From 40 to Forever: Peconic Land Trust Celebrates 40 Years of Conservation in 2023

March 13, 2023

MARCH 13, 2023. Southampton, New York. It all started on August 1, 1983, when John v.H. Halsey and a small group of local residents got together and formed the Peconic Land Trust. Nearly 40 years later, the Peconic Land Trust is still working with landowners, donors, communities, partner organizations and all levels of government to conserve Long Island’s working farms, natural lands and heritage.

To date, the Trust has conserved nearly 14,000 acres of woodlands, farmlands, wetlands, meadows, sacred lands, historic properties and more – securing millions of dollars from the public and private sectors for land protection. These lands grow healthy food, protect drinking water, provide places to restore our minds, bodies and spirits, and provide healthy communities for all creatures to live.

Starting with our first conservation donation in 1984 (Phillips Pond Preserve) to iconic properties including Quail Hill Farm, Shellfisher Preserve, Fort Corchaug and Downs Farm Preserve, Reel Point, Widow’s Hole and the Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm, the conservation work of the Trust has spanned many communities with over 500 individual projects completed to date.

Our recent work, including the protection and restoration of the Sugar Loaf Summit with our Shinnecock partners and the acquisition of the long-sought Broad Cove in Aquebogue, exemplifies the Trust’s long-held focus on conserving properties that reflect and protect places known, loved and revered by the community.

In our 40th year, we will be hosting a broad array of programs that will bring the community to properties across the East End – with our 40 for 40 Connections events. Hikes on nature trails, visits to farms, and programs where we will share tips on protecting our water quality and growing healthy sustainable environments are being planned now, along with programs for families and people of all ages to bring a conservation ethic home.

Our annual Through Farms and Fields Country Supper will be held on Sunday, August 6 at the Salm family’s historic Port of Missing Men, in North Sea. The Port of Missing Men, an historic estate on Scallop Pond, is adjacent to over a thousand acres of protected land. At this year's event we will honor longtime Trust supporter Howard Marks. Howard is the co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management and has been a donor and member of our Trustees Council for over a decade. He has had a significant impact on the Trust’s ability to conserve land here on Long Island. “Solving any problem begins with acknowledging it. If we want to keep the East End this special place, it’s not going to happen by itself,” said Howard, adding, “Peconic Land Trust is a wonderful organization dedicated to preserving the specialness of what we have.”

Also on our calendar for 2023 are plans to renovate the building and the grounds of Bridge Gardens to make this a truly public gathering place. We are working with architects Oza Sabbeth Architects and landscape architects Araiys Design on plans that will make the unique Bridge Gardens building ADA compliant and install pathways that will improve accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers. Stay tuned to how you can help!

About the Peconic Land Trust

Founded in 1983, Peconic Land Trust conserves Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, communities, municipalities, partner organizations, and donors, to conserve nearly 14,000 acres of land on Long Island. The Trust’s professional staff carries out the necessary research and planning to identify and implement alternatives to outright development. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust is also protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region. For more information about the Peconic Land Trust, visit

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