Conserving Long Islands Working Farms and Natural Lands

What's New

Check back often to see the latest news regarding land conservation on Long Island.

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You can also check out the e-Newsletter archive for updates on Trust conservation activities, upcoming events, and news about Bridge Gardens, Quail Hill Farm and the Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm. 


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Conservation News

Peconic Land Trust Announces Conservation Campaign to Preserve Natural Landmark: Indian Rock in Rocky Point
Indian RockIn partnership with community groups, including the Rocky Point Historical Society, the Rocky Point Civic Association and the Seatuck Environmental Association, the Peconic Land Trust has undertaken a community conservation campaign for the preservation of this unique natural landmark. An immense, 3-story high glacial erratic, Indian Rock has sat quietly in a Rocky Point neighborhood on land that once belonged to one of the first English settlers on Long Island, Noah Hallock. Legend has it that Rocky Point's name was inspired by this natural wonder. The property has been listed for sale by the owner, who has agreed to give the Trust and community groups time to raise funds for the acquisition. The Trust has until December 31, 2017, to raise $330,000 toward the purchase and restoration of the property, including the removal of the existing house. For more information on the campaign, click here.

Ann LaWall Chooses Conservation for Her Property, Former Residential Property to Be Reconnected to Farming
Ann LaWall at ClosingThank you to Ann LaWall and her family for having the vision to see a conservation future for their land. A situation that was once tragic, has turned to a positive for farmland conservation. Ann's home was lost to a fire in 2016. Instead of rebuilding, Ann decided to reconnect her land to agriculture. The property, just under an acre at the western tip of Seven Ponds Road in Southampton has now been protected forever for food crops. The Trust purchased the property, simultaneously selling the development rights, including the enhanced easement for food production, to the Town of Southampton. The Trust is in the process of selling the protected farmland to a qualified farmer.  

Amber Waves Farm Acquires Amagansett Farmers Market and Farmland from Maggie de Cuevas
Amber Waves FarmWe are so happy to congratulate Katie and Amanda for Amber Waves Farm on their acquisition of the Amagansett Farmers Market and adjacent farmland. The property was acquired from conservationist Maggie de Cuevas, who worked closely with the Trust in her purchase of the market and farmland in 2008. With this new transfer, Maggie also donated additional easement restrictions on the farmland that now protect its affordability and accessibility for food production. This is the first time these additional restrictions, pioneered by the Trust, have been applied in the Town of East Hampton. (photo by Mallory Samson)

Abramski Family Donates Conservation Easement to Protect Wildlife Habitat and Shoreline in East Moriches.
Kim with Suzanne and Robert AbramskiOur thanks to Suzanne and Robert Abramski for protecting an important shoreline habitat through the donation of a conservation easement tothe Trust. The easement covers approximately 9 nine of land, which includes freshwater and saltwater wetlands that contribute to the health of nearby waterways and preserves the scenic open space for the benefit of the public. It is important to note that this property could have been developed with a residential structure in an area that faces increasing development pressure. 

Peconic Land Trust Announces Sale of 13.9 acres of the Danilevsky Farmland in Water Mill to Farmers Jim and Jennifer Pike.
Melanie with Jennifer and Jim PikeThe Trust acquired 33 acres of farmland from the estate of Charlotte Danilevsky in July 2014 in a landmark conservation effort with the Town of Southampton. The sale of the Uncle Leo's Lane parcel to the Pikes in October 2016 completes the intended goal of transferring all of these prime agricultural soils into the hands of active, local farmers. In January 2015, the Trust had sold 19.2 acres of the Danilevsky farmland to farmer Hank Kraszewski, III. For more information, click here.

Peconic Land Trust Receives Grant from NYS DEC and Land Trust Alliance to Assist Riverhead Town with the Revitalization of its Farmland and Open Space Protection Programs.
RiverheadThe converservation catalyst grant, received on Earth Day 2016, will underwrite the Trust's work with the Town including a review of the Town's Community Preservation Project Plan and its Transfer of Development Rights Programs. There are hundreds of acres of unprotected working farmland in Riverhead as well as natural habitat including woodland and wetlands. For more information, click here.

Peconic Land Trust Receives Additional Restrictions on Protected Farmland from Russell C. McCall
McCall FarmlandRuss McCall donated additional restrictions in the Spring of 2016, including affirmative farming covenants, on about 29 acres of protected farmland in Mattituck. Russ purchased the farmland from John Elak, Jr. earlier this year. Through mulitple conservation tools, the land has been preserved for future generations of farmers. For more information, click here.

Peconic Land Trust Announces Sale of Enahnced Restrictions on Hayground Farms to the Town of Southampton
Hayground FarmsThe Town of Southampton has purchased the enhanced restrictions on Hayground Farms, 24.6 acres of prime agricultural soils located on the south side of Montauk Highway as one enters Bridgehampton from the west, in the Spring of 2016. This is the Town's first purchase of additional restrictions on protected farmland, thereby insuring that it will be affordable and accessible to farmers for food production for generations to come. For more inforamtion, click here.

