year terms running from 2015 until 2018:
New Trustees elected for a first term were
- John Casaly
- Christoph Cushman
- Chris Hagedorn
- Nicholas Paumgarten
- Jean Thatcher
Returning Trustees were
- Carter Bales
- Rosemary Bourne
- John Bralower
- Matt Bruderman
- Augusta Donohue
- Nancy Douzinas
- George Eberle
- Hoyle Jones
- Clarence Michalis
- Jonathan Moore
- Luis Rinaldini
- Julie Rinaldini
- Larry Schmidlapp
- Ray Schuville
- Peri Wenz
- Tom Zoller
In total, 122 votes were received from both the floor and one vote cast by Lisa Ott, Land Allliance President, on behalf of the members who had voted by proxy, thus completing the successful election process.
Lisa went on to give a brief account of the Land Alliance’s progress in 2015, which included the following:
- The acquisition of the 32-acre DeForest Williams property, Cold Spring Harbor, which closed on March 10th. This was an $8.5 Million public-private partnership among the County of Suffolk, Town of Huntington, State of New York, Land Alliance and Cold Spring Harbor community. This acquisition creates a public preserve in a densely populated area and is particularly important for water quality protection. Lisa also indicated the Land Alliance’s excitement about acquiring an additional three-acre parcel contingent to Wawapek for educational purposes.
- The acquisition of the 28-acre Humes property in Mill Neck. The Humes property is the #1 most environmentally significant unprotected property in our community and connects three previously protected areas to create a 150-acre wetland and wildlife corridor. Lisa also voiced the Land Alliance’s interest in purchasing the adjacent Humes Japanese Stroll Garden.
- The transfer of ownership of 62 acres of preserves owned by The Nature Conservancy to the Land Alliance. Those preserves are the 42-acre Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve, Upper Brookville, and the 20-acre Darwin James Preserve, Old Brookville. We also continued our work at the Shore Road Sanctuary by installing an entrance, pervious parking area and rain gardens to absorb stormwater runoff.
- Co-sponsorship of the 2015 Long Island Food Conference, a day-long conference at Hofstra University, with the intent of empowering people to grow food in suburban locations.
- The launch of a water education program in local schools, which is helping more than 1,500 public school children learn about Long Island’s sole source aquifer, watersheds, water conservation, native plants and the connection between land and abundant clean water.
- Continued community outreach to broaden the Land Alliance’s membership base by hosting a dozen Walks in the Woods, six fundraising events and various conservation-oriented publications.
- In total, the Land Alliance grew its inventory of protected lands by 122 acres and increased membership by 194 new families.
All in all, it was a very good year for the North Shore Land Alliance and for local conservation. Lisa Ott thanked our members for their support and introduced featured speaker Dr. Diane Lewis, healthy living activist and author of The Great Healthy Yard Project.