Southampton, NY

Nature’s Preserve



Things to do

Hiking, Birdwatching, Nature Study, Paddling



Big Fresh Pond Rd, Southampton, NY 11968


On October 24, 2009, the Peconic Land Trust joined with the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, the Group for the East End and the Town of Southampton to celebrate the life of Kurt Billing (known as Nature to many of his friends) and honor his memory with the dedication of the Kurt Billing Memorial Trailhead at the Tuckahoe Hills Preserve and with the dedication and the renaming of the Peconic Land Trust's Big Fresh Pond Preserve to Nature's Preserve.

"This preserve is dedicated to the memory of Kurt Billing, known by his many friends as “Nature,” a devoted servant of the land who, with a big smile, tireless energy, generosity, and open heart, made our community a better place.  With “Nature” in mind, we celebrate the Nature he loved"


Nature’s Preserve — a 1.1-acre freshwater wetland and upland on Big Fresh Pond — was conserved in 1986 due, in large part, to Kurt. Only in his late twenties at the time, Kurt took out a personal loan to assist in the purchase of this property, an inspiration to other Nature lovers.

Over the course of many years, Kurt led the charge to preserve Tuckahoe Woods, the pristine wetlands, woodlands, streams and creeks that make up the natural lands surrounding Big Fresh Pond. He engaged numerous public and private agencies in his efforts to promote the beauty and fragility of the area and ultimately garnered the support necessary for its protection. The conservation of over 160 acres would not have been possible without his unswerving dedication and commitment.

Kurt, who taught hundreds of local children to swim in Big Fresh Pond said in a New York Times article from December 28, 1986: “I’m 24, I don’t earn a lot, I live and work out here, and it’s going to take me a long time to pay that loan off. But I know 40 years from now, when people can still use that lake to fish and teach their kids to swim, I’m going to be glad that I and other people put the effort in at this time.”

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Nature's Preserve

Big Fresh Pond Rd, Southampton, NY 11968

Things To Do

Nature Study