• Land Alliance Thanks our Active Volunteers

    The North Shore Land Alliance would like to thank the many active volunteers who contribute their time and energy to help us accomplish our land conservation mission. These individuals spend time in our preserves and, assist with community outreach events and office needs. In this issue of Conservation News, we would like to highlight two volunteers who have provided extraordinary services this spring (and over time). Richard Weir trained at Cornell University, spent his career with the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Nassau County. He currently serves on the Land Alliance’s advisory board and stewardship committee. Richard was most generous to share his expertise and hard work ethic this past March when he offered the stewardship team sage counsel on how to prune the very large round of yew hedge at Wawapek in Cold Spring Harbor. Richard offered much more than pruning advice spending nine hours over the course of two days with chain saw in hand to cut the yew hedge to the appropriate height. He was also instrumental in removing decades of wisteria vine growth from the base of the yew hedge, making the job that much tougher! Richard worked non-stop the entire time and inspired Land Alliance staff with his dedication to preserving the central element of this historic garden. Thank you for all your hard work, Richard! Since joining our volunteer corps earlier this year, Peter Meleady has made a real difference. An expert horticulturist, Peter has been involved with many invasive plant removals and pruning projects at Shore Road Sanctuary and has reinvigorated the trumpet honeysuckle trellis and blueberry bushes at Wawapek. He is also involved with projects and educational programming at the Roosevelt Community Garden and our Humes Japanese Stroll Garden manager looks forward to his assistance there, too. Peter often going to preserves after work or early in the weekends before he leaves to spend time with his family, shows dedication and knowledge that have resulted in a much-improved landscape. Thank you for your commitment and many contributions to the Land Alliance, Peter!


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  • Volunteers Give a Hand at our Preserves

    Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve (Iselin), Upper Brookville: 23 volunteers came out in sub-twenty-degree temperatures to remove invasive vines and shrubs close to the interpretive trail. This Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service event helped with not only clearing invasive vegetation but also creating brush pile habitat for wildlife. Special thanks to the many volunteers, including the Jericho High School Environmental Club, who joined us! The MLK Day of Service is a federally designated holiday to promote and encourage all Americans to improve their communities and to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Students from Professor Michael Veracka’s HOR 340, The Sustainable Garden, at SUNY Farmingdale visited Iselin multiple times during the fall. The goal of the course was to learn about actual environmental management at local preserves. This unique class combined traditional classroom learning with field visits to the preserve. Students conducted hands-on assessments and developed management proposals for optimizing habitat at the meadow. Their last visit to the preserve incorporated a formal presentation of their plans in front of a review panel. The panel consisted of Land Alliance staff, Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Secretary Pat Aitken and District Manager David Ganim. The Land Alliance thanks Professor Veracka for including us in this worthwhile endeavor and applauds his class for their innovative and practical management suggestions. Shore Road Sanctuary, Cold Spring Harbor: 12 volunteers braved inclement weather to partake in a beach cleanup and habitat restoration project that resulted in the removal of over 500 pounds of trash from the shoreline of the Long Island Sound. Trash collected included fishing line, foam, plastics and metal pipes. Volunteers then helped install plastic tarp to discourage invasive crown vetch in an area of the Sanctuary’s grassland. Many thanks to this stalwart crew. Humes Preserve, Mill Neck: The Land Alliance partnered with REI for their annual #OptOutside Day, a nationwide cleanup event held on Black Friday to encourage consumers to give back to the environment and their community and spend the day outside instead of shopping. Volunteers helped remove trash from the Humes meadow (which is undergoing restoration). Volunteers also helped in the removal of invasive garlic mustard and Chinese silvergrass. Overall, the 50 volunteers collected over 1,000 pounds of trash from the meadow. We thank everyone for their hard work and enthusiasm! Humes Japanese Stroll Garden, Mill Neck: Under the expert guidance of Stroll Garden Manager Mary Schmutz, we hosted a four-part series of volunteer events to help manage bamboo. 12 volunteers, using loppers and hand saws, selectively pruned bamboo to create healthier groves. Thank you Stroll Garden volunteers for your help during the Stroll Garden off-season! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at 516-922-1028 or info@northshorelandalliance.org.


