Wawapek is alive with the sights and sounds of summer! The trees are in full leaf, the pollinator gardens are a buzz and the blueberry patch is heavy with fruit. As we enter a new season at this much-loved preserve, we’d like to give you some quick updates about exciting things to come. Mowbray Lane Entrance If you’ve visited Wawapek this season, you may have noticed a much-improved entrance. A new split rail fence was installed along Mowbray Lane (which was dotted with beautiful daffodils earlier this spring). With the help of funding from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and a generous neighbor, we installed pollinator gardens on both sides of the driveway, along with new native red cedars and white pines. Habitat Restoration Area If you’re a regular visitor to the preserve, you’ve witnessed years of rapid invasive species growth along the right side of the driveway. Last fall, with the help of a local contractor, we used a forestry mulcher to remove porcelain berry, multiflora rose and other bad actors in this 10,000 square foot area. That made way for new native plants! This summer, with the help of funding from the NYSCPP, those invasive species will be replaced by beautiful native shrubs and trees such as red maples, dogwoods, rhododendrons, witch hazel and white pines. Vine Removal Along the woodland trail, we have started a periwinkle removal project with our volunteers. Vinca major is a rapidly spreading trailing vine that has spread throughout much of the woodland, outcompeting our native plants. The next time you’re out hiking at Wawapek and you come across a tarp in the woodland understory, you will see our volunteers’ invasive species management at work. Pulled plants are placed inside a black tarp to solarize (cook in the sun). Since our volunteer days over the past weeks, the native Canada Mayflower has begun growing quite abundantly in the areas previously invaded by Vinca, going to show just how crucial pulling weeds can be. We have also removed invasive vines (like porcelain berry and bittersweet) along the hedge row in the formal lawn. Thanks to the tireless work of dedicated volunteers, we have unveiled blooming star magnolia trees, a cluster of which had been invaded by vines over many years. The trees are still recovering, but their branches are no longer burdened by the weight of the heavy invasive vines. We are excited to watch these trees recover in the seasons and years to come. We plan to continue removing as many weeds as we can with the help of our volunteers, Friends Academy students and our summer O’Neil Stewards. Ralf Lange Garden Thanks to a generous donation from Pat Peterson and her friends in honor of her long-time partner Ralf Lange, we have installed a gathering area and native gardens in the once neglected greenhouse complex. The first garden, located within the low brick foundation of the former greenhouse, has been transformed. It now is a gathering area with a teak picnic table and benches surrounded by sweet bay magnolia trees. The adjacent garden area is filled with native shrubs such as witch hazel, sweet pepperbush and mountain laurel. Old cold frames have now been planted as pollinator gardens, with hyssop, sensitive fern, butterfly milkweed, black eyed Susan’s, purple coneflower and mountain mints. We hope you will visit soon and watch these exciting new projects grow. If you are interested in seeing what’s happening at Wawapek, come visit the beautiful property (located off Mowbray Lane) and its woodland trails from 7AM-5PM every day of the week. If you have any questions or wish to get involved, please contact Meghan Leverock at 516-922-1028 or [email protected].
Federal Update: Partnerships Are Important New York’s game species are literally losing ground, as human development and climate change is restricting their native habitats. In a new report, the National Wildlife Federation found game species across the country lost, on average, 6.5M acres of habitat over the past two decades. Per the report, between 65 and 82M acres of America’s national forests need restoration. In addition to the 30×30 plan outlined in Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative, Congress is considering the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, (RAWA), which would allocate nearly $1.4B annually to states to implement habitat restoration and conservation strategies. If fully funded, RAWA would deliver about a 25 percent increase to states, tribes and territories in their wildlife agency budgets. States would be required to contribute a 25 percent match. The money would be allocated among the states by formula, based on a state’s size, population and the number of species it contained that were listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. In the 117th Congress (2021-22), RAWA has been introduced in the House (H.R. 2773) by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). It passed the House Natural Resources Committee on January 19, 2022. RAWA was introduced in the Senate (S. 2372) by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). It was amended and passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on April 7, 2022. Since they now contain different language, if the bills pass both chambers they will have to be reconciled in a joint committee. New York State: A Once in a Generation Opportunity The $4.2B Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act will appear on the November ballot this year New York’s natural resources provide us with what we need most: clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, food for our families and places to explore the great outdoors. On November 8, New York voters have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect clean drinking water, conserve wildlife habitat, reduce pollution and modernize infrastructure through an environmental measure on this year’s general election ballot. If approved by voters, the $4.2B Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act will help communities throughout the state make crucial upgrades to roads, water pipes, septic systems and water treatment plants and keep pollution out of our bays, harbors and drinking water. The Bond Act would also support nearly 100,000 local jobs and protect and restore natural habitats by supporting family farms, conserving forests and improving habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife. The Land Alliance is a member of the coalition who will be actively supporting the passage of this important legislation. We hope we can count on you to vote yes in November. More information to follow.
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.
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
Posted by Admin on December 8, 2021
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
- A Very Big Deal
- Growing Healthy Communities Through Food and Gardening
- Grasslands Symposium Highlights Long Island’s Grassland Restoration Efforts
- Wawapek Greenhouse Restoration and Native Seed Propagation
- Cushman Woods Meadow Transformation
- Restoration of the Williams Preserve
- Sisters of St. Joseph: Estate Planning on a Divine Scale
- Enjoy the Gift of Nature: Explore Land Alliance Preserves
- 2023 Walks in the Woods & Other Cool Things to Do Outside
- A Decade of Service by Friends Academy Students