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, Spring 2011

Spring has finally arrived! After a long, cold winter, I welcome the sight of blooming crocuses and daffodils and budding leaves on the trees. Ospreys have returned to Connetquot Preserve and are busy constructing their nests.

The Friends' Board is keeping busy as well; we continue to work with the State toward the restoration of the grist mill. A $105,000 grant has been awarded to the Friends by the NYS Dormitory Authority. A large portion of this money will be used toward the necessary scope of work to complete the final phases of creating a working mill. The firm of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. has been selected and contracted, through a bid process, to complete this work.

The other challenging issue, reopening the fish hatchery, is also being actively addressed. The engineering firms of Lockwood, Kessler and Bartlett, Inc. and Freshwater Institute have been hired to design a new facility. The first step will be to create a smaller scale, bio-secure, hatchery using ground water to hatch eggs and rear approximately six thousand fish in above ground tanks. This will allow the resumption of the environmental education programs of New York State Parks and enable restocking the river. Designing, building and implementing a larger hatchery will follow in the near future.

The Friends have been working on several other projects in the last couple of months that we hope you will find interesting. Look for a future announcement of a new self-guided tour of the preserve that is close to being implemented and will be available through visitors' cell and smart phones. Have fun while supporting the Friends: First, on May 18th and June 8th, dine at Applebee's in East Islip and Applebee's will donate ten percent of your bill to the Friends (you must present the flyer available on this website for the donation to count). Then, join us on Friday, June 17th at Country Farms Equestrian Events Arena in Medford for an evening of arena polo and a half-time concert by Toby Walker. You may also note another addition to this year's calendar of events, a Photography Workshop for Novices, on July 9th, at Connetquot Preserve.

The lecture series for 2011 was kicked off on March 19th by Shai Mitra giving a presentation about Bird Migration on Long Island. The event drew a capacity audience. Two more lectures are planned for this year, one on June 4th, with speaker Nick Karas talking about the brook trout, and another on September 10th presented by Friends' VP, Jerry Trapani, with the topic History of Horse Drawn Carriages from New York City to the Great South Bay.

Visit the preserve, take a walk, and enjoy Long Island history and nature at its finest.

Bob Labuski

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