The Peconic Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established in 1983 by John v.H. Halsey and a small group of local residents to ensure the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since 1983, the Trust has worked diligently with landowners, communities, municipalities, and partner organizations to protect more than 10,000 acres of land, conserving more working farms on Long Island than any other private conservation organization, and securing millions of dollars from the public and private sector for land protection. What this means to you:
Land Conservation Benefits the Community
The Trust’s important work benefits the people and communities of Long Island by helping to protect our area’s scenic beauty and rural heritage. The Trust’s work to conserve these natural resources will have significant impact for generations to come:
- Working farms: provide fresh, local produce
- Natural lands and wildlife habitats: provide bio-diversity
- Wetlands and bays: provide clean and productive water resources
- Watersheds: provide critical drinking water supplies
- Walking trails: provide recreational opportunities
Stewardship Enables Our Resources to Thrive
In addition to land protection, we know the importance of stewardship. Trust staff members employ innovative techniques to help farmers, landowners, and municipalities maintain the natural resources of Long Island. Our current stewardship projects include:
- Shellfisher Preserve, restoration of this historic shellfish farm includes providing seed clams, oysters, and scallops for local bays and preparing the facility for direct sales to local businesses and consumers;
- Quail Hill Farm, the longest running community-supported organic farm on Long Island;
- Bridge Gardens, donated to the Trust in 2008, a unique botanical garden in Bridgehampton
- Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm, acquired by the Trust in 2008,
- Restoration of an 18th century English-style barn in Cutchogue;
- Replacement of invasive plant species with native varieties;
- Guardianship of thousands of acres of agricultural and natural landscapes
. . . and countless land renewal projects that are restoring natural resources throughout our communities.
Education is Fundamental to Our Future
The Trust also embraces the idea that education is a critical component to any conservation program. We regularly provide hiking events, lectures, family-oriented activities -- like birdhouse building workshops, nature walks and beach explorations -- and many other interesting outreach events. Our staff also maintains walking trails through protected lands so that residents, visitors and children can learn and enjoy the benefits of land conservation.
Today, the Peconic Land Trust is a national land trust leader, providing creative approaches to land conservation and stewardship, and supporting legislation and regulations that help conserve our environment for future generations. We are a proud supporting member of the Land Trust Alliance, the pre-eminent service provider to the private land conservation community, and the Long Island Farm Bureau. Our governing board and staff of professionals are committed to the importance of our mission.
Funding our Conservation Efforts
Approximately 60% of the Trust's budget comes from charitable donations while the remaining 40% is fee income from planning and stewardship services provided to clients. A common misperception, however, is that the Peconic Land Trust is the recipient of the monies raised through the Community Preservation Tax (also referred to as the 2% land transfer tax or the Peconic Land Tax). This is NOT the case. The CPF tax is collected by Suffolk County and then redistributed to the five East End towns, the distribution of which is based on the location of the property from which the tax is acquired. While the Trust often works with local municipalities to facilitate land conservation purchase transations, the only monies the Trust receives is in conjunction with actual services provided (e.g., stewardship programs).