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

Calendar of Events

Other Upcoming Park Events (unrelated to the Friends, but happening at Conneqtuot State Park)

This page focuses on events run by and sponsored by the Friends of Connetquot to raise funds to be used toward the preservation of Connetquot.  Please be sure to visit the Connetquot River State Park Preserve Events page at the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website for a schedule of other events run by the park itself.

Upcoming Events from the Friends of Connetquot - (Contact the FOC for details)

Christmas Event

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 12:00 noon through 7:30 p.m.

“Old Tyme Christmas Event – a Civil War Christmas”

Presented on behalf of On behalf of the Oakdale Historical Society, Friends of Connetquot, St. John’s Church, Co. K, 67 th NY Infantry, Islip Arts Council, and Islip Historian George Munkenbeck

Start your Christmas Season off with a visit to St. John’s Church (at the corner of Montauk Highway and Berard Blvd. in Oakdale, to see how Christmas was celebrated during the Civil War. A Civil War Christmas seeks to relive those moments in history, by re-creating the sights and sounds typical of Christmas in the 1800’s in a historic church (circa 1765). This will be a day that will be filled with activities for the whole family from Noon until it ends with a Civil War Christmas Service at 7:30 PM.

Costumed re-enactors welcome friends, neighbors, and soldiers who gather for some holiday cheer in the midst of the conflict. Period music, decorations, and Christmas carols, children’s activities and more, are all part of the festivities. We will also have a Cemetery Tour and a brief history of St. John’s Church (the first church in Islip), the Hanging of the Greens, Tree Decorating and Lighting ~ and a visit from St. Nicholas!

For a schedule of activities and times, please go to our Facebook page or the page for the Oakdale Historical Society or Islip Arts Council.

We hope to see you then!

Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingBreakfast and Birding

January 13, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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.

Where: Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Main Building

No Cost for Breakfast - $4.00 per Adult - $8 Parking Fee (None with a N.Y.S. Empire Pass)
Reservation is Required beginning 2 weeks prior to the event - Please call 631-581-1072 or fill out the registration form on the Breakfast and Birding page.

This Program is a collaboration of N.Y. State Parks, Friends of Connetquot, and Great South Bay Audubon.

Friends' Lecture Series - #1 of 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Straight Shooter in a Crooked World: The Fearless Life of John K. Hackett”

Speaker: Chris Kretz

Join Chris Kretz for an interesting presentation that will examine John K. Hackett’s life, his adventures, and his unique circle of friends - lawyers, politicians, artists, newspaper editors and sportsmen alike. Hackett lived life to the limit as only a man of the 19th century could. The fact that he was a founding member and the second president of the South Side Sportsmen's Club is only the start of it. From a young man growing up mere blocks from the Five Points slums, drawn west to San Francisco during the Gold Rush, back to New York where he made a name for himself as an upright judge in the era of Boss Tweed, Hackett knew no fear. Renowned as the best pistol shot of his generation, he was not above wearing his guns in court or shooting coins out of the hands of his dinner guests. He survived beatings, assassination attempts, and political attacks. The son of a famous acting family, he was a gifted mimic and practical joker who loved nothing so much as his guitar, his dogs, and his time spent hunting and fishing.

Chris Kretz is an academic librarian and co-author of Oakdale from Arcadia Press. He also co-hosts the Long Island History Project podcast, sponsored by the Long Island Radio and Television Historical Society.

Where: Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Main Building

Program and refreshments are free - $8 Parking Fee (None with a N.Y.S. Empire Pass)

Registration is Required beginning 2 weeks prior to the event - Please visit the Lecture Series page for details on how to reserve a seat.

Hunt DinnerAnnual Hunt Dinner

February 10, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.

The Annual Hunt Dinner will be held at 6:00 PM on February 10th in the Main Dining Room at Connetquot. The event will be limited to 45 guests who can look forward to gathering in the Fish Room for fresh Long Island oysters and clams on the half shell, smoked salmon, shrimp and cheeses. A special dinner will be prepared and served by the Irish Coffee Pub including Long Island potato soup, sliced filet of beef and roast Long Island duckling paired with a selection of traditional beverages for each of the courses. But above all, the evening will be remembered for great stories, Connetquot history and wonderful company.

The price is $150 per person. If you have questions or wish to make reservations, please send an email to

Gala CelebrationGala Celebration

November 5th, 2018

Friends of Connetquot cordially invite you to join us for an evening of fun at our 21st Annual Gala Celebration! Details and registration will become available as the Gala approaches. Please check back, check our Facebook page or sign up for our email list to receive notification of updates.

The Gala is our main fundraising event each year, making your support crucial if we are to continue our many initiatives that help to improve and maintain the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Past Galas have helped fund a variety of projects: installed an "OnCell Program" where you can take a walking audio tour of the Preserve using your own cell phone (to learn the history behind the landmarks, bridges, Ice House and more), the Friends' Scholarship Program, the Lecture Series, Birding and Breakfast programs, Photography Workshops, and the restoration of the many historic structures on the Preserve's grounds.

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

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