Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve
WE CAN DO MORE TOGETHER - Read more about how your support has helped the Friends or to donate to continue supporting our work. | PO Box 472 | Oakdale, NY | 11769 | Contact Us

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FOC Receives Grants!

The Friends are proud of the support from the foundations whose links appear below. The capacity building grants they have awarded us will greatly help in strengthening our organization for the benefit of Connetquot River State Park Preserve:

The Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation

New York State Council on the Arts

Parks & Trails New York

Upstate History Alliance

Click here to read the details of these grants

The Friends of Connetquot is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, conservation and continuation for future generations of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. In order to maintain the environmental, ecological, cultural and historical integrity of the 3,473 acre preserve, the groups’ initiatives are:

  • To help preserve the pristine environment
  • To lend support to the management
  • To help support the fishing habitat, woodlands, flora and fauna, hiking and bridle trail facilities and the educational programs
  • To help protect and restore historic buildings

The Friends of Connetquot believe that the act of preservation is best accomplished when we keep an eye on the past, a foothold in the present, and our arms outstretched for the future.

Upcoming Events/Announcements

  • Mid-Year AppealFriends' Appeal


    With the considerable and much-appreciated support of donors such as you, the Friends of Connetquot continues to make great progress in enhancing the historic structures of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve and the way its visitors experience this beautiful place.

    As an organization, we constantly strive to grow and improve. Consequently, in April, Friends of Connetquot was thrilled to receive an Organizational Excellence Award from the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. But none of these accomplishments would have possible without you.

    Please read our full appeal and about all the work the Friends have done and are continuing to do, with your help, to keep Connetquot the treasure that it is.

  • Friends' Lecture Series

    Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingSaturday, March 25, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Topic: "Long Island’s Native Carnivorous Plants and Their Ecosystems"

    Speaker: Matthew M. Kaelin

    Join Matthew Kaelin in an interesting photographic exploration of Long Island’s carnivorous plants. He is the author of “The Sinister Beauty of Carnivorous Plants,” and his vivid photography has been exhibited in fine art galleries. He has also authored natural history articles and won horticultural awards, as well as named two Nepenthes cultivars. With his life-long interest in carnivorous plants, Matthew often searches the natural habitats of Long Island’s native carnivorous plant populations and regularly shares his observations with the New York Natural Heritage Program. Don’t miss this wonderful presentation.

    See the Lecture Series page for reservation information and complete program details.

  • Friends' Photo WorkshopBook Signing - Bob Giffen

    "One Little River, The Story of the Connetquot River: Millionaire Sportsmen’s Paradise"

    Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Join Bob Giffen, author of One Little River, The Story of the Connetquot River: Millionaire Sportsmen’s Paradise (he is also a past president of the Friends of Connetquot and a present member of its Board of Directors) and hear the interesting stories Bob will discuss from his book, which is based on the history of the Connetquot Preserve.  Read more details on the calendar page...

    Program and Refreshments Are Free - $8.00 parking fee (None with a NYS Empire Pass)

    To reserve: Beginning 2 weeks prior to the event, please fill out RSVP form on the calendar page - or call 631-581-1072.

    Purchase "One Little River: The Story of the Connetquot River" for only $20

  • Photographers' Get-Together

    Sunday, April 9 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    Friends' Photo WorkshopPhotographers of all levels, join award-winning photographer Bob Labuski at the Connetquot River State Park Preserve for a cup of coffee and a casual discussion to share information about photographic equipment, favorite photo sites and how-to tips. Afterward, the group will take a walk in the preserve in search of birds and other wildlife, flowers, and scenic views to photograph. Bring a few of your images to show, if you would like.

    Novice photographers are encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn from the advanced individuals.

    Coffee and Snacks Are Free

    There is an $8.00 parking fee for those without an Empire Passport.

    To reserve: Beginning 2 weeks prior to the event, please fill out RSVP form on the calendar page - or call 631-581-1072.

  • Connetquot Breakfast and Birding

    Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingMay 14, 2017

    Place: Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY

    Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

    Program: Join Friends of Connetquot, Great South Bay Audubon Society and NY State Parks Environmental Education Office at Connetquot River State Park Preserve for a continental breakfast, an introduction to bird identification, and a walk in beautiful Connetquot Preserve to find and identify ducks and other birds at the preserve.

    No cost for breakfast, $4 per adult for program, $8 parking fee (none with a NYS Empire Passport).

    Reservation required: call Connetquot State Park Preserve at 631-581-1072 to register or fill out the registration form on the Breakfast and Birding page.

Friends of Connetquot Receive $66,000 Grant from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation

September 9, 2015

Oakdale, NY - The Friends of Connetquot Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Friends were awarded a Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation matching grant of $66,000 to support efforts to restore the Nicoll Grist Mill located in the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. The Mill, which dates to the early 1700's, is an iconic structure and one of the few mills in the nation whose mechanisms are still based on the original Norse design utilizing a horizontal wheel to grind.

The Friends have been spearheading the restoration of the Mill. To date, work on the foundation, framing, shingles and doors has been completed. The Friends will utilize the matching grant from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation to reinstall the main drive mechanism, horizontal wheel and mill stones. Once complete, the Mill will be a museum dedicated to increasing the public’s understanding of the social and industrial history of Long Island and the Preserve's role within that framework.

Friends Board Chair Robert Labuski, speaking on behalf of the Board, has said that the Friends "are very grateful to the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for their constant support of the Mill restoration. Their generosity is allowing us to finish the Mill restoration, which, when complete, will be a new cultural resource for the residents of Long Island."

Download this press release in PDF format.

Chairman's Letter, FOC Newsletter, Winter 2017

The Chairman's Letter for WInter 2017 has been released.

Here are the highlights:

  • For the Friends of Connetquot, 2016 was a memorable year, both in prosperity and sadness. Our successes were many. And while we still grieve for the loss of one of our own, the Friends’ dedicated, hard-working Board is looking forward to its twentieth year of preserving the history of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve.
  • The grist mill restoration is now complete! Please keep in touch as we will be announcing opening festivities shortly.
  • The Friends are working with the Preserve's Environmental Office to develop exciting and informative educational programs, video and other materials for the Mill Museum.
  • The hatchery is now fully operational. Rainbow, brown and brook trout eggs have been hatched using water supplied by the new well.
  • The first Breakfast and Birding event, held in January
  • Plans are underway for this year's I Love My Park Day in May.

Please visit the Chairman's Letter page to read the full letter.

OnCell Audio Walking Tour!

Did you know you can take a walking audio tour of Connetquot River State Park Preserve using your own cell phone?  Thanks to OnCell and the Friends of Connetquot, you can learn about the history behind the landmarks of the park such as Mile Marker "50", the various bridges along the trails, the Ice House, Hatchery and more!  Plus, you can find out what to look for as you walk the trails of the park.  It's a whole new way to see Connetquot even if you've been here hundreds of times.

Simply download the map here or get one at the entrance booth as you come in to the park.  Call 631-703-3313 to begin the tour and look for the markers along the trail.  Enter the number on the marker and you'll be treated to a short summary of what you're looking at and what to look for.

Site designed by Eric Larson