Our Work

What We Do

Since 1983, the Trust has worked diligently with landowners, communities, municipalities, and partner organizations to protect 12,000 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. 

Our work involves the following areas:

Conservation: Protecting the Land

We work with landowners, communities and all levels of government to conserve land while respecting the rights of the individual and the interests of the public.

Stewardship: Caring for the Land and Water

We are responsible for the perpetual care of the preserves and conservation easements held by the Trust.

Farms for the Future Initiative

We actively seeks to not only protect farmland -- particularly farmland threatened by development -- but to also grow the resource.

Impact

With the support of you and your family, friends and neighbors we continue to work hard everyday to conserve Long Island's working farms, natural lands and heritage.

1983

Year we were incorporated

12,000

Acres Protected

500

Invdividual Projects

97

Nature Preserves

Public Policy

We are committed to keeping landowners, donors and our government partners up to date on the latest issues concerning land conservation legislation.

Learn More

Featured Projects

We have been involved in over 500 projects on Long Island -- working with landowners, municipalities, partner organizations and communities on the conservation of 12,000 acres. These lands include farmland, meadows, woodland, dunes and wetlands. 

Community Conservation Campaigns: 

Stay tuned! We will be launching our new interactive map in the first quarter of 2018, with details on all of our projects. Contact Matt Swain, Senior Stewardship Manager with questions. 

FAQs

Land trusts are not-for-profit, charitable organizations that conserve land by working with landowners, communities, and municipalities.  Land Trust use a variety of methods to accomplish this, including gifts and purchases of land and conservation easements (legal agreements between landowners and land trusts or government agencies that permanently limit the uses of land in order to protect its conservation values).

Land trusts have been active in the United States since the 19th century.  Today there are over 1,700 land trusts operating across the country; collectively, they have protected more than 37 million acres from Maine to California.

The Peconic Land Trust is a proud member of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization that promotes private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems. As such, the Alliance serves as the national convener, strategist, and representative of the many land trusts across America.

By protecting our working farms and natural lands, everyone benefits. Conservation allows the farmland owner to continue farming, and landowners to protect the important resources of their lands. The business community benefits because land conservation has a positive impact on local property values; encourages primary and second homeownership in the community; helps build and promote tourism, and creates meaningful recreational activities – all while preserving the distinct character of each community.

The Trust’s focus is on conserving working farms, natural lands, wildlife habitats, viewsheds, wetlands, woodlands, and watersheds that help provide our supplies of local produce and food products, fresh drinking water, and recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors (e.g., hiking trails). Property adjacent to these areas may also be of prime importance as buffer areas that help to maintain the conservation value of adjacent lands.

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, the CPF tax, or the Peconic Land Tax). This is NOT the caseThe 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. 

The Trust works with villages, towns, and Suffolk County to assist in developing and implementing protection programs for working farms and natural lands.

The Trust Staff is comprised of professionals with skills and expertise in protecting working farms and natural lands. Representing communities throughout Eastern Long Island, members of the Trust’s Board of Directors have backgrounds in planning, finance, business, farming, real estate, and business management. In addition, Trust volunteers with a vast array of experience and skill work on committees and assist in planning and conducting events.

Yes. Through the Trust’s Stewardship Program, conservation easements held by us are monitored annually. This program is supported, in part, through contributions from each donor. This fund assures that there will be income to meet our stewardship responsibilities in perpetuity. If, for some reason, the Trust did cease operation, which is highly unlikely, we have provided for the transfer of the lands and easements that we hold to an appropriate non-profit conservation organization.

For protected land that is owned by a private landowner, access to that land by the public is determined by the landowner. On some of these privately held lands, the Trust is able to arrange for educational visits such as nature hikes. Additionally, the Trust does own a number of public trails on the East End. For more information on these and other public education programs, visit our Events & Activities section.