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.
FriendsOfConnetquot.org | 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)

Friends' Lecture Series - #2 of 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

"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.

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.

Book Signing - "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.

Bob Giffen's Program and Book Signing - "One Little River"

When you walk the trails of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve, you may be treading over the footsteps of U.S. presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Chester Arthur, or Grover Cleveland, as many notable historic figures visited the Preserve during its days as a sportsmen’s paradise.

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. This magnificent place exists today almost untouched mainly through the preservation efforts of the influential members of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club—who owned the site prior to its becoming a State Park—and later that of others in the community who advocated to have the park designated, by legislative order, as the first Park Preserve in New York State.

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

Purchase at Amazon

Where: Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Main Building

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 below or call 631-581-1072.

Fill out my online form.

Friends' Photo WorkshopPhotographers’ Get-Together at Connetquot

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

Photographers 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 below - or call 631-581-1072.

Fill out my online form.

I Love My Park Day

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sponsored by Parks & Trails New York

Beautification, clean up, and conservation projects are planned in Parks all across New York State. Show your love for Connetquot River State Park Preserve by joining the Friends' volunteer team to perform various beautification, clean-up and other tasks that will make the Preserve better to serve all visitors.

Registration details to come.

20th Annual Spring Fun Trail Ride

Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. (rain or shine)

Food, Fun, Raffles.

Come join us for our 20th annual fun filled ride/hike through beautiful Connetquot Park Preserve. Enjoy the peaceful beauty of the trails and woodlands of the first N.Y.S. preserve. The clubhouse will be open for tours. A leisurely ride or hike of a few miles will take you through some of the most historic trails on Long Island. There will be a Chinese Raffle for many wonderful prizes donated by generous friends.

More Information or to register and pre-pay

Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingBreakfast and Birding

May 14, 2017 - 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.

Ladies' Tea PartyLadies' Tea

Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Join us for our 4th Annual Ladies' Tea! Enjoy sumptious tea, muffins, scones, finger sandwiches and fabulous raffle prizes to celebrate the past, present, and future of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve.

Where: Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Main Room

Fee: $30/person and A HAT IS MANDATORY!

Reservations are Required

Please R.S.V.P. by 6/4/17 by completing the form and payment on the Ladies' Tea page or by calling 631-567-5042 and mailing in your payment.

Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingBreakfast and Birding

September 10, 2017 - 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 - #3 of 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 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.

Fall Fly Fishing Outing

October 2017 - Exact Date T.B.A.

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.

Please check back, subscribe to our email list and/or "Like" us on Facebook for information as it's updated.

Gala CelebrationGala Celebration

November 6th, 2017

Venue to be determined

Friends of Connetquot cordially invite you to join us for an evening of fun at our 20th 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. The focus of this year’s Gala is the restoration of the historic Colonial Grist Mill and the work needed to re-open the Fish Hatchery. When complete, we anticipate both will be major tourist attractions for the area, which will no doubt benefit others in the community as well.

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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