Trust Welcomes Interns from the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust

September 8, 2023
Farms for the Future

In late August, Yvette Salsedo, Dan Heston, and Brendan Minogue welcomed summer interns from the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) for a day of touring the Ag Center at Charnews Farm, Shellfisher Preserve and the Wolf and Reese Preserves.

The students, from Brooklyn Tech, were joined by their summer Youth Education and Engagement Fellow Megan Cooper and BQLT Board Member Emeritus Irene Van Slyke to experience a very different type of land trust. BQLT is an amazing organization protecting and conserving community gardens and open spaces for the public use and enjoyment.

Visiting the Peconic Land Trust gave our interns the opportunity to see sustainable agriculture and land management beyond the community garden space and understand more how everyone, from small gardener in Brooklyn to farmer in Southold, can work to be a steward of this land,” said BQLT’s Megan Cooper.

We had the pleasure to tour BQLT gardens in the past, and it was a real treat for us to host the students and to introduce them to the range of conservation opportunities here on Long Island. Picking them up at the train in Ronkonkoma, we were able to see the rural landscapes of eastern Long Island unfold and then spend time discussing the history and mission of the Trust, visit the farm fields and community gardens at the Ag Center, learn about the Case House and fields and its future as a homestead for a local farmer, make a trip over to Shellfisher Preserve and impromptu chat with NOANK’s Karen Rivara, before a short visit to the new trails with accessibility features at the Wolf and Reese Preserves. Their questions were insightful, and the conversations were thought-provoking. Dan Heston added, “As the Director of Agricultural Programs at the Peconic Land Trust, and a local farmer, I was pleased to see the enthusiasm and great questions of the participants of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust. Every future farmer starts by planting a seed in a Garden.”

BQLT owns 35 community gardens located in 20 different neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The gardens of BQLT provide opportunities for diverse groups of people to meet and work together cooperatively. To learn more about their work and mission, visit

Do you know a group that would like to visit one of our preserves? Contact Kathy Kennedy, Senior Manager of Outreach for more information.

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