• Historic Humes Tavern House

    Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation Grant for the Historic Tavern House

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact Debra Wiener, Director of Development Email: [email protected] or 516-922-1028 Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is honored to have been awarded a grant through the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for the adaptive reuse of the Tavern House at the Humes Preserve. This historic structure on Oyster Bay Road in Mill Neck will become the Land Alliance’s new headquarters. The unassuming, wood-framed Tavern House has been a part of Long Island history since the mid-18th century. Over several centuries, this property passed through multiple owners serving as a tavern or inn, farmhand quarters, guest cottage and summer home for Ambassador John P. Humes and his family. The Land Alliance acquired the 28-acre property in 2015. The land was purchased for conservation purposes and is now open to the public. With the conservation of the Humes property, we have created a 150-acre conservation corridor in the most biodiverse area in Nassau County. The Tavern House within the Humes Preserve will serve as the Land Alliance’s first permanent headquarters. The 4,000 sq ft building will include offices, meeting spaces, room for small-group educational programming, and environmentally-friendly septic and geothermal heating systems. While the structure’s interior will be modernized, the Land Alliance has made great efforts to preserve the building’s original features. “The move will better connect the lands we have conserved for public purposes to the people and the organization who made their permanent protection possible,” said Lisa Ott, President and CEO of the Land Alliance. “Through this project, we can preserve an important piece of Long Island’s story. The Tavern House has borne witness to hundreds of years of growth. It is an important part of Long Island’s history. With this grant, we are proud that we have ensured that it will be an integral part of Long Island’s future as well”, states Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Thanks to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s generosity, the adaptive reuse of the historic Tavern House at the Humes Preserve will be possible. “The Land Alliance is grateful for The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s efforts to preserve Long Island history,” said Lisa Ott. “We are so grateful for the strategic funding they have provided to our organization and so many worthy projects across Long Island.” The Land Alliance’s new headquarters are set to open in February 2023. Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. Until his death in August 2004, Robert David Lion Gardiner was the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, NY. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit rdlfoundation.org. The North Shore Land Alliance, Inc. is a nationally accredited nonprofit land trust founded in 2003 that works to conserve and steward Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters and environmental resources. For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance, please visit www.northshorelandalliance.org.

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  • North-Shore-Land-Alliance-Protects-Water-with-Hydro-Action-Clean-Water-Septic-Technology

    North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact North Shore Land Alliance Email: [email protected] or call 516-922-1028 North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is leading the charge by installing a new, eco-conscious Hydro-Action clean water septic system at their newly remodeled headquarters at the Humes Preserve in Mill Neck, New York.  This was made possible by a generous donation from Wastewater Works, Inc. for the system, and grant from Nassau County’s SEPTIC program for the installation. The Hydro-Action septic system will remove harmful chemicals like nitrogen from wastewater ultimately protecting our bays, harbors, and sole source aquifer. The Land Alliance is dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters, and environmental resources. Through education, outreach and volunteerism, the Land Alliance aspires to connect people to nature and build a community conservation ethic. Residents are cordially invited to view headquarters in February. When visiting, you can also check out the Land Alliance’s clean water septic system as well as the state-of-the-art, carbon-minimizing geothermal energy system. Stormwater runoff preventing rain gardens to follow this spring. It is imperative that we work together as a community to protect our open spaces and water resources. By upgrading our homes with environmentally friendly technologies we can improve water quality, reduce CO2 emissions, and protect wildlife. If you’re interested in receiving a grant to upgrade your outdated and polluting septic system, check out Nassau County’s SEPTIC program at nassaucountyny.gov/SepticReplace. You may be eligible for $20,000 to switch to clean water septic technology.

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  • Seed Collecting at Humes Preserve with North Country Garden Club

