• glass recycling

    Recycling Matters

    As of January 1, 2023, the Town of Oyster Bay has reinstated its glass recycling program after a four-year hiatus. Oyster Bay joins the towns of North Hempstead, Huntington, Hempstead, Islip, Babylon, Smithtown and others across the island in recycling this highly used material. Why is Recycling Important? Americans dispose of some 10M metric tons of glass annually, with an astounding two-thirds of it ending up in landfills. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. It is an easy step that we can all take to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. And we know less land dedicated to landfills means more land for wildlife. And that is something we can all agree is in short supply these days. We applaud the Town of Oyster Bay for reinstating its glass recycling program and encourage you all to recycle your glass jars and bottles with your recycling each week. Why waste precious land for landfills when we can recycle, renew and reuse. Just this simple step will make a world of difference for our environment!

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  • Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act Signed Into Law

    When landowners choose to conserve their land there are several different ways to achieve that end. One important tool is a conservation easement, a voluntary, perpetual agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization, such as the Land Alliance, that restricts the use of the land to protect its conservation values. Since 1979, donations of qualified conservation easements have been eligible for federal tax deductions. To date, according to the National Conservation Easement Database, over 201,525 easements have been donated protecting 33,527,688 acres of land. Unfortunately, there has been some abuse of these tax deductions. In rare, but harmful, instances, appraisals have been inflated in transactions known as “syndications”. These abuses have jeopardized the integrity of conservation easements and the tax incentive that has helped thousands of Americans voluntarily conserve millions of acres of their own land. Now the syndications will be halted thanks to the federal spending bill signed into law by the President on December 29, 2022. Included in the law was the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, targeted legislation that will protect conservation easements into the future. If you are interested in learning more about conservation easements, please contact Andrew Geisel at andrew@northshorelandalliance.org or 516-922-1028.

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  • Williams Preserve, Lattingtown

    Williams Preserve Progress

    Our first order of business at the charming Williams Preserve in Lattingtown, donated by Mary and Tim Williams, was to mow the areas along the driveway to facilitate access for maintenance. We then conducted an initial clearing of what will become a tiny parking area, to be installed once we have secured local approval. Since our last newsletter we began the long process of tackling extensive growth of undesirable vegetation throughout the property. A large volume of vines and invasive shrubs has been cleared mechanically, rescuing a number of native trees and shrubs (including a statuesque oak leaf hydrangea) in the process. In addition, a wall that was part of a formal garden designed by Ferruccio Vitale was uncovered. Much of the remaining clearing needs to be done by hand to protect the native vegetation that remains and access hard to reach areas along sensitive slopes and pond and stream edges. Coincidentally, Ferrucio Vitale also designed the formal garden at the Rumpus House at the Humes property. Umberto Innocenti began his work as a landscape architect at the firm of Ferruccio Vitale and Alfred Geiffert, Jr. He left it in 1931 to start the firm of Innocenti & Webel which, over the following decades, became the preferred landscape architects for the Humes Estate. Since the initial clearing was completed, our dedicated volunteers have removed vines by hand from the countless mature, majestic trees that are found throughout the property. They are beginning to remove invasive shrubs and vines from along the creek that goes from the property boundary and under the driveway into the pond. The spring ephemeral trout lily was observed on the bank of the creek in the spring; we hope to find more of this and perhaps other spring ephemeral’s as the property’s restoration continues. The creek is also lined with native jewel weed, which supports hummingbirds, so we are excited to learn more about the wildlife here. A highlight of the work our workers and volunteers has done was the uncovering of a stone staircase installed decades ago to connect the future meadow at the top of the property to the pond below. While it will require a little “engineering” to fully make the connection and become safely navigable, it is a discovery we are very happy about! We are working to develop a phased habitat restoration plan that will map out several natural communities – meadow, grassland, freshwater pond, stream and woodland – with implementation to begin next spring. We welcome volunteers and look forward to the time when St. John’s Church parishioners and summer camp attendees can take a quiet stroll or eat a sandwich by the pond. With many thanks to the Williams family for their generous gift.

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  • A New Preserve in Lattingtown

    Mary and Tim Williams have donated their family’s beautiful 4.5-acre property located at 357 Lattingtown Road to the Land Alliance for use as a public preserve. This lovely place once hosted a grand house called the Dormer House. The house was designed by Theodate Pope Riddle, one of the first female architects in America. It was built in 1906 by Mrs. Charles Otis Gates, of the Royal Baking Powder fortune, and tragically was destroyed by fire in 2014. The landscape, which remains today, was designed by the famous landscape architect Ferruccio Vitale (who was also working on the Humes Estate at the time). The meadow is perched above a pond and overlooks the vicinity of St. John’s Church of Lattingtown. Deer paths can be found across the sloped woodland that separates the pond from the meadow. It is easy to envision a loop path that crosses the meadow, then enters the woodland with its diversity of majestic trees and leads to a bench offering a serene view of the pond. Another approach to the pond may be from the driveway, which feels like an old carriage road, in the lower part of the property. Such a path would make its way over a bridge crossing the stream and leading into the pond. A pondside bench or perhaps a bird blind would be welcome in this spot. A deliberately tiny and rustic but functional parking area will be installed at an open grassy area just west of the driveway as one enters the property. The Williams property is in the Frost Creek watershed, which is classified as a wetland suitable for fish, shellfish and wildlife propagation and survival. It is also part of a corridor of undeveloped land that includes the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, The Order of St Josaphat, Kate Trubee Davison Preserve and an adjoining 2-acre parcel donated to the Land Alliance by Miani Johnson in 2016. The conservation values of the property include Long Island Sound protection, groundwater protection, habitat for wildlife and pollinators as well as a recreational opportunity. Among the more noteworthy flora and fauna observations are a diversity of mature trees, including white oak, red oak, American sycamore, tulip and white pine. A spring ephemeral trout lily was observed by the stream this spring along with a variety of native plants such as azure bluet and great laurel. A number of warbler species (both breeding locally and spring migrants) were documented, as was a wood duck on the pond. We expect fox, opossum, bats and other mammals will also call this property home. We are grateful to the Williams family for this wonderful gift and look forward to inviting you to visit later this summer.  

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