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

FOC Newsletter, Chairman’s Letter, Winter 2009

Happy New Year!

As we start a new year, let's hope we can look forward to a prosperous, healthy 2009. I'd like to thank the Board of Directors, all members, donors, volunteers, and park staff for making 2008 a successful year.

The hatchery closing remains our major concern. The Friends have been trying diligently to convince New York State park authorities and the Department of Environmental Conservation to either abandon or at least postpone the closing, scheduled for December 31, 2008. The DEC insisted that all fish in the hatchery be released before that date. Therefore, all the fish were released from the hatchery ponds into the river or transferred to the main pond and Slade's pond. The State has submitted an application to the DEC to begin a test procedure to raise fish from eggs using well water. Eggs will be obtained from an outside source. Pond number ten will be sanitized for this purpose. As of this writing, there has been no decision made by the DEC, and no permit issued. Stay tuned for results.

Fishing resumed on January 2, with a creel limit of ten fish per angler, per session. With all those fish in the river and ponds fishing should be well above par.

The restoration of the mill continues to progress smoothly. The new sill beams and floor joists are in place. The mill has been lowered onto its new foundation. There is a significant amount of work remaining to replace posts and beams damaged by dry rot and powder beetles. The new flooring will then be installed and new roof and siding shingles will follow. The Hollien crew is doing a superb job. If the weather holds out, we should see significant progress in the weeks ahead. We are still seeking grants and donations to offset the costs.

The Board is considering several options to arrive at an appropriate strategy for protecting the river from potential hazardous spills at the overpass on Veterans Highway. We will keep you informed.

It was exciting to spot a mature Bald Eagle that has been present since late November. Many park patrons have reported sightings. There seems to be a reduced migration of birds and waterfowl this year. Less ducks than usual are occupying the main pond. I hope that as the winter progresses we will see more of them returning.

Visit the park. If you have never done so, take a house tour (available on weekends).

Bob Labuski

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