Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve | PO Box 472 | Oakdale, NY | 11769 |
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FOC Received Three Grants!

The Friends are proud to announce that we have secured the following capacity building grants that will greatly help us in strengthening our organization for the benefit of Connetquot River State Park Preserve:

NYSCA/UHA Get Ready Grant

Parks & Trails New York Grant

NYSCA/UHA Get Set Grant

Click here to read the details of these grants

Friends of Connetquot Lecture Series

The Friends of Connetquot is constantly looking for exciting and new ways in which its members and the general public may experience the Preserve. We are happy that the lecture series we have presented in the past were so well received.

The Friends invite the public and all members to take advantage of this benefit. We hope to see you at each lecture and look forward to meeting you and answering any questions that you may have about the projects and programs you are so generously supporting.

Please Join Us at Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Main Building

Lectures are open to the public, so bring a friend along!

Free Admission and Refreshments - $8 State-mandated parking fee (none with a NYS Empire Passport) Applies.

Advance reservations required (beginning 2 weeks before the event):
Please call 631-581-1072 or email the Friends at

Upcoming Lectures

Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Ariana Newell

Topic: “Amphibians and Reptiles of Long Island.”

Join the Friends of Connetquot and speaker Ariana Newell, a biologist for NY State Parks in Long Island and New York City, who will explore the wonders of the secretive lives of amphibians and reptiles, their history on Long Island, and the challenges they face today.

Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Mark Romaine, Docent of Connetquot River State Park Preserve

Topic: "The Men and Activities that Developed Long Island’s Original Gold Coast"

Several prominent men who regarded the south shore of Long Island as a sportsmen’s delight first came here in the early nineteenth century to escape their demanding financial pursuits in New York City. Before long, they wanted to spend more time on the island and began building their luxurious country estates in the South Shore for their families to enjoy the ocean breezes of summer while they enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, and socializing with their peers. Join Mark Romaine, a volunteer docent of Connetquot Preserve and avid history enthusiast, in exploring the ways in which these powerful men influenced the growth of the South Shore and shaped not only the history of Long Island but that of New York State and the country.

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Mark Romaine, Docent of Connetquot River State Park Preserve

Topic: "The South Side Sportsmen’s Club: Its Members and Their Impact on American Society"

Connetquot River State Park Preserve is the site of the former South Side Sportsmen’s Club, which in its day served as the exclusive recreational Mecca for a small group of prominent men in finance and politics. The Club gained worldwide renown as a premier fishing site and as the gathering place for the movers and shakers of America and their equally important guests. The Friends invite you to come and hear Mark Romaine’s interesting narrative about the Club and its members. More than sporting went on at the Club; no doubt the social interaction it facilitated among the members paved the way for transactions and governmental policies that greatly influenced American society at large.

Past Lectures

September 7, 2013 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Annie McIntyre

Topic: “Migration of Monarch Butterflies”

The last program of the 2013 Series was “Migration of Monarch Butterflies,” with speaker Annie McIntyre. Beautiful and fragile, the monarch butterfly undertakes an arduous journey each fall and spring to and from Mexico. The annual migration cycle of this butterfly has been described as the most spectacular in the insect world. Come learn about this fascinating animal and learn about its life cycle, habitat requirements, and the challenges they face with the present threats to its breeding, migration and winter habitats. Ms. McIntyre is the L.I. Regional Manager of the Environmental Office of NY State Parks.

Click photos to enlarge

March 16, 2013 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Ginny Fields

Topic: "The Millionaire Men of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club and the Beginning of the South Shore Gold Coast"

Ginny Fields, former NY State Assemblywoman and present Friends of Connetquot board member will discuss how the South Side Sportsmen’s Club gave rise to the Islip and other nearby communities with her program “The Millionaire Men of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club and the Beginning of the South Shore Gold Coast."

September 22, 2012 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Richard Remmer

Topic: "The Friends of Connetquot Vision for the Hatchery and Nicoll Grist Mill"

For more than four years, Richard Remmer, former president of the Friends of Connetquot, has led the Friends’ Board of Trustees with untiring zeal and dedication in their undertaking of two huge, ongoing projects—the Restoration of the Nicoll Grist Mill and the Hatchery Upgrade and Renovation. In this interactive program, he will share the Friends’ vision for these two historic gems within the Connetquot River State Park Preserve and invite audience input that will help refine the Friends’ future plans for educational programs.

Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Roger Smith

Topic: "The Trout Will Return: Future Plans for the Connetquot Fish Hatchery"

The Friends are pleased to present Roger Smith, Principal partner of Burton, Behrendt, and Smith Architects and Engineers, PC, who will share the work being done to open the Preserve’s Fish Hatchery once again. The work, a team effort being overseen by the Friends, includes interior and exterior renovations and upgrades that will make the hatchery complex bio-secure with a new supply of well water and water disposal system and include a new Rearing House and Educational Center.

Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Kurt Hirschberg of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc.

Topic: "Connetquot’s Colonial Past Restored: The Preservation of the Nicoll Grist Mill"

Kurt Hirschberg, Project Coordinator for the architectural firm of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. told the story of the restoration process of the Preserve’s historic Nicoll Grist Mill. When complete, this structure will be a working testament of a technology that dates back about two thousand years and is part of the Colonial history of Long Island.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Jerry Trapani

Topic: "History of Horse Drawn Carriages: From New York City to the Great South Bay"

Jerry Trapani is an experienced professional farrier and noted competitor carriage driver who founded the Paumanok Driving Club of Long Island.  He is also a member of the Carriage Association of America and has given seminars at the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Shaibal Mitra

Topic: "Bird Migration Through Long Island"

Shai Mitra has studied birds in the northeastern United States and around the world for over thirty years.  He has a BA in Biology and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology.  Among other pursuit, Shai Mitra is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of Staten Island and editor of The Kingbird, a publication of the NYS Ornithological Association.

Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker:  Linda Kasten, artist, past president of the now dissolved William K. Vanderbilt Historical Society, former employee of the Southside Sportsmen’s Club, and present environmental educator in the Environmental Office of NY State Parks.

Topic: "From Sportsmen’s Club to Park Preserve"

Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Harry W. Havemeyer, author of "Along the Great South Bay: From Oakdale to Babylon The Story of a Summer Spa 1840 to 1940." Harry Havemeyer is a four generation summer resident of the town of Islip. His ancestors first rented a cottage in 1884 and in 1889 bought a home in Islip.

Topic: The Cultural History of the Southside Sportsmen’s Club.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Gary Lawton, Regional Environmental Manager, L.I. State Park Region

Topic: The Natural History of Connetquot River State Park Preserve

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