Worth the Wait: North Shore Land Alliance Officially Opened the Humes Preserve in Mill Neck to the Public
The Humes Preserve opened to the public without much more than a peep! We’d originally envisioned celebrations with Land Alliance members and donors at a preserve pre-opening. Followed by a press conference with supportive elected officials and complete with a native butterfly release with lots of children nearby. But then COVID-19 came and didn’t go away…
Instead, on September 30th, being responsible, we simply opened the gate and let people trickle in. And we are so glad they came! Not in large numbers at first, but in small and manageable order that ensured safety and compliance with State protocols. By early fall, the meadow was filled with purple top grasses as high as your waist. The paths in the meadow had been mowed and hundreds of wildflowers planted in the spring (such as bee balm, black-eyed Susan and garden phlox) were blooming. Understory trees had been planted, thanks to the generosity of many. The entry allee lined with pink dogwood was starting to fill in. And the native butterfly came without our help as did the people.
The undulating new woodland trails above Dogwood Lane became hardened prior to the opening with visitors from adjoining Shu Swamp Preserve wandering in. Oak and beech trees towering above the paths provided an up-close and personal experience with some of the most majestic trees that remain in our community. The gravel parking lot had settled in alongside the newly restored tennis hut/visitor center and formal gardens. In addition, the recently completed outdoor exercise area had started to meld into its natural environment and people were putting it to good use.
If you have not yet visited the Humes Preserve, you should. While the official street number is yet to be approved, it will be 349 Oyster Bay Road, Mill Neck. The Humes Preserve is open sunup to sundown year-round. To repeat the sentiment expressed in our 2020 Spring Conservation News newsletter, we hope this will be a place where people can connect with nature’s wonders while appreciating the richness of the past and working together to build a better future. Speaking of the future, we are pleased to report that we started the planning process to make the Tavern House at the Humes Preserve the Land Alliance’s future home.
Sometimes pictures speak better than words. We hope the photographs below will inspire you to visit soon (and often) to enjoy this wonderful public space. We are very proud of it! We also are extremely grateful to all who have helped us with the preserve to date and those of you who will work with us to steward this community treasure going forward.
Allison and Jay Aston
Carole and Andrew Bates
Veronica and Jamie Beard
Elizabeth and Christopher Bonner
Carol and Stephen Canter
Michelle and Brad Cuddeback
Denine and Henry De Leon
Kate and Chad Doerge
Eliza and Bjorn Franson
Carolina and Diego Fuschetto
Kelly and Chip Gaudreau
Courtney and Andrew Geisel
Samantha and John Gellert
Jennifer and Joseph Grgas
Manda and Albert Kalimian
Susan Karches, in memory of Peter Karches
Allison and Robert Kellan, in memory of Salvatore J. Trani
Nazee and Roddy Klotz
Terry and Robert Lindsay, In memory of Toni Hunter Breck and Lel Gimbel
Alexis and Timothy McAndrew
Friends Academy students, Michael Mead and Blake Nagel
Susan and Jeff Moore
Lisa and Gil Ott
Harriet and John Pappas
David P. Pearson
Ainsley Earhardt Proctor
Christin and Tommy Rueger
Bliss and Baldwin Smith
Maryam and Arash Yaraghi
Faith Pennant says:June 10, 2021 at 8:34 am
The Humes Preserve looks gorgeous and necessary. I am originally from rural Jamaica, where I grew up on acres of land owned and farmed by my family. When my family moved to America, we first lived in Deerpark, Long Island for two years. I am always seeking beautiful outdoor nature venues to rejuvenate and replenish my soul.. I can’t wait to visit your beautiful and tranquil preserve from New Jersey.