• 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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  • Peter O'Connor

    Volunteer Spotlight – Peter O’Connor

    Peter O’Connor has been volunteering with the Land Alliance since September 2020. He is one of our most dedicated volunteers and lends a helping hand every week. He can regularly be seen in the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden cutting bamboo, digging up rhizomes and preparing the Garden for visitors. He started volunteering for the Land Alliance as a way to give back to his community after spotting our name and information at the entrance to the Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve. His favorite Land Alliance holding is the Japanese Stroll Garden because it’s unique and there’s always something new to learn. Stroll Garden Manager, Mary Schmutz, says that Peter is an invaluable resource and a dedicated steward of the Garden. Peter’s curiosity and inquisitive nature have inspired volunteers, staff and interns. Recently, three black walnut trees were damaged in the woodland garden at the Humes Preserve. Peter swooped in and saw an opportunity to make a difference and embark on a new project. With help from Garden Manager Mary and fellow volunteer Melanie Howard, Peter researched methods to save the trees. He organized a work party and, with the help of three nature enthusiasts, attached locust twigs to the girdled areas of the walnut trees. They wrapped the wounds in duct tape and tarp to protect them from the elements. The Land Alliance is grateful to Peter (aka Dr. FrankenTree) for his ingenuity and enthusiasm in his volunteer efforts with the Land Alliance. In the coming seasons, we will keep a close watch on the walnut trees as we wish them a safe recovery!


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  • Roosevelt Community Garden 2022

    Season Five at the Roosevelt Community Garden Completed

    Our Roosevelt Community Garden in the Town of Hempstead is gaining momentum and receiving much deserved attention since its inception in 2018. The Garden has become an avenue for adults and children to work together to grow fresh wholesome food while learning about agriculture, biodiversity and appreciation of the outdoors. The lessons of the Garden also deepen the connection between protecting our land, air and water and our health. With the help of our partners, each year we provide a series of educational programs and activities for seasonal gardeners and all residents in the County. Here’s a summary of our 2022 activities: Educational Programs Our monthly gardening workshops, facilitated by Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, provided information to those interested in gardening, horticulture and related topics. We hosted seven workshops, which included a square foot gardening demonstration, succession planting talk and Garden to Table: How to Prepare to Grow presentation. Our aim was to support gardeners by teaching them how to start and maintain a vegetable garden in small spaces, care for their crops and soil and get more produce throughout the season. Family and Community Engagement This year, 41 families secured a raised garden plot for the 2022 gardening season, of which 10 were new. We kick-started the season with our annual Earth Day program. It was attended by more than 80 participants who took action to help their environment. During the summer we hosted Paint Night in the Garden to get more people outdoors and reduce stress, followed by our fall Dinner in the Open Air to celebrate another successful growing season. Young Explorers Program This season, more than 50 young botanists and future conservation stewards from Roosevelt and surrounding communities visited the Garden to do more than grow flowers, vegetables and herbs. The Land Alliance Young Explorers program provides a pathway for children, ages 4-17, and their families to engage with nature, learn about wildlife and the ecosystems they need to survive as well as how to improve their own health. We also had the pleasure of hosting students from the Roosevelt Prevention Coalition. They visited the Garden each month to connect with nature and find ways to cope with stress. Community service opportunities were also available for high school students. We hope to see many of these students and their families again next year so we can continue to cultivate a love of nature. Volunteers Engagement and commitment from volunteers is vital to the sustainability of the Garden. We are so grateful to all our volunteers for their immeasurably valuable work including leading educational programs, planting and harvesting crops, weeding, spreading woodchips and organizing social events. Our achievements have been made possible thanks to the many partners who have helped us over the last five years: Cornell Cooperative Extension – Nassau County Master Gardeners Roosevelt Public Library Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock Social Justice Committee One World Girl, Inc Hofstra University Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability Bank of America Associates in Nassau County Girl Scout Troop #4703 Volunteers for Wildlife Roosevelt Prevention Coalition sponsored by Family and Children’s Services We welcome new partners from schools, civic organizations and local businesses. For more information, please contact Andrea Millwood at andrea@northshorelandalliance.org or 516-922-1028.


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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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  • Adelphi Caliber Students

    Adelphi CALIBER Students Volunteer with the Land Alliance

    North Shore Land Alliance and Adelphi University’s largest community service organization, C.A.L.I.B.E.R. (Cause to Achieve Leadership Intelligence Brotherhood Excellence and Respect), are teaming up to raise $1,000 for tools for the Land Alliance’s Volunteers for Open Space Program. The Volunteers Program was established in 2008 to help advance our local conservation work and educational activities. Since then, we have engaged more than 2000 individuals to help protect and preserve our environment and steward hundreds of acres of land while providing meaningful, hands-on educational experiences.  C.A.L.I.B.E.R.’s donation will enhance our volunteers’ stewardship efforts, community outreach and education programs. C.A.L.I.B.E.R. has participated in several community service opportunities throughout Long Island, with partners as diverse as the Ronald McDonald House, Holly Patterson Nursing Home and Relay for Life. Established at Adelphi in 1985, C.A.L.I.B.E.R. provides its members with opportunities to grow as individuals and leaders, working with communities as a unified group, unlocking the full potential of both members and those they serve. North Shore Land Alliance volunteers participate in a diverse array of opportunities to match their varied interests. We welcome volunteers of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds and offer a wide range of conservation-focused activities at our nature preserves, in the office and at events. Volunteering with North Shore Land Alliance allows you to connect to your environment and community, making it a better place. Partnerships with organizations like C.A.L.I.B.E.R. continue to advance our mission, while connecting volunteers to nature.


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