• 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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  • How Can We Save the Bees?

    Did you know there are more than 20,000 bee species in the world? Of those bees, 450 are native to New York State, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. On Thursday, October 6, 2022, North Shore Land Alliance hosted a lecture with bee-expert Dr. Kate Lecroy of Cornell University.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the amazing world of native bees and what Long Islanders can do to help protect them. There is still so much that we don’t know about bees. Many are smaller than a grain of rice and almost 10% of bees in America are yet to be described. Native bees play a huge role in our ecosystem, pollinating almost 80% of flowering plants around the world and many important, high-value crops in New York are dependent on bees. Unfortunately, many of our native bees are in decline. More than 50% of North American native bee species are in decline and nearly 1 in 4 are at increasing risk of extinction. According to Dr. Lecroy, most bees are threatened by habitat destruction, overuse of pesticides, climate change, and predation by non-native bees. Dr. Lecroy also found that non-native bees outcompeted native bees in developed areas, while native bees thrived in unfractured, open spaces. There are many things that we can do to help native bee thrive in our own backyard.  Here are a few best practices suggested by the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey: Reduce pesticide and herbicide use. Control invasive plants and maintain native species. Aim to plant species that bloom year-round to provide a long-term food source. Mow your yard less and cut at the tallest setting. Let flowering grasses bloom longer and preserve bee habitat. Minimize outdoor lighting as it can disrupt foraging behaviors of bees. Leave coarse woody materials on your property for nesting habitat. Native bees are indispensable to the health of the natural world and are perilously under protected. Let’s start helping bees by making small changes in our yard because without these tiny, tireless creatures our world would be a less colorful and interesting place.  

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  • NYS Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act Passes!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact Debra Wiener, Director of Development Email: [email protected] or 516-922-1028 Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act Passes! Oyster Bay, New York | On November 8, 2022, the NYS Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act won with a resounding 67.57% majority! It’s nice to see that New Yorkers continue to value our environment. The NYS Environmental Bond Act will protect open space, safeguard clean drinking water, and update our aging water and sewer infrastructure while supporting nearly 100,000 good jobs. Now organizations like the North Shore Land Alliance will have access to much needed funds to help conserve open space and water resources. For 20 years, the North Shore Land Alliance has worked to protect nearly 1,300 acres of natural areas. The primary reason we protect land is to safeguard drinking water. Long Island’s sole source aquifer requires pervious surfaces (like fields and forests) for rain and snow to seep through the ground to recharge our drinking water source. A study by the Rauch Foundation found that nearly 60% of Nassau County’s surface is impervious (pavement and buildings). Open space is critical in protection our ground and surface water. In our community we have 8,000+ acres of natural areas left to protect. Through the Environmental Bond Act we will have access to critical funding to conserve land in perpetuity and maintain our quality of life. Plus, with the worsening effects of climate change, protecting open spaces, replenishing our aquifers, and restoring bays and harbors is more important than ever. The North Shore Land Alliance thanks you for your support of this Environmental Bond Act where we have shown we truly value our natural resources and take urgently needed action to protect our environment. Let’s act now to ensure a healthy future for those who come after us.

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  • Conservation Easement, Field at Tiffany Creek Preserve in Oyster Bay Cove, New York.

    Protecting Land on the North Shore with Conservation Easements

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact North Shore Land Alliance Email: [email protected] or call 516-922-1028 Protecting Land on the North Shore with A Conservation Easement Nestled into the village of Oyster Bay Cove, sits Tiffany Creek Preserve. A 450-acre leafy, old growth woodland with grassy fields, and a rippling network of freshwater streams and ponds. On a sunny day hikers can hear chirping gray tree frogs and spot white-throated sparrows fluttering between the cedar and tulip trees. This small patch of preserve is a natural oasis on the North Shore. But before Tiffany Creek was the preserve we know today; it was once a neighborhood of parcels and private residential properties. On one of these parcels off Cove Road, sat Caroline Dubois’s mother’s home. Growing up Caroline spent hours in the woods of Tiffany Creek exploring, turning over stones in search of salamanders, and swimming in ponds filled with sunfish, trout, and turtles. “I grew up loving the property with deep emotional ties to the land and water,” says Caroline. As Caroline’s mother grew older, it began time to think about what to do with the property. To Caroline’s family, preserving the land that they cherished was imperative. That’s why, after careful consideration, the Dubois decided to place a conservation easement on the property with the help of the North Shore Land Alliance – forever safeguarding the legacy of her home. “Knowing that our beloved field and streams would be protected forever gave me great comfort,” says Caroline. One of the most common ways land trusts, like the North Shore Land Alliance, protect land is through conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that protects a property and its unique conservation attributes by permanently restricting development or other uses of the land that have detrimental impacts. Founded in 2003, the North Shore Land Alliance was established to protect and preserve, in perpetuity, the green spaces, farmlands, wetlands, and groundwater on Long Island’s North Shore. In doing so, the Land Alliance acts as both a facilitator and custodian of conservation. Since its creation, the Land Alliance holds easements on 182 acres of private and public land in addition to owning 258 acres of preserves which are open to the public. The Land Alliance recently launched their Community Conservation Plan to align with the Federal “America the Beautiful” initiative to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Placing a conservation easement has countless benefits to a property owner like Caroline. In addition to protecting the natural beauty of the property, homeowners help preserve history and a way of life while receiving major federal tax benefits. Preserving land from development also helps mitigate and abate the effects of climate change. For property owners interested in placing a conservation easement, Caroline recommends, “Get all the facts about your property, especially its environmental assets and to get in touch with a local tax attorney to know more about the applicable tax which keep improving for conservationists.” For next steps on how to place a conservation easement please visit www.northshorelandalliance.org or contact the North Shore Land Alliance’s Director of Conservation at (516) 922-1028.

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