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

Help the Friends of Connetquot

Dear Friends of Connetquot Members and Supporters:

The first half of 2013 was a challenging time for us all as we continued to address the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Like many in our community, the Preserve was not spared its ravages, but the Preserve persevered due to the tremendous support it received. Seeing so many of you rally to the cause of refurbishing trails and clearing storm debris from woods and stream on l Love My Park Day in May made us very happy. We are very thankful to all of you, and it’s because of your much-appreciated hard work that the Preserve is slowly returning to its natural splendor. The Board of the Friends takes great strength in knowing that you are with us through thick and thin.

Besides your manpower, your steadfast generosity has been vital in our efforts to make the Connetquot River State Park Preserve a place of natural exploration, educational opportunities, and recreation that you, your children, and your children's children can enjoy for a long time to come.  Below is an update on the work that we've been doing to make the Preserve welcoming to all:

  • ln December, 2012, we were awarded a second New York State grant of $150,000 for the restoration of the Grist Mill and the Hatchery. Following a strategy cleverly proposed by Board Member Richard Remmer in a question and answer—Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time—we have been steadily biting away to bring these two huge projects to completion. The Grist Mill restoration has resumed in June and if you stop by you will see the framing, windows, doors, shingles, and roof being restored. Work is progressing in a timely manner, and to date over fifty percent of the frame repairs are completed. While our New York State grants and other funds raised by the Friends will go far in completing the project, we still need help. We are almost there, and are hoping our friends will be generous in helping us see it through.
  • Of interest to our anglers and natural habitat members are the latest developments on the Hatch House, where a new well and other improvements will soon be underway. Once we receive the necessary permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation, anticipated shortly, work will begin. The Friends have successfully raised most of the funds needed for this project, and we are currently working with Parks to address Hatchery staffing when the work is complete in early 2014. We hope you will consider volunteering. Check our future newsletters for more information.
  • Developing engaging programs is also a Board priority and we continue to explore new ways to provide exciting and fun educational experiences for you and your family. Do stop by our two new turtle rafts and display sign at the Hatchery, visible from the bridge on the Red Trail path in the upper and lower deep ponds north of the hatchery. Made possible by a grant from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, the rafts provide close access to the wide variety of turtle species that make Connetquot their home, and nearby signage will provide details. The Norcross Foundation also provided an additional grant for a new live wildlife program. A great number of children and adults enjoyed the rare opportunity to photograph and observe at close range the behavior of several interesting animals, such as Peregrine Falcon, Great-horned Owl, red fox, opossum, and many others. lt was a great day for all.
  • We are also improving ways we keep our membership informed about our activities. l hope you enjoyed the first full-color issue of Comments on Connetquot this spring. ln addition to being more cost-effective, the new color format allows us to better show the Preserve in all its glory. Also remember to "like" us on Facebook and sign up for e-mails to receive all the news in real time.

As you can see, it has been a busy, yet productive year at the Friends, despite the storm. None of our progress, though, would be possible without your gifts. We hope that you will consider supporting us once more. Your past generosity has been greatly appreciated and l hope you are pleased knowing that your donations have helped to maintain the beauty of the Preserve and the many historical, educational, and recreational opportunities it avails. lt could not be done without you.

We look forward to seeing you at the Preserve or at our many programs. Thank you for your past contributions and your present consideration to this appeal.

Bob Labuski

P.S.: Each of us may value the Connetquot Preserve for a singular enjoyment, yet the pleasures to be found there are many and their total value is evident to all of us. I urge you to take part in helping Connetquot River State Park Preserve remain the best natural and historical treasure of our community and beyond.

Friends of Connetquot is a volunteer-run 501(C) (3) non-profit corporation (Tax ID 11-3364427)