D'Urso Family Donates .7 Acres of Natural Lands to the Trust in Amagansett
Ship Wreck PreserveAt the end of 2015, the Trust received a gift of pristine natural habitat on the eastern edge of Amagansett from the D'Urso family. The land will be added to the Trust's Ship Wreck Preserve, increasing the size of the preserve to about 10 acres. The preserve, adjacent to Napeague State Park, includes upland pitch pine woodlands and coastal dunes filled with native flora and fauna. The preserve is a known migration point for monarch butterflies who rely on the nectar of seaside goldenrod -- a protected New York State flower -- that flourishes on this preserve. We thank the D'Urso family for their generous gift. To read the press release on this gift, click here.

Peconic Land Trust, Town of Southold, and Community of Orient Partner on the Acquisition and Protection of 20.9 acres of Farmland, Woodland, and Wetlands in Orient
Edwards farmlandIn August, the Peconic Land Trust purchased the property from the Edwards family, with the Town of Southold simultaneously purchasing the development rights on the property. The Trust is working with the community to raise the $450,000 to cover the difference between the acquisition purchase price and the development rights. By the end of September, the Trust had received about $75,000 in commitments from the community toward the purchase. The Edwards' have agreed to a three-year installment sale, providing the Trust and the community with the time needed to raise the necessary funds. Interested in learning more and contributing, contact Vice President Tim Caufield at or call 631.283.3195. For more information and to get involved, click here

Peconic Land Trust Announces New Agricultural Capital Equipment Grant. In May, the Trust launched a new grant program that will create a financial Farm picturespool of resources -- $1 million -- to assist Nassau and Suffolk County farmers in making capital investments in their farming operations. The grant is funded through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) through Empire State Development (ESD). Details on the program can be found here, or by contacting Thomas Hobson at 631.283.3195 or email to

Historic Preservation Easement on Sleight House, Stony Brook from Elizabeth and Brian Merrick
Sleight HouseIn May 2015, the Peconic Land Trust received a Historic Preservation and Conservation Easement on the Sleight House and the surrounding 1.2 acre property in Stony Brook, NY, from Elizabeth and Brian Merrick. Earlier this year, the Brookhaven Town Board designated the property as a Town Landmark, formally recognizing the Sleight House's significance in Stony Brook's rich history. Read the press release to learn more about this exciting historic preservation partnership.

Southampton Town Farmland Preservation Strategy
farmalndIn April 2015, the Peconic Land Trust received a grant through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to work with the Town of Southampton on an update to their Farm and Farmland Preservation Strategy. The grant, which is administered by the Land Trust Alliance through its Conservation Partnership Program, will support both a review and the development of tools and strategies to address the issue facing farming in Southampton -- including the develpment pressures related to the value of real estate. Read the press release to learn more about this exciting collaboration. 

Trust Sells 19.2 Acres of Danilevsky Farmland to Farmer Hank Kraszewski, III
Trust_SHTwn_KraszewskiOn January 29, 2015, we celebrated the sale of 19.2 acres of farmland to third generation farmer Hank Kraszewski, III. At the Southampton Town's Work Session, Trust President John v.H. Halsey joined Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Board Members Christine Scalera, Bridget Fleming, Brad Bender and Stan Glinka to congratulate Hank Kraszewski, III and his father Hank, Jr. in the acquisition of this important piece of farmland in Water Mill. The Trust acquired the farmland in July 2014, with the Town purchasing the development rights -- including for the first time enhanced restrictions which will insure the land will remain in food crop production. Read the press release on the sale of the land to Hank. And, watch here the video from the Town Work Session on January 29. 

Forge River

Forge River Conservation, Mastic Beach:
In early September, 2014, the Trust with encouragement from local residents, the Town of Brookhaven, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the US Department of Agricultural purchased a 4+ acre parcel on the peninsula of the Forge River in Mastic Beach from the Stony Brook Foundation. The property will be restored to its natural state. Interested in learning more and getting involved in this conservation effort, contact Project Manager Kim Quarty. The Trust expects to receive a grant from the USDA through its Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds, which will be used to purchase an easement from the Trust and extinguish all development rights on the property.  An article on the conservation effort appeared in the September 24 edition of the Long Island Advance.

1772 Foundation/Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm, Southold: 
KrupskiIn mid-May, the Peconic Land Trust was notified that it will receive a grant of $35,000 from the 1772 Foundation, administered by the Land Trust Alliance. The grant will cover some of the expenses associated with the Trust's Like-Kind Exchange with Al and Mary Krupski announced in April 2014.  This is the second grant the Trust has received from the 1772 Foundation. The first was in 2013 for $50,000 toward the acquisition of the Dickerson farmland, which is now part of the Trust's Agricultural Center at Charnews Farms along with the Krupski farmland. The Ag Center is home to the Trust's Farms for the Future Initiative on the North Fork, which now includes 98 acres of land. We thank the 1772 Foundation and the Land Trust Alliance for their support of the Trust's Farms for the Future Initiative.

