Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Hampton Bays / Quogue

The Quogue CEA

 

 

Last Saturday my wife Laurie and I went on a short hike sponsored by the Peconic Land Trust (PLT).  The hike leader was John Turner, the Assistant Director of Planning for Brookhaven Town.  He runs the Town’s Open Space Management and Acquisition program.  We walked a boardwalk into the Quogue Critical Environmental Area.  This is 66 acres of wetlands whose preservation was facilitated through the efforts of the PLT.  The early preservation efforts by the Village included the purchase of the lot where this boardwalk now stands.  The PLT protected this area in cooperation with the Village of Quogue, The Town of Southampton, Suffolk County, and local residents who were concerned about the impact of future construction on the fragile ecology of this area.

The entrance to the boardwalk is about .4 of a mile east of the Post Lane Bridge on Dune Road across from the Quogue Village Ocean Beach.  There is a parking area here large enough for several cars.  On a gate by the opening to the boardwalk is a sign reading:  “Quogue Village Wetlands Preserve use restrictions: passive recreational or educational uses such as bird and waterfowl watching, nature photography and educational or research projects.  Parking limited to two (2) hours (strictly enforced).  Stay on boardwalk, no pets, litter, fishing or hunting.”

The participants in the hike parked at the beach parking lot.  This hike was out of season so I assume we were able to disregard the sign warning, “Cars without permit will be towed at owners expense.”  We walked a short distance east along Dune Road on a newly asphalted walkway, through the small parking lot and entered the boardwalk.  On the way to the boardwalk John Turner, who is a renowned ornithologist and extremely knowledgeable about native plants and animals, described the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.  We saw many of these brilliantly colored insects who are now passing through Long Island on their long migration to Mexico.  Watching John gently remove a butterfly from the road gives some insight into the sensitivity of the man.  We identified some native plants and some invasives, and we saw a large assortment of birds ranging from herons to hummingbirds. The end of the boardwalk offers a beautiful view of Shinnecock Bay and is a great place to take your binoculars to bird watch or just to commune with nature.

Mr. Turner is a founding member of the Pine Barrens Society.   Previously he was employed as Director of Conservation Programs for the Long Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  I see him at land management meetings and he gives hikes and presentations for several environmental organizations.  The common theme that runs through his extensive public and private service is a commitment to protecting and saving open space on Long Island.

After the hike the group was invited to a neighbor’s house where we had wine, hors d’oeuvres and experienced the sunset over the marshland.  While we ate and watched the birds retiring to their temporary homes, my wife and I had an enjoyable conversation with two of the Peconic Land Trust staff, Janet Shutt and Kathy Kennedy.  I was amazed to learn that the PLT had preserved over 8000 acres since its inception 22 years ago.

The events sponsored by the Peconic Land Trust help connect people to the land that has been protected as a result of the organization’s conservation work.    

Marsha Kenny, Director of Communications, informed me that the PLT website is undergoing some revision, so the best way to find out more about the organization and their upcoming events is to call them at 631-283-3195.  If you wish to visit the website the address is www.peconiclandtrust.org. Even in its incomplete state it offers a wealth of information.  The Peconic Land Trust is a vital force in preserving the open space of Suffolk County.

 

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782
ken@litlc.org
Phone:(631) 563-4354

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