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, February 28, 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.

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bats Both Near and Far!

    Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Have you thanked a bat today? Come join the Brown's - mother and daughter - for a fascinating presentation about a beneficial but much feared creature, the bat. The dynamic duo, since 2007, has been studying bats together on Long Island, Costa Rica, and the Peruvian Amazon. They will share the most up to date information on the status of our Long Island bats and their importance in the ecosystem, economics, and to human health. They will also share their unique findings from the pristine primary rain forest of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, where they have collected data, via mist-netting and bioacoustics, on bats and the ectoparasites, such as mites, affecting their health. This data may lead to a better understanding of bat ecosystem services and the potential roles ectoparasites might play in tropical disease transmission.  More....

    Program and Refreshments are free; $8 Parking Fee (None with N.Y.S. Empire Pass)

    Registration Required - beginning two weeks prior to the event

    Please fill out RSVP form on the calendar of events page or call 631-581-1072

  • Reptiles and Amphibians of Long Island and the East Coast

    Saturday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m.

    Accompany Erik in one of his fascinating and fun "edventures." Come and explore the diversity of reptiles and amphibians from Long Island and the East Coast! This high energy, interactive presentation features LIVE animals and an interactive slide show that highlights the importance of these amazing animals in our own backyards! You won't want to miss this and don't forget the kids!

    Program and Refreshments are free; $8 Parking Fee (None with N.Y.S. Empire Pass)

    Registration Required - beginning two weeks prior to the event

    Please fill out RSVP form on the calendar of events page or call 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 BirdingConnetquot Birding and Breakfast

    Sunday, May 8, 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.

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 Fall 2015 has been released.

Here are the highlights:

  • We are happy to say that our most important fundraiser, the Gala, held on November 2nd, was a great success.
  • The Fishing Outing of October 9 was attended to full capacity and was thoroughly enjoyed by every angler.
  • The Friends are still looking for volunteers to help continue the Trail Ride. Please contact the Friends if you're interested in volunteering to help keep this great tradition alive.
  • The fish hatchery reopening is gaining momentum.
  • We have applied for another New York State grant that will allow us to embark on the final phase of restoring the Nicol Grist Mill

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