Also, read the recent article in the Suffolk Times on the Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm. 

Community Conservation Projects

WeigleyWeigley Family Farm:  The Peconic Land Trust partnered with the Town of East Hampton, neighbors and Jane and James Weigley to protect the Weigley Family Farm on Main Street and Beach Lane in Wainscott.  By selling the development rights, the Weigley's have protected the land from development in perpetuity.  The parcel is adjacent to the Babinski farm that the Trust had previously partnered with the Town of East Hampton and community to purchase the development rights in 2006. 

Peconic Land Trust Recognition

John Halsey and Judith EnckUS Environmental Protection Agency 2015 Champion Award (Region 2): Thank you to the US EPA Region 2, and Administrator Judith Enck, for recognizing the conservation work of the Peconic Land Trust. Nominated for the award by Congressman Lee Zeldin, the US EPA Champion Awards recognize outstanding commitments to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health. The award ceremony was held on Friday, April 24 in New York City. Press Release.

Living Treasure HonoreesSuffolk County Historical Society: Living Treasures Award. Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey was amongst the first honoress, which also included Dr. Richard Wines, Dr. John Strong, David Ebner and the board of the Association of Suffolk County Historical Societies. The award ceremony was on Sunday, April 26, 2015. More info . . .  

John Halsey

John v.H. Halsey Honored:  The Land Trust Alliance New York Advisory Board honored Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey for his his leadership, commitment and innovation. The award was presented by LTA NY Advisory Board chair Seth McKee of Scenic Hudson, and former Chair Becky Thornton of Dutchess Land Conservancy at the 2014 NYS Land Conservation Summit in West Point.  John was presented with a beautiful image of the Hudson Valley by noted photographer Steve Gordon, with an inscription: To John Halsey and the Peconic Land Trust for their outstanding leadership, spirit of innovation and generous support of New York's land conservation community. Together we are saving the places that New Yorker's love. And, includes the quote: "I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own," Andy Warhol.  Press release.

ImagineImagine Awards:  The Peconic Land Trusts Farm for the Future Initiative has won the Social Impact award at the 2nd Annual Long Island Imagine Awards from Cerini and Associates.  Over 100 non-profits submitted applications in 5 categories, the winners were announced at a gala event held at the Crest Hollow Country Club on May 6, 2014.  For more information click here.  The Trust was the only non-profit nominated in two categories -- in addition to the Social Impact Award, Trust President John v.H. Halsey was one of four finalist in the Leadership category. 

As part of the Awards program, video interviews with each of the finalists were produced. Watch Now: Social Impact and Leadership.

WPPBWPPB Honors John v.H. Halsey:  Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey received the first Community Leader Award from WPPB 88.3 Peconic Public Broadcasting on September 15.  In making the announcement, WPPB said: "John's work has impacted every person who lives in our community, and has positively affected the quality of life in our region. . . John quietly leads in our community in many ways -- through his work on various Boards of other not-for-profit organizations that serve our community, contributing his vision and insights to making our community a better place to live, through his dedication, constancy, and caring of individuals here, as a leader in his field of land conservation, and as a leader among the Not-for-Profit community on Long Island and the New York Region."  

RebeccaOutstanding Fundraising Executive Award:  The Peconic Land Trust is pleased to announce that Rebecca A. Chapman, Vice President of Philanthropy, is being honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Long Island chapter as Outstanding Fundraising Executive.  Rebecca will be honored at the associations annual Philanthropy Day on November 14, 2014. 

30 Years of Milestones

Take a moment to look back at some of our milestones in conservation, all of which were made possible by you through your support and dedication to protecting Long Island's working farms, natural lands, and heritage.  Included are only a few of the nearly 500 projects that the Trust has worked on with landowners, government agencies, partner organizations, donors and communities.  We look forward to working with you for the next 30 years and beyond to protect what we know and love on Long Island.  Download the pdf (4.3 MB).

Watch Now!Growing Farmers

Growing Farmers, documentary produced by the Peconic Land Trust, with director Michael Halsband and co-producer Hilary Leff. Premiered at 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival where it received the Audience Choice Award. The film explores the Trust's works with farmers on Long Island's East End. Watch now! The New Farmers

The New Farmers, video blog/documentary produced by Newsday and News12LI, by director Chris Ware. September 2013 exploring the opportunities and challenges for new farmers on Long Island. Watch now! 

Out Here in the Fields: a three-part series on the conservation work of the Trust directed and produced by Alec Hirschfeld. Featuring:

In the Garden

Bridge GardensBridge Gardens  will open for the 2017 season in early April, and will be open weekends through October. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the gardens will also be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays!