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 2013

The Friends have had a busy couple of months. On 16th March, the first program of our 2013 Lecture Series was held; Board member Ginny Fields gave an interesting presentation on the history of the South Side Sportsmen's Club and its role in the creation of the south shore "Gold Coast." She showed many old photographs of elegant mansions and related little-known details of the estates built by the millionaire members of the Club, some that still stand today.

On Sunday, March 24th, Board member Jerry Trapani gathered more than forty volunteers to help clean the equestrian trails at Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Super storm Sandy and the February blizzard left much debris littering the trails. Many of the trails at the Preserve were pruned and cleaned. In addition, damaged fire gates were also repaired.

Fran Levesque also matched the skills of additional volunteers to several other cleanup projects at the Preserve for I Love My Parks Day on May 4th. Our sincere thanks go out to all who responded to our call for help. What a way to show your appreciation for Connetquot Preserve!

However, the needs of our parks and a preserve such as Connetquot require constant care. Thus, I invite everyone to continue giving a few hours of their free time to the Friends, or if you've never volunteered consider doing so. Join us in showing our love for Connetquot Preserve at any time that is convenient for you. To place your name on the list of volunteers, please contact Fran Levesque (by email at or by phone at 631-560-5357.)

The Friends are preparing to engage the winning bidder, WGP Contracting of Bay Shore, to perform the repair work on the frame of the Nicoll Mill and the exterior shingles, windows, and doors. Recently, the project committee met with Bill Proefriedt, owner of WGP, to discuss all aspects of the contract. Construction is due to commence in June.

If you visit the park in the next few weeks, you will notice scaffolding erected around the Main Clubhouse. Much needed work to repair the damaged roof and chimneys is in progress. The building has suffered a good deal of water damage caused by the storm Sandy and compounded by a harsh winter.

Fishermen are once again appearing on the river to try their luck at catching the trout that were recently stocked there or the resident fish that have remained from the previous seasons. Catch and release rules still apply. Many good-sized fish have been caught and returned to the waters to be challenged by another angler's fly. We expect the work on the wells to begin soon, and look forward to the subsequent restoration of the existing Hatch House at the hatchery. Once this work is completed, we hope to see fishing at Connetquot regain its previous popularity.

Spring has finally sprung in the Preserve. Flowers are blooming, Ospreys are already seeking their favorite meal, and all wildlife has begun the task of producing new off-spring. Visit soon and enjoy the season.

Bob Labuski

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