• 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 Our Community Garden Wrapped Up

    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 [email protected] or 516-922-1028.

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  • How Can We Save the Bees?

    Did you know there are more than 20,000 bee species in the world? Of those bees, 450 are native to New York State, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. On Thursday, October 6, 2022, North Shore Land Alliance hosted a lecture with bee-expert Dr. Kate Lecroy of Cornell University.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the amazing world of native bees and what Long Islanders can do to help protect them. There is still so much that we don’t know about bees. Many are smaller than a grain of rice and almost 10% of bees in America are yet to be described. Native bees play a huge role in our ecosystem, pollinating almost 80% of flowering plants around the world and many important, high-value crops in New York are dependent on bees. Unfortunately, many of our native bees are in decline. More than 50% of North American native bee species are in decline and nearly 1 in 4 are at increasing risk of extinction. According to Dr. Lecroy, most bees are threatened by habitat destruction, overuse of pesticides, climate change, and predation by non-native bees. Dr. Lecroy also found that non-native bees outcompeted native bees in developed areas, while native bees thrived in unfractured, open spaces. There are many things that we can do to help native bee thrive in our own backyard.  Here are a few best practices suggested by the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey: Reduce pesticide and herbicide use. Control invasive plants and maintain native species. Aim to plant species that bloom year-round to provide a long-term food source. Mow your yard less and cut at the tallest setting. Let flowering grasses bloom longer and preserve bee habitat. Minimize outdoor lighting as it can disrupt foraging behaviors of bees. Leave coarse woody materials on your property for nesting habitat. Native bees are indispensable to the health of the natural world and are perilously under protected. Let’s start helping bees by making small changes in our yard because without these tiny, tireless creatures our world would be a less colorful and interesting place.  

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  • NYS Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act Passes!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact Debra Wiener, Director of Development Email: [email protected] or 516-922-1028 Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act Passes! Oyster Bay, New York | On November 8, 2022, the NYS Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act won with a resounding 67.57% majority! It’s nice to see that New Yorkers continue to value our environment. The NYS Environmental Bond Act will protect open space, safeguard clean drinking water, and update our aging water and sewer infrastructure while supporting nearly 100,000 good jobs. Now organizations like the North Shore Land Alliance will have access to much needed funds to help conserve open space and water resources. For 20 years, the North Shore Land Alliance has worked to protect nearly 1,300 acres of natural areas. The primary reason we protect land is to safeguard drinking water. Long Island’s sole source aquifer requires pervious surfaces (like fields and forests) for rain and snow to seep through the ground to recharge our drinking water source. A study by the Rauch Foundation found that nearly 60% of Nassau County’s surface is impervious (pavement and buildings). Open space is critical in protection our ground and surface water. In our community we have 8,000+ acres of natural areas left to protect. Through the Environmental Bond Act we will have access to critical funding to conserve land in perpetuity and maintain our quality of life. Plus, with the worsening effects of climate change, protecting open spaces, replenishing our aquifers, and restoring bays and harbors is more important than ever. The North Shore Land Alliance thanks you for your support of this Environmental Bond Act where we have shown we truly value our natural resources and take urgently needed action to protect our environment. Let’s act now to ensure a healthy future for those who come after us.

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  • Conservation Easement, Field at Tiffany Creek Preserve in Oyster Bay Cove, New York.

    Protecting Land on the North Shore with Conservation Easements

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact North Shore Land Alliance Email: [email protected] or call 516-922-1028 Protecting Land on the North Shore with A Conservation Easement Nestled into the village of Oyster Bay Cove, sits Tiffany Creek Preserve. A 450-acre leafy, old growth woodland with grassy fields, and a rippling network of freshwater streams and ponds. On a sunny day hikers can hear chirping gray tree frogs and spot white-throated sparrows fluttering between the cedar and tulip trees. This small patch of preserve is a natural oasis on the North Shore. But before Tiffany Creek was the preserve we know today; it was once a neighborhood of parcels and private residential properties. On one of these parcels off Cove Road, sat Caroline Dubois’s mother’s home. Growing up Caroline spent hours in the woods of Tiffany Creek exploring, turning over stones in search of salamanders, and swimming in ponds filled with sunfish, trout, and turtles. “I grew up loving the property with deep emotional ties to the land and water,” says Caroline. As Caroline’s mother grew older, it began time to think about what to do with the property. To Caroline’s family, preserving the land that they cherished was imperative. That’s why, after careful consideration, the Dubois decided to place a conservation easement on the property with the help of the North Shore Land Alliance – forever safeguarding the legacy of her home. “Knowing that our beloved field and streams would be protected forever gave me great comfort,” says Caroline. One of the most common ways land trusts, like the North Shore Land Alliance, protect land is through conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that protects a property and its unique conservation attributes by permanently restricting development or other uses of the land that have detrimental impacts. Founded in 2003, the North Shore Land Alliance was established to protect and preserve, in perpetuity, the green spaces, farmlands, wetlands, and groundwater on Long Island’s North Shore. In doing so, the Land Alliance acts as both a facilitator and custodian of conservation. Since its creation, the Land Alliance holds easements on 182 acres of private and public land in addition to owning 258 acres of preserves which are open to the public. The Land Alliance recently launched their Community Conservation Plan to align with the Federal “America the Beautiful” initiative to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Placing a conservation easement has countless benefits to a property owner like Caroline. In addition to protecting the natural beauty of the property, homeowners help preserve history and a way of life while receiving major federal tax benefits. Preserving land from development also helps mitigate and abate the effects of climate change. For property owners interested in placing a conservation easement, Caroline recommends, “Get all the facts about your property, especially its environmental assets and to get in touch with a local tax attorney to know more about the applicable tax which keep improving for conservationists.” For next steps on how to place a conservation easement please visit www.northshorelandalliance.org or contact the North Shore Land Alliance’s Director of Conservation at (516) 922-1028.

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