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, Autumn 2012

I hope Hurricane Sandy had a minimal effect on all of you and, more importantly, that you and your family were not personally harmed. Considering the devastation the storm left in its wake, it is not surprising that Connetquot Preserve has a considerable number of downed trees throughout and many in the area of the Hatchery. Also, the main building sustained quite a bit of damage as one of the chimneys collapsed and the roof had many shingles torn off by the high winds. The mill is still standing, although some of the tarps that were placed to protect the building were blown off. All other structures survived fairly well. Please stand by for more details after the full extent of the damage is assessed and remedial action is planned.

Our fifteenth annual Gala was held on Sunday, October 7. Despite cool, damp weather, a significant number of hardy souls attended and enjoyed a great celebration of the Connetquot Preserve with food from several local restaurants and bakeries, as well as homemade delicacies. The theme, an old fashioned country fair, was highlighted by the presence of a barber shop quartet and a pie baking contest, which was won by Pam Hunter of the park's Environmental Office with her delicious cherry pie. Congratulations Pam! I would like to thank all the Board members and volunteers as well as the park staff for their assistance in making this event a success.

Regarding the restoration of the Grist Mill, as mentioned above, the mill has been wrapped with tarps to protect it from the winter elements. Meanwhile, a request for sealed bids to restore it brought only one bid that was well over budget. Thus, a modified second request for bids will follow soon. We anticipate the modification will bring in bids that are more in accordance with the scope of work.

Our efforts toward reopening the hatchery continue in earnest. So far, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation has given permission to begin raising trout from eggs and utilizing existing raceways for their growth. Pending are the result of our New York State Consolidated Funding grant application and the issuance of permits to drill a new well and install a pump to provide fresh ground water for the hatch house. We expect to hear about both shortly.

On Saturday, September 22, as part of our Lecture Series, Richard Remmer presented an outstanding review on the status of the grist mill and hatchery projects. If you missed this important program, don't forget that DVDs of all our lectures are available for purchase in the Preserve's gift shop.

I presented my third nature photography workshop on Saturday, October 13. Nine novice photographers attended it and were instructed in the use of cameras and other photographic equipment to produce quality nature photo images. A stroll outside gave the participants a chance to put their new knowledge to use. Foliage was just beginning to show its colors and the weather was very cooperative. I plan to present additional workshops in the near future. Please check our website and Facebook for dates.

Enjoy your Connetquot Preserve. Take a walk and experience nature at its finest.

Bob Labuski

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