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A Letter of Thanks From Board Member Nancy Goell

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Conservation News
December 23, 2017

Nancy Goell, Board Member

Your support works for years to come and ensures that the land you have grown to love remains viable, beautiful, and productive.

I fell in love with this magical land when I arrived in East Hampton for the first time on a July weekend in 1960.  Because of that weekend and the charmed years that followed, I support the work of the Peconic Land Trust, and I am grateful that you do, too.  Thank you!      

As a young woman from the Midwest, I had never seen such an amazing combination of landscapes: miles of beautiful sandy coastline with rich farmland stretching almost to the shore, backed up by woodlands of mainly pine and oak trees.  Punctuating the natural beauty were shingled cottages along the shoreline, and historic villages and hamlets with a distinct New England flavor.  

That same weekend on Georgica Beach (then known as the “artists’ beach”), I met and fell in love with a man who would become my husband three years later.  We built our home on the edge of John Damiecki’s 40-acre potato field and raised our children there.  

Together, we watched the field change color through the seasons:  the rich tan color of the silt loam as John plowed the field in spring and planted potatoes, to green as the plants grew, and suddenly white, as with snow, when the field blossomed in mid-summer.   

I have had the privilege of living on the edge of that field for more than 50 years.   I am happy to report that it is still here, undeveloped.  With the help of the Peconic Land Trust, John was able to sell his development rights — he continued to own the land with the agricultural rights intact.  This is one field that will remain in farming while others may yet be lost to development.  And the landscape I saw that first weekend may still disappear without your help.      

It is because of the support of our donors that the Trust is able to save what’s left of our heritage. 

Preserving farmland for the production of food is one of the main objectives of the Peconic Land Trust, part of its mission to conserve working farms, natural lands, and the heritage of our communities.  I have spent most of my adult life working to preserve this captivating land that I fell in love with so long ago, first as a co-founder of another local environmental group, and then as the New York State representative on the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.  

Now, serving as a board member of the Peconic Land Trust for the past nine years, I have learned how critical it is that we succeed in our mission.  Our economy is based on our traditional farming and fishing industries, and it is also supported by second home owners and tourism.  But the pressures for development on the East End are intense.  Time is running out for us to be successful in our mission to preserve its unique qualities while keeping its economy viable.   

You help us succeed because you love what makes our North and South Forks unique.