Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails



The Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition is a regional community based non-profit organization whose mission is to help preserve, protect and enhance our nature and recreation trails and the habitats surrounding them.

 LITLC will:

  • Create, maintain, rehabilitate, enhance, and protect Long Island trails in order to provide easily accessible opportunities for the public to engage their bodies, and expand their minds and spirits in our natural world;

  • Encourage public use of trails for a healthy lifestyle and the appreciation of nature;

  • Make available to the public, information on how to use trails safely, comfortably, and with gentle respect;

  • Lead guided walks on trails with the permission of the land managers;

  • Restore damaged trails and the habitats surrounding them, while encouraging community involvement in trail stewardship;

  • Advocate for non-partisan political support for our mission and for the purchase and preservation of the open space that will best serve the public good;

  • Accept donations including land or easements upon land, consistent with its mission of providing access for the public;

  • Participate in scientific research for the betterment of the trails experience;

  • Provide media for Long Island Trails

LITLC biographies

LITLC President
Ken Kindler

The natural open spaces of Long Island are not only unique and beautiful; they also protect a limited supply of groundwater in a highly populated region.  Since 1999 I have been a full-time advocate for Long Island’s trails and open space because I am convinced that the protection of open space is fundamental for the preservation of our water supply.  I also believe that the availability of such beautiful natural space is necessary to our well being as a society.

My website: www.hike-li.org was created to disseminate information about hiking and environmental issues and to encourage a coalition among the groups involved in protecting and preserving Long Island’s trails and open space.

I am an active member of the Greenbelt Trail Conference, South Hampton Trails Preservation Society, The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society and have served on the boards of two of these groups. I advocate for the protection and care of our trails at town and county meetings and at the Central Pine Barrens Commission’s meetings.  In cooperation with The CPBC’s Protected Land Council, I have assisted in developing a procedure for addressing the illegal use of off-road vehicles on public land.  This procedure is now being implemented by New York State.

Channel 12 News has interviewed me on trail related issues on several occasions.  I have also been interviewed by radio personalities, Jack Ellsworth and Jeanne Fontana on their shows.  In 2004, my work was the subject of an in-depth Newsday article by Katie Thompson.  I edited the2001 edition of “Short Nature Walks on Long Island” by Rodney and Priscilla Albright.  Since 2003, it has been my pleasure to share my trail experiences in my “Take a Hike” column which appears weekly in Dan’s Papers.

My formal education and background are in analog and digital electronics and mathematics.  However, over the last eighteen years my interest in protecting Long Island’s open space and trails has motivated me to research, and participate in numerous workshops and seminars on building a nonprofit organization and trail building and maintenance.  I have used the skills acquired in these settings in my volunteer work and in generating successful grant applications for various trails groups on Long Island.  It is my passionate mission to advocate for and protect natural open space and trails on Long Island.

See recent article about Ken in the East Hampton Star

LITLC Treasurer
Diane Eidelman
Middle Island

I have been a librarian for 30+ years.  Most of those years were spent in the area of government information, including but not limited to laws, rules and regulations of the federal, state, and local government.  I have always had a love for the outdoors and spend my free time walking the trails around my house with my family and my dog (leashed, of course) and birding.  Memberships include the National Audubon Society, Environmental Action Fund, and the Nature Conservancy.

LITLC Secretary
Pat Firestone

I have been the mental health field for over 30 years, first as administrator of a private mental health center, then as a psychotherapist in private practice.  Prior to that, I held positions in fashion merchandising and advertising. I believe that a connection with the Natural World is central to the well-being of individuals and Society as a whole and feel strongly that the natural beauty of Long Island must be preserved and protected.

Michael Vitti
VP Trail Stewardship
Glen Head, NY

I first started caring for Long Island trails while I was a Boy Scout at Camp Wauwepex in Wading River. That fascination led me to study the hows and whys of trail design.

As I grew older, the natural beauty around us always amazed me. I decided to try and recreate that beauty by starting a landscape design and construction
firm that specialized in Long Island native plants.

For recreation, I sought ways to connect with nature in exciting ways. In addition to surfing and windsurfing, I found mountain bicycling as a perfect
activity to stay in shape, have fun and commune with nature. It was the perfect way to cross train in between surf sessions.

Mountain bicycling is a positive recreational activity, one that creates stewardship opportunities. Soon I became president of Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB, www.climbonline.org)  and the NY Representative for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) as well as a member of the NY State Trails Council.

I have been to many seminars on trail design that were based on US Forestry guidelines. I have studied trail design at IMBA seminars from the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina to the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia.

Using these time proven techniques, CLIMB maintains about 100 miles of trails across the island. Long Island natural spaces are a living museum of what our environment looked like before the settlers arrived. We need to preserve our native flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy.

There are many studies showing wheels and heels have similar impact on the trails. Studies also show that kids who spend time in nature may become adults who strive to protect it. We need to create fun and exciting alternatives to video games. Bicycling is perfectly geared for kids of all ages to enjoy. We can co-exist on the trails; we just need to teach tolerance and respect for each other.

Dai Dayton
LITLC Board Member
Chair of Horses on Trails Committee

Over 20 years ago, I worked with a small group of dedicated environmental advocates to form the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, and create the Horses on Trails Committee.  I served as President of STPS for 20 years, and presently serve as secretary for the group.   In 1998 Sandra Ferguson and I started the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt.  I currently serve as secretary for the group as well.  I have received awards for trails advocacy and land preservation from Group for the South Fork (now known as Group for the East End) and South Fork Natural History Museum.

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate

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