• Our Long Island Water Education Program Surpasses 10,000 Students Served

    After a pandemic year+ of postponement and a second year of remote learning (with supplies packed and delivered to schools) educator Karen Mossey finally returned to the classroom (with some interruptions!) during the 2021/2022 school year. And an exciting year this was with the total number of students served since the program’s inception surpassing 10,000. Enterprising as always and like educators everywhere faced with dramatic changes the pandemic required, Karen managed to add new school partners (Hewlett and Ogden in the Hewlett-Woodmere school district and St. James in the Smithtown school district). She nimbly adapted to remote learning. She did this by creating a video of the “build an aquifer” session and distributing a set of supplies for EACH student to the schools. Her efforts were carried out while getting her own school-age children through remote learning at home. Cheers to you, Karen, and educators all over.

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  • A New Season Has Begun at the Roosevelt Community Garden

    We are pleased to kick-start the fifth growing season at the Roosevelt Community Garden. This year we are partnering with new organizations, hosting more activities and educating more people. Our overarching goal is to help connect more youth to nature and better understand their role in protecting our environment. Annual Garden Members’ Orientation and Garden-to-Table Presentation On Saturday, March 19th, we hosted an educational presentation led by Master Gardener Charlie Kemnitzer at the Roosevelt Public Library. Participants learned how to start a vegetable garden and maintain their raised-garden plots and tips to care for their crops in a sustainable and healthy manner. Earth Day Celebration On Saturday, April 23rd, more than 50 volunteers and garden members participated in our Annual Earth Day event. Together we accomplished a lot, from removing debris and weeds to refilling plots with soil and replacing garden hoses in preparation for our annual Planting Day in May. We are grateful for all our volunteers, especially our newest friends from Bank of America, Girl Scout Troop #4703 and Rojah Peck. Special thanks to Claire DeRoche, Barry Nobel and other members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, who started volunteering last year, and to Bagel Chalet of Merrick for donating bagels for our breakfast. Members from the Universality Unitarian Congregation at Shelter Rock Bank of America Staff Annual Planting Day and Square Foot Gardening Demonstration On Saturday, May 21st more than 80 people, including Garden members, volunteers and visitors from throughout Nassau County, joined us to learn how to grow food using the Square Foot Gardening method. After the presentation led by Master Gardener Reese Michaels, Garden members and youth from the Roosevelt Prevention Coalition Roots Club and Girl Scout Troop #4703 worked together to plant vegetables and fruits. It was a pleasure to work alongside these students and watch them learn to grow their own food. Healthy food makes for more productive and healthier students! One World Girl Prosperity Project We were also pleased to work with the One World Girl organization again this year on their Prosperity Project. This awesome group of young people planted native wildflowers and shrubs throughout the Garden to help attract beneficial insects, create a stopping place for Monarch butterflies and provide food for birds. We hope to attract some new species for our pollinator project in June. Special thanks to Atlantic Nursery in Freeport and Long Island Natives for donating a portion of the plants. One World Girl Volunteers at the Roosevelt Community Garden

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  • North Shore Land Alliance 2021 Fall Newsletter

    The Importance of Private Conservation: Celebrating Local Conservation Heroes

    Another golf course sold for development. Another hillside cleared of forest for a better view. We are losing our natural areas at a rapid pace. This troubling trend runs counter to calls from scientists to protect more natural areas to mitigate the effects of climate change and better protect plants and animals from extinction. According to the Center for American Progress, more than 75% of the natural areas lost to development between 2001 to 2017 were privately owned. Currently, 23% of US ocean waters are protected and only 12% of US lands. Moreover, 80% of the land east of the Mississippi River is privately owned. Accordingly, private landowners are integral to the fight to save the planet and, in turn, ourselves. Private lands contain habitat that is essential to the extremely biodiverse species living on them. 95% of endangered species rely on private land for at least part of their habitat. Nearly 75% of US wetlands are located on private and tribal lands, providing important habitat for birds and aquatic life. Over half of US forests are privately owned, and these lands provide 30% of our drinking water. Our 2021 Local Conservation Heroes Today, we would like to celebrate our North Shore conservation champions – the local leaders who have been first to step up to donate their land or permanently protect it with a conservation easement. Their gifts will continue to improve the health of our community for generations to come! The Mayrock Family The Mayrock family donated a six-acre vacant and wooded lot in the Village of Matinecock, which they retained after the sale of their family home on a separate adjacent lot. The property was a special place for the family, who enjoyed walking the trails among vibrant laurel, beech trees and rhododendron clusters. Having raised their three children in Matinecock, Mr. and Mrs. Mayrock often strolled the trails of Shu Swamp with their kids. The Mayrocks envision their property as a complementary parcel to existing preserves. Indeed, it provides an important piece of the puzzle in connecting Cushman Woods, Humes and Shu Swamp, enhancing habitat for plants and animals. This generous donation builds on what has been a successful conservation effort in Matinecock, securing its natural beauty for future generations. The Schiff Family The Schiff Family The family donated 5.62 acres of predominantly forested land surrounded on three sides by Tiffany Creek Preserve. The 200-acre Preserve, which had originally been part of the Schiff Estate, abuts the property and is owned and administered by Nassau County. It consists of woodland, freshwater wetlands and critical wildlife habitat. The Preserve provides public access to nature in a County that is rapidly losing precious open space to development. This donation increases protected habitat and connectivity to adjoining preserved lands totaling 450 acres and delivers groundwater recharge services. The von Bothmer Family Donation When the Centre Island Land Trust (a founding member of the Land Alliance) was formed in 1999, its leaders approached Mrs. von Bothmer about placing a conservation easement on her waterfront property. Mrs. von Bothmer preferred not to encumber her land with an easement at that time, but she promised to leave instructions in her will for the easement to be placed upon her death.  As we have learned more than 20 years later, she kept her word.  Soon after her death we heard from her attorneys, who confirmed her intent to place a postmortem easement on portions of her 9.544-acre property located on Centre Island Road, Centre Island. This beautiful waterfront site will be protected in perpetuity and continue its work in keeping the water in our Oyster Bay Harbor clean. We are most grateful to the von Bothmer family for supporting their mother’s wishes. The Williams Family Donation The Williams family donated a 4.5-acre property adjoining St. John’s Church in Lattingtown to the Land Alliance for conservation purposes. Several years ago, they lost their home (located on the property) in a fire and chose not to rebuild. This gently sloping property in the Frost Creek watershed is filled with beautiful old trees, small streams and a pond that empties into the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Long Island Sound. This property provides important habitat for plants and animals and will be a wonderful place to enjoy the benefits of nature. In our most 2021 Spring issue of Conservation News, we highlighted 30×30, a global goal of protecting 30% of Earth’s land and water by 2030. 30×30 has been discussed in scientific circles for quite some time. It acknowledges the multiple crises we face — the extinction crisis and the climate crisis — both of which are magnified by the rate of habitat loss. Our North Shore community has the potential to reach this global goal, but we must act now. Based on the Land Alliance’s Community Conservation Plan (which covers our catchment area, from the Queens/Nassau border to the Town of Huntington’s eastern border and from the Long Island Sound to the Long Island Expressway), we have protected 15% of our natural areas, 7% of which is public land and 8% privately owned. We have identified another 2,108 acres (or 21%) of public and private land that could be eligible for future conservation.  It’s exciting to think our community has the potential to achieve the crucial 30×30 goal! If you are interested in exploring conservation on your land, please give us a call at 516-922-1028 or [email protected] We are most grateful to all the members of our community who have chosen to protect their land through donations of fee title or conservation easements the Bacon family the Braunstein family the de Roulet family the Diamond family the D’Loren family the DuBois family the Friedlander family the Fuschetto family the Grace family the Krasnoff family the Macy family the Marker family the Marsiello family the Mayrock family the Morgan family Nassau County Robert Sabin the Schiff family the Stallings family the Taglich family The Nature Conservancy Long Island Chapter Town of Huntington Town of Oyster Bay the von Bothmer family the Wallace family the Webel family the Williams family