    by special guest authors Sealy Hopkinson and Melissa Worth, Chairs of the NCGC Horticulture and Conservation Committees Members of the Conservation and Horticulture Committees of the North Country Garden Club met with the Land Alliance’s Jane Jackson and Charlotte Brennan on October 11th to collect seeds. This was part of the ongoing, multi-year project for NCGC’s Partners for Plants (P4P) project funded by The Garden Club of America (GCA). NCGC was awarded this grant in late spring of 2020 to support the revitalization of the Humes meadow in Mill Neck. The Land Alliance, in partnership with the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District and the local community, is in the process of restoring the meadow, (which was at one time farm fields). It is a central piece of the Humes Preserve, a critical part of the Beaver Brook corridor of 150 contiguous acres of protected open space. The particular focus of the P4P project was to remove invasives, closely monitor the effectiveness of the removal and restore native plants throughout the meadow’s four acres. The GCA’s P4P grant funded the hiring of a trained horticulturist, Penn Marchael, of Pennington Grey, who served as project manager of the restoration process. The project is now in its third year. Penn, together with accomplished Land Alliance staff and the help and support of NCGC, has succeeded in controlling invasives and transforming the property into a meadow filled with native grasses and wildflowers. It supports a broad variety of insects, together with migrating and local birds that rely on natives for their survival. As you can see from the photos, the wonderful collaboration between NCGC and the Land Alliance continues. Under Jane and Charlotte’s guidance on this beautiful October afternoon, NCGC members collected seeds from little bluestem, big bluestem, Indian Grass and purpletop grasses, along with several goldenrod species. The seeds will be dried and kept in cold storage by participating NCGC members in preparation for future propagation and reseeding. That will be in the spring of 2023, at the Nassau County Museum of Art William Cullen Bryant Preserve in Roslyn, which is developing its own meadow! It is a wonderful, ongoing project for North Country Garden Club.

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  • Happenings at Humes – From Gardens to the Garage

    We were kept busy with mowing the phase two area of the meadow this year but unfortunately that was more due to controlling weed growth than keeping winter rye from going to seed, (as had been the case with phase one).  Last fall’s seeding of the phase two area was less productive than phase one’s. For this reason, the area will be overseeded shortly. We will follow with adding wildflowers generously provided through a Garden Club of America Partners for Plants grant secured by the North Country Garden Club of Long Island. The phase one area of the meadow is thriving.  It benefited from the addition of bluebird boxes, which yielded chicks in the spring. Much of this activity was monitored by Barbara Garriel and Jan Guga. We were also graced with daily visits by Judy Rasin, whose photographs document the meadow’s use by butterflies and other pollinators throughout the 2021 growing season. The fall was planting time for the native woodland demonstration area next to the nature play area. Designed and installed by Spadefoot Design and Construction, the project occupies a 4,000 sq. ft. area that not long ago was a dumping ground for Humes Estate weeds and rubbish.  Now a short path will enable visitors to explore a suite of native trees, shrubs, ferns and wildflowers typical of the understory of a local woodland. This past summer, new Land Alliance Board Member Oliver Grace launched a $100 Thousand matching grant challenge for improvements at Land Alliance properties. Excitingly, the grant was quickly matched and seeded multiple projects in need of funding. With the Humes Preserve fitness area heavily trafficked, the Land Alliance felt the adjacent garage needed an overhaul to beautify the visitor experience and provide us with much needed storage for tools and equipment. We hired Tim Lyons of LMW Group to do the work and his generosity exceeded our expectations. Unfortunately, no treasure was found during the demolition, only empty wine bottles in the rafters dating back to the 1960’s. The restoration included a new roof, updated electrical, new garage doors, paint, shelving and rotted wood replacement among other things. The refurbishment not only looks great but promises to keep people and things dry for years to come. We would like to thank Oliver Grace and those who took part in his matching grant challenge for their generous support and Tim Lyons for his craftsmanship. Thanks to the generosity of the the Annunziato, Driscoll, Hoyt, Kalenderian and McGlone families a beautiful new flagpole has been installed next to the meadow. These families thought of everything! The new pole has a solar light so the Stars and Stripes can fly over Humes 24 hours a day. Excitement grows as construction of the new Land Alliance headquarters begins. In mid-November, the retaining wall behind the Tavern House was raised and a sturdy new one was installed. This process required several months of engineering, bidding and permitting. The new retaining wall will solve slope and drainage issues as we get one step closer to the actual restoration of the Tavern House. Simultaneously, the nearby swimming pool was removed to make room for public access to the new Tavern House headquarters. This process began with the removal of all the bluestone around the pool (which will later be used for pathways). Next, the pool had to be pumped of roughly 30,000 gallons of murky pool water. While monitoring the pumping, volunteers noticed the frogs that had called the pool home for so long, were chasing the retreating water. Volunteers sprang into action and grabbed buckets to dutifully rescue the frogs and relocate them to the a nearby pond. Later that week the heavy machinery moved in for demolition and removal of the pool. One thing is certain, there is never a dull moment at the Humes Preserve! We have more exciting things to come in 2022 as we begin the work to restore the Tavern House and surrounds as the Land Alliance’s first ever HQ! Click here if you would like to help us maintain this preserve.

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