32 Acres Protected in 2015
Location: Mowbray Lane, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Parking: Available on site

Perched above the historic hamlet of Cold Spring Harbor, this stunning 32-acre preserve at one time was being considered for development into thirteen house lots. Mature hardwood forest, which comprises over 60 percent of the preserve, protects air quality and provides erosion control throughout its steep ravines. Native trumpet honeysuckle was planted in 2018 to replace wisteria at the preserve’s trellis, and an assortment of highbush blueberry bushes are laden with delectable fruit in summer. A pollinator garden that attracts a variety of indigenous insects, a historic yew round and specimen trees round out the formal garden while woodland trails allow visitors to explore the forests on site. Take a stroll and you might catch a glimpse of some of the animals that live there like foxes and state-protected Box Turtles.

Wawapek was once part of a 600-plus acre estate owned by the de Forest family that empassed the Wawapek Farm. In 2006, the heirs of Robert Weeks de Forest, a lawyer and philanthropist, expressed interest in having part of the property preserved. In partnership with the Town of Huntington, Suffolk County, New York State, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and 358 private donors, the Land Alliance was able to acquire and permanently protect this environmentally significant property in 2015. This was the first time in Suffolk County that a private organization shared title with the county.

Wawapek Preserve Updates

Have you visited Wawapek lately?  If not, there are wonderful new things to see like

  • the pollinator gardens at the entrance
  • native trees and shrubs along the driveway
  • the recently renovated greenhouse
  • the adjoining Ralf Lange Garden
  • Maintaining the substantial lawn and managing invasive species.
  • Three new interpretive signs will be installed detailing the property’s rich history, the beautiful woodland overlooking the harbor and the new habitat restoration

These improvements would not have been possible without you – our members and friends.

Explore Wawapek and here’s what you will also find:

A fallen but living black walnut tree that delights children who scramble onto its trunk, lady fern, chestnut oak, Big Brown Bat and Great Horned Owls.


Become a Friend of Wawapek Preserve

Your tax-deductible donation will help us maintain and improve the preserve,
guaranteeing its accessibility for our community and the wildlife that joins us there.