Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve
MID-YEAR APPEAL - Read more about how your support has helped the Friends or to donate to continue supporting our work. Thank you. | PO Box 472 | Oakdale, NY | 11769 | Contact Us

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FOC Receives Grants!

The Friends are proud of the support from the foundations whose links appear below. The capacity building grants they have awarded us will greatly help in strengthening our organization for the benefit of Connetquot River State Park Preserve:

The Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation

New York State Council on the Arts

Parks & Trails New York

Upstate History Alliance

Click here to read the details of these grants

The Friends of Connetquot is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, conservation and continuation for future generations of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. In order to maintain the environmental, ecological, cultural and historical integrity of the 3,473 acre preserve, the groups’ initiatives are:

  • To help preserve the pristine environment
  • To lend support to the management
  • To help support the fishing habitat, woodlands, flora and fauna, hiking and bridle trail facilities and the educational programs
  • To help protect and restore historic buildings

The Friends of Connetquot believe that the act of preservation is best accomplished when we keep an eye on the past, a foothold in the present, and our arms outstretched for the future.

Upcoming Events/Announcements

  • Mid-Year AppealFriends' Mid-Year Appeal

    With the considerable and much-appreciated support of donors such as you, the Friends of Connetquot continues to make great progress in enhancing the historic structures of the Connetquot River State Park Preserve and the way its visitors experience this beautiful place.

    As an organization, we constantly strive to grow and improve. Consequently, in April, Friends of Connetquot was thrilled to receive an Organizational Excellence Award from the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. But none of these accomplishments would have possible without you.

    Please read our full appeal and about all the work the Friends have done and are continuing to do, with your help, to keep Connetquot the treasure that it is.

  • HatcheryThe Hatchery is Officially OPEN!

    Thanks to everyone for your support!

    The hatchery has finally been re-opened!

    Click here to view a video with complete details.

  • Connetquot Breakfast and Birding

    Connetquot Breakfast and BirdingSaturday, September 10, 2016

    Place: Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY

    Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

    Program: Join Friends of Connetquot, Great South Bay Audubon Society and NY State Parks Environmental Education Office at Connetquot River State Park Preserve for a continental breakfast, an introduction to bird identification, and a walk in beautiful Connetquot Preserve to find and identify migrating and other resident birds.

    No cost for breakfast, $4 per adult for program, $8 parking fee (none with a NYS Empire Passport).

    Reservation required: call Connetquot State Park Preserve at 631-581-1072 to register or fill out the registration form on the Breakfast and Birding page.

  • Friends' Lecture Series

    Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Topic: "The Shelter Rock Cycle: Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Origins of Long Island"

    Speaker: Dr. J. Bret Benington

    Learn about the fascinating geologic history of Long Island through the story of its largest and most famous boulder – Shelter Rock, which reveals how fire, mountains, and ice have shaped our region over hundreds of millions of years.

    Dr. J Bret Bennington is a professor of Geology and chair of the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University. A paleontologist by training, Dr. Bennington is also involved in research on the glacial geology of Long Island and the recent environmental history of our coastal wetlands, including the history of major storms recorded in the marshes of Long Island.

    See the Lecture Series page for reservation information and complete program details.

With regard to New York State Parks and Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) proposed plan to allow bow hunting at Connetquot...

As reported by the media, residents who border the Connetquot River State Park Preserve and other users of the preserve have expressed their concerns about allowing bow hunting there beginning November 2015. Friends of Connetquot also has many questions and concerns about this plan. Representatives of the Friends Board of Directors plan to attend a meeting of the LI Regional Commission of the NY Council of Parks to request full information about the proposed bow hunting of deer at the preserve and to voice the organization’s concerns. Said meeting was held on Monday, August 3rd at Hempstead Lake State Park.  Result of the meeting follows:


Thank you for taking the time to contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Long Island Region regarding the proposal to authorize hunting within Connetquot River State Park Preserve. We will not authorize hunting within Connetquot River State Park Preserve during the upcoming hunting season (end of 2015 beginning of 2016). We will be continuing our research and meeting with individuals and organizations involved with this issue as well as the individuals and supporters of Connetquot River State Park Preserve over the next several months so that we can make an informed decision moving forward.

Friends of Connetquot Receive $66,000 Grant from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation

September 9, 2015

Oakdale, NY - The Friends of Connetquot Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Friends were awarded a Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation matching grant of $66,000 to support efforts to restore the Nicoll Grist Mill located in the Connetquot River State Park Preserve. The Mill, which dates to the early 1700's, is an iconic structure