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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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  • North Shore Land Alliance_2021 Fall Conservation news

    Invasive Plant Species Proliferation on Long Island

    As noted in a recent New York Times article, over the past 120 years, voracious insects and other pathogens have swept across North America with frightening regularity. They have devastated the American chestnut, the American elm and the Eastern hemlock as well as with ash and beech trees. These trees have anchored ecosystems, human economies and cultures. Invasive plant species have long been a problem. This year’s accelerated growth, caused by factors associated with climate change, is a stark reminder of their threat to biodiversity and forest health. Invasive plants like porcelain-berry, mile-a-minute and multiflora rose are blanketing our landscape, overtaking native plants and trees and choking them to death. Not all non-native species are invasive. The definition of a non-native or exotic species is one occurring outside its natural range as a result of actions by humans. According to the New York State Invasive Species Task Force (final report, fall 2005), an invasive species is a plant or animal that is (1) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and (2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. The 12% or so of non-native species that are invasive wreak havoc on our land and water, devastating wildlife habitat and ecosystems. Over the last 50 years, invasive species have cost the world $1.4 Trillion in social and economic impacts (property values, agriculture, utility interruptions, fisheries, etc.) According to a 2013 National Invasive Species Awareness Week economic report: The estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion, or five percent of the global economy. The annual U.S. cost from invasives is estimated to be $120 Billion, with more than 100 Million acres affected (i.e., about the size of California).  A NASA report, heralding a novel effort to monitor the progress of alien species via satellite, placed the economic cost of invasive species in the United States between $100 Billion and $200 Billion. Unfortunately, with many populations the spread has been so severe that eradication is no longer an option. To grapple with management, in 2007 Nassau and Suffolk Counties – the first areas in New York State to do so – finalized Do Not Sell Lists, establishing legislation prohibiting the distribution of about 60 invasive plant species. The State followed a few years later with a comparable list. A number of strategies help discourage the spread of invasives plant species on Long Island: * Prevention of new invasions. * Rapid detection and eradication of new invaders and outliers. * Management of established infestations to prevent spread (contain, suppress, restore). * Monitoring using established protocols. * Public education. * Research (species attributes, impacts, control, etc.) What You Can Do to Help Stop the Spread of Invasive Plant Species on Long Island: * Watch the NYS Department of Environment Conservation’s documentary Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species on YouTube  (See video below or copy and paste this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKh8Lc31rm8) * Promote native alternatives to invasive plants. * Do NOT purchase, plant or transplant any invasives (even if they’re legal). * Expand your selection of native plant stock and grow species native to Long Island.20 * Monitor your property and eliminate invasives from your yard and garden when possible. * If removal is not feasible, carefully remove fruits and berries to help minimize spread/reduce the seed source of invasive plants. * Do NOT dump unwanted aquarium plants or animals or landscaping debris in natural areas and waterways. * When visiting garden centers, find out if they’re in compliance with Do Not Sell legislation – notify County Consumer Affairs if they are not. * Participate in Invasive Species Awareness Week. * Visit the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area website for guidance in species identification and removal as well as how to document locations of invasives on mapping tool iMapInvasives (imapinvasives.org) * Volunteer with North Shore Land Alliance!

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