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Donor Spotlight | Louise Guarneri’s Growing Commitment to Conservation on Long Island

July 16, 2021
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My connection to the Long Island Community is long and deep. I grew up in western Nassau, spent my summers as a youth on Shelter Island, attended Stony Brook University, and now vacation at our home in Water Mill.

My family’s migration to Shelter Island over the summers those years ago was, to me, an escape to heaven – from the ferry crossing to driving through open land along the water to get to our home - from boating to pulling clams from the bay - from growing herbs to buying locally grown produce for our bountiful dinners - what could be better. 

Almost immediately after I met Stephen and introduced him to the East End, we bought and settled into our first vacation home in Sag Harbor. He fell for it as I had many years ago. While I perhaps had taken it for granted then, over the years I’ve come to appreciate how precious our natural resources are and how easy it is to squander them. Becoming more knowledgeable about the work of the Peconic Land Trust has helped me understand this even better.

Learning from the Trust the tremendous challenges we face to conserve our land and water and local food has inspired me to step up my giving in recent years. The Trust’s work during the pandemic in support of Long Islanders suffering food insecurity through the farm to food pantry program at Quail Hill Farm has been particularly inspiring.

Stephen and I started supporting Through Farms and Fields, the Trust’s annual conservation benefit, several years ago when the event was held at the Wesnofske’s Ocean View Farm. As “neighbors” of these amazing farmers for the many years we have now lived in Water Mill, we are the beneficiaries of beautiful expansive farmland vistas every time we drive home. We never stop marveling at the work they do to conserve and farm the land and provide access to local agriculture. We have continued to sponsor the event as it has moved to a virtual format these past two years. Our hope is that everyone will be able to enjoy the same pleasures we do now for years to come. We know that so much of realizing this is dependent on supporting the Peconic Land Trust.

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Other ways we have supported the Trust are through a multi-year pledge and individual donations. There are many ways to give and I encourage all to visit the Trust’s website to find out more. I also encourage everyone to participate in the many educational programs the Trust offers both on Zoom and now back in person – equally effective and enjoyable. They’ve enhanced our understanding of the issues associated with conservation of our land and working farms and our water quality.

Suffice to say, I am in awe of the dedication and expertise of the entire staff of the Peconic Land Trust and deeply appreciate the great work they do for all of us!

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Louise Guarneri and Stephen Gelfman live in Manhattan and Water Mill. They have been donors to the Peconic Land Trust since 2004.

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