Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve | 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

  • Friends' Lecture Series

    Sunday, January 24, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Topic: "The Diverse Wild Canids of Long Island: Red Fox, Wolf, and Coyote"

    Speaker: Frank Vincenti

    Join Frank Vincenti, a self-educated expert on wild dogs of the world and founder of the Wild Dogs Foundation. His informative talk will include the current status of the Red Fox population of Long Island, the existence of a second fox species, former wolf populations that were here, and the arrival of coyote, a wolf-like animal that is recolonizing our area. What are the adverse and beneficial effects of these carnivores on the ecology of Long Island and its people? Can we coexist with resurgent carnivore populations? Come and find out.

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

  • Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingConnetquot Birding and Breakfast

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

    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 migrating and other resident birds.

    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 Birding and Breakfast page.

  • Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingMany Thanks to Rita and Jerry Trapani for Decades of Successful Trail Rides/Hikes

    After many years of dedication and service, the time has come for a well-deserved break.


    Friends of Connetquot needs volunteers and organizers to continue the tradition!  If you're interested, please visit the Trail Ride page and fill out our very brief form. We'll contact you with more information.

  • HatcheryHatchery to Reopen and Restore Trout Fishing on Connetquot River State Park

    Hatchery expected to produce 35K trout for river fishery and Long Island State Parks

    On October 23, we were happy to announce that the Connetquot River State Park Preserve hatchery will reopen next year, helping to reinvigorate the rich trout fishing tradition on Long Island's Connetquot River. The Environmental Protection Fund will pay for $150,000 in upgrades to the historic hatchery, which will begin this winter.

    The hatchery in Oakdale has been closed since 2008, after Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) was detected. Though harmless to people, IPN is a contagious disease that can be fatal to young fish of the Salmonid family, including Rainbow, Brook and Brown trout. State Parks has since worked with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to eliminate IPN from fish in the river and develop the plan to reopen the hatchery.


With regard to New York State Parks and Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) proposed plan to allow bow hunting at Connetquot...

As reported by the media, residents who border the Connetquot River State Park Preserve and other users of the preserve have expressed their concerns about allowing bow hunting there beginning November 2015. Friends of Connetquot also has many questions and concerns about this plan. Representatives of the Friends Board of Directors plan to attend a meeting of the LI Regional Commission of the NY Council of Parks to request full information about the proposed bow hunting of deer at the preserve and to voice the organization’s concerns. Said meeting was held on Monday, August 3rd at Hempstead Lake State Park.  Result of the meeting follows:


Thank you for taking the time to contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Long Island Region regarding the proposal to authorize hunting within Connetquot River State Park Preserve. We will not authorize hunting within Connetquot River State Park Preserve during the upcoming hunting season (end of 2015 beginning of 2016). We will be continuing our research and meeting with individuals and organizations involved with this issue as well as the individuals and supporters of Connetquot River State Park Preserve over the next several months so that we can make an informed decision moving forward.

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, Spring 2015

The Chairman's Letter for Spring 2015 has been released.

Here are the highlights:

  • On April 18, the instructive Photography Workshop attracted sixteen people interested in improving their photographic skills.
  • Erik Kunz of Seemore Carnivorous Gardens presented his Show and Tell Carnivorous Plant Workshop
  • Ladies' Tea event on April 26 drew almost one hundred women and required two sessions
  • May 2, was I Love My Park Day. Over seventy volunteers came to Connetquot Preserve and helped with many tasks.
  • The annual Fun Trail Ride was held on May 3.
  • The Friends, Parks, and Great South Bay Audubon partnered for a Breakfast and Birding program that attracted nearly forty visitors.
  • The Hatchery and Grist Mill restoration projects are underway and making good progress.

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