FOC Newsletter, Chairman's Letter, Winter 2017
For the Friends of Connetquot, 2016 was a memorable year, both in prosperity and sadness. Our successes were many. And while we still grieve for the loss of one of our own, the Friends’ dedicated, hard-working Board is looking forward to its twentieth year of preserving the history of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. This special place, created in the seventeenth century as a traveler's rest stop that eventually evolved into a world-famous hunting and fishing gathering place for wealthy, sport-loving captains of industry and dignitaries and finally the place that is enjoyed today by the many who come for its nature trails, trout fishing, and now open historic structures.
No doubt you have heard or seen that the grist mill restoration is now complete! Please keep in touch as we will be announcing opening festivities shortly. We hope you will come to see the display of original equipment and a replica of the original water power wheel and original mill stones. As much as we would have liked it to be a working mill, the stress caused by the grinding mechanism would eventually compromise the structure's continued stability.
But that doesn't mean our mill activities will be limited. The Friends are working with the Preserve's Environmental Office to develop exciting and informative educational programs, video and other materials for the Mill Museum and the Preserve that will increase the understanding of all visitors of Long Island's social and industrial history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the role of the Preserve's historic structures in that context. We are grateful to have been awarded two matching grants from the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM) and Humanities New York for a combined total of $3,000 toward this effort, and we're continuing to seek the additional funding necessary. We hope you will join us for these programs.
The hatchery is now fully operational. Rainbow, brown and brook trout eggs have been hatched using water supplied by the new well. The stream is stocked and holds an abundance of fish for the many fly fishermen that are visiting daily looking to practice their skills. There have been many positive comments on the size of the fish in the river. Many patrons are also visiting the hatchery to feed the fish with food from the vending machines.
The first Breakfast and Birding event, held in January, drew a crowd of about 40 avid birders who were ebullient in their praise for this program.
Plans are underway for this year's I Love My Park Day in May. Volunteers are always welcome to assist with planting, painting, repairs and other various tasks to improve and beautify the Preserve. Visit our website and Facebook page for information regarding registration for this and many other planned events.
Thank you again for your continued generosity and support of the Friends.
Current Chairman's Letter
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