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Peconic Land Trust and Community Unite to Preserve Sensitive Woodland on Soundview Avenue in Southold

May 6, 2021

Through community outreach, the Trust acquired the woodland located along a native forest corridor.

May 6, 2021. Southampton, New York. The Peconic Land Trust (the Trust) announced today that it has acquired about a half-acre woodland parcel along Soundview Avenue in Southold from Edith Cosban-Iserman

The acquisition was made possible not only by Ms. Cosban-Iserman’s interest in seeing a conservation outcome for the land, but by the dedication and financial support of over 25 neighbors who saw the opportunity to conserve this land for future generations. This includes a very active steering committee who worked with the Trust to make this project happen: Isabelle Kanz, Cassie Kanz, Louise Harrison, Andy Duffy and Mike Dukmejian.

The woodland property is located along a native forest corridor in Southold that connects three County Parks – Goldsmith’s Inlet, Soundview Dunes Park, and Peconic Dunes Park. The woodlands have a variety of plant species, including native wildflowers and Jack-in-the-pulpit as well as grasses, mosses and shrubs that create a healthy habitat. This property also provides important groundwater recharge for our sole source aquifer.

This land is connected by natural plant life to maritime freshwater interdunal swales (a mosaic of wetlands that occur in low areas between dunes along the Atlantic coast). Listed as rare habitats by the New York Natural Heritage Program, maritime freshwater interdunal swales are more likely to be found on the South Fork, but this land is a key project because of its North Fork location. (https://guides.nynhp.org/maritime-freshwater-interdunal-swales/).

This property was acquired on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 and will now be called Soundview Avenue Preserve.

“It takes a community to make conservation possible, and this is a wonderful example about how a group of neighbors came together to protect land that provides not only a scenic vista but will contribute to the health of the aquifer. We thank all involved for stepping forward and making a difference!” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust

"For several years, I've watched a For Sale sign on a piece of land containing freshwater wetlands. I knew I couldn't protect it by myself. I was overjoyed when the Peconic Land Trust joined in with advice and much hard work, making this a community effort, and fulfilling my dream of preserving this precious wild environment," said community member and donor, Isabelle Kanz.

“This parcel isn't large, but it hosts a small freshwater wetland in a critically important forest corridor. The corridor occupies an ancient dune system stretching east from Peconic on both sides of Soundview Avenue, through three protected areas - Goldsmith Inlet, Soundview Dunes, and Peconic Dunes County Parks. Within this system, interdunal blowout areas have become vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, shrub swamps, and red maple swamps, depending on elevation and exposure. The higher elevations host native forest communities and transitional zones anchoring deep, sandy soils. The overall ecosystem of the naturally forested dune crests and troughs is unique in Southold and deserves further protection,” explains community member, donor, and conservation biologist Louise Harrison. “Thanks to alert and caring residents and a partnership with Peconic Land Trust, preservation of land in this critically important wildlife resource and groundwater protection area continues. Conservation easements on private property and additional land trust or public acquisitions could help protect the corridor in perpetuity; residents can all get involved.”

“It was such a pleasure to work with a group of residents willing to collaborate on the hard work of research and fund raising in the shared goal of conservation,” said Peconic Land Trust Project Manager Holly Sanford. “Their community effort enabled the Trust to acquire and protect this land. The result, a beautiful ecologically sensitive woodland conserved in perpetuity for wildlife habitat and water quality.

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 over 13,000 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 peconiclandtrust.org.

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Andy Duffy, Louise Harrison, Holly Sanford, Cassie Kanz, Isabelle Kanz, Phoebe Faint and Oliver Faint at the new Soundview Avenue Preserve.

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