Kathy Kennedy Celebrates 25 Years with the Peconic Land Trust

February 19, 2024

By Julia G. King


Few people can claim a quarter of a century working with one organization. However, we’ve been lucky to have Kathy Kennedy, Senior Manager of Outreach, working for the Peconic Land Trust since 1999. Starting in our Conservation Planning Department, Kathy helped the Trust with numerous preservation deals. She then moved to the Education Department in 2005 to create our Connections programming. I spoke with her about this career milestone and her time at the Trust.

“Unfortunately, opportunities for people to engage in nature are shrinking. I remember going into the woods as a child and turning over logs to find salamanders, riding my bike to the beach to look for shells, and hanging a bird feeder in my backyard. Many children don’t get those experiences in nature anymore. With our Connections programs, we connect people and communities to the land around us and expose them to the beauty of local farms, woodlands, and our marine environment. Hopefully, they’ll return to their family and friends and share these farms, nature trails, and gardens with them, too.”

One place Kathy loves to take people to is Bridge Gardens, the Trust’s 5-acre public garden in Bridgehampton. It’s a great community resource for horticultural knowledge and natural beauty. “I can’t wait to see Bridge Gardens become the educational center it was always meant to be with this upcoming renovation.” We’ll add ADA compliant entrances, expanded spaces for educational programming, and a teaching kitchen for garden-to-table demonstrations.


Kathy at Bridge Gardens

Another spot Kathy considers a hidden gem is the Mulvihill Preserve in Sag Harbor. “In the Spring, the vernal ponds and moss are magical. It’s a fairyland that I loved to bring my children to.” Kathy worked with Dolores Zebrowski, the Town of Southampton, and Suffolk County to protect these 100-acres of woodlands and wetlands. Now, she shares this preserve with the community through Connections hikes.


Kathy on the trail at the Mulvihill Preserve during a 2013 Connections hike.

If you’ve attended a Connections program with Kathy, met her at an information table, or ran into her in the neighborhood, you’ve had “the talk.” Now, I’m not talking about the birds and the bees, although she’s also happy to share about pollinators, but the misinformation around the Community Preservation Fund (CPF). Many people incorrectly assume that the Peconic Land Trust receives money from the CPF, also known as the 2% tax. The truth is that those funds go directly to the town where the property was purchased. The Peconic Land Trust raises its operating budget through charitable gifts. Kathy hopes this information is among the many things people learn at each Connections program.

What’s ahead for Kathy besides sharing more information about the Trust and the joy of conserved lands? She looks forward to meeting more people who love nature and farms at Trust programs and spending more time in her garden, where she’s focused on growing more native plants to support our pollinators. Make sure to congratulate Kathy on this career milestone at the next Connections program you see her at or email


Kathy at the Peconic Land Trust’s old office, circa 2004.

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