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  • Reflections from a Long Island Water Education Teacher

    Since 2014, the North Shore Land Alliance has been visiting my West Side School sixth-grade science classes in Laurel Hollow to teach about the effects of pollution on Long Island’s aquifer. I have been teaching for over 30 years, and this workshop/field trip is by far my favorite! Two classroom workshops are held by Karen Mossey from the Long Island Water Education Program, in preparation for the field trip to the Shore Road Sanctuary. Through hands-on inquiry, Ms. Mossey engages the students to think about the amount of drinking water that is on Earth, which leads them to question about our drinking water here on Long Island. Ms. Mossey brings in supplies so the students can build their own aquifers, which allows them to visualize the different layers of Long Island’s Magothy aquifer. The kids are always amazed to discover that we rely on water that comes from an aquifer and how important it is to keep it clean. The hands-on field trip to the Land Alliance’s preserve in Cold Spring Harbor connects what the kids learned during Ms. Mossey’s classroom visits and their own world. My students are always delighted to discover the grassland, shoreline and life buried in the sand and under the rocks, while testing water quality and soil permeability. Every year one of the highlights is discovering the abundance of the Asian Shore Crab species, first found on the North American Atlantic coast in 1988, and the impact invasive species have on our ecosystems. The students love to find mussels, (especially after learning that just one consumes four gallons of water every day), and blue-blooded horseshoe crabs that have been inhabiting our shorelines for over 450 million years. Volunteer educators explain that each day, litter finds its way to our shores. This program has truly impacted my students over the years – they leave the experience always wanting to educate others. Since its inception, the LIWEP has reached 7,708 students in 25 schools in 14 school districts from north to south. This impact would not have been possible without dedicated funding from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, the Merrilyn Foundation, the Rauch Foundation and the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation.


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  • Improvements at the Humes Property

    Humes Formal Garden: Finishing touches are being made to one of the larger ongoing projects at Humes. Following the clearing of overgrowth and masonry repairs of the Innocenti & Webel designed formal garden and the refurbishment of the old tennis hut, planting is finally underway. In addition, the tennis court has been completely removed and is being converted into the visitor parking area, this time with a permeable bluestone surface! James Wellington of Innocenti & Webel was chosen as the landscape designer and has implemented a thoughtful and elegant plan. Arriving visitors will be greeted with an element of formality reminiscent of a country estate that wonderfully juxtaposes itself to the more natural elements of the adjacent meadow and woodlands. The formal garden and welcome hut complex will offer visitors a serene environment to enjoy a beautiful array of plants and shrubs, including boxwoods, holly, sedge, cypress, roses, azaleas and rhododendrons. Humes Flexes Its Muscles: The Land Alliance is excited to announce the creation of an outdoor fitness area at Humes. Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor and fitness enthusiast, this area will be a unique amenity enhancing the Humes visitor experience. Following multiple site visits with the donor and local trainer Carl Wermee, a discrete location next to the woodland trail has been chosen. Strategically tucked away outside a wooded area, the five-station fitness nook will offer a diverse array of exercise options. The stations are a subtle combination of steel and wood that will blend in naturally with the surrounding habitat. Tennis Hut (Before) Tennis Hut (After)


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  • Meadows and Trails Update

    Since our 2019 Fall Conservation News newsletter update, the Suzanne and Carter Bales Quiet Meadow has started to look more meadow-like. After two years of clearing, rubbish removal and weed management, we seeded warm-season grasses and a small volume of wildflowers (along with winter rye), in the phase one area (3.5 acres) last November. The winter rye, an annual, has taken hold to help with soil stabilization and weed competition until natives can become established. The native grasses and wildflowers will come in more gradually. To add some color to the meadow this first summer and fall, we added more mature perennial wildflowers (aster, goldenrod, phlox, indigo and others) in a number of planting locations alongside the trail, thanks to a very generous donation from the North Country Garden Club. Phase 2 areas adding up to almost an acre are still undergoing clearing and weed management but are slated to be seeded this fall. One of the highlights of our winter work was the use of a forestry mower to tackle long-entrenched woody debris in these areas. Now steps made of river stone, accompanied by an array of grasses, shrubs and wildflowers have just been installed. We were VERY surprised and delighted to receive a gift to wildlife and the meadow from Land Alliance Treasurer Jonathan Moore: an enchanting bird box he built at home by reusing cedar boards, pineapple cans and other materials. Jonathan also installed the box, facing east, adding a very welcome dimension to the meadow. MANY thanks to you, Jonathan!! Conservation News readers viewed in our last issue a network of existing and proposed trails through a corridor of 150 acres of protected land in the Beaver Brook watershed. New woodland and meadow trails at Humes and the Frost Mill Connector Parcel connect to existing ones in Shu Swamp and Upper Francis Pond to complete a five-mile circuit. Our O’Neil Stewards and volunteers are taking on some of the trail installation, vine removal, weeding and monitoring (native and invasive) plant growth along the trails and in the meadow. Steps made of river stone


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