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.

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.

Upcoming Events/Announcements

  • 2015 Connetquot Fall Fly Fishing Outing

    Friday, October 9th, 2015

    The Friends would like to invite all to enjoy a day of fly fishing and a tasty gourmet lunch (catered by the Snapper Inn) on the beautiful Connetquot River.

    Admission fees are $60 for current members and $75 for new members (this includes a full year’s membership).

    There will be fish stocked for the occasion.

    Please call either Joe Mikulas or Ed Kelleher for a reservation. Remember that space is limited, so plan accordingly.

    Joe Mikulas - (631) 472-3408
    Ed Kelleher - (631) 724-8134

    Click here to download the flyer and registration form

  • Carl Safina18th Annual Gala Celebration

    Monday, November 2, 2015 - 6:30pm to 10:30pm

    Where: Captain Bill's - Bay Shore, NY

    Friends of Connetquot cordially invite you to join us for an evening of fun at our 18th Annual Gala Celebration!  See the Gala page for more, including reservation/sponsorship information.

    This year, the Friends will be honoring Dr. Richard "Doc" Steinberger, Connetquot River supporter for 35 years and unwavering Hatchery advocate whom the committee selected to receive the Gil Bergen Preservationist Award.

    An entertaining and fun evening is planned, and we are counting on you to join us in honoring Dr. Steinberger and in celebrating the past, present and future of the Connetquot Preserve yet again!

  • Friends' Annual Membership Meeting

    Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    "The Four Seasons at Connetquot"

    Where: Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Main Building

    ALL ARE WELCOME to come and meet the Friends of Connetquot Board and hear about their projects, programs, and volunteer opportunities at the Connetquot Preserve. You will also enjoy a photographic tour of Connetquot's beautiful landscape in every season, "The Four Seasons at Connetquot," presented by award-winning photographer and president of Friends of Connetquot, Bob Labuski. Refreshments will be served.

    Program and refreshments are FREE

    Please reserve a seat by emailing the Friends at or calling 631-581-1072

  • 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.

  • Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingHatchery 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.


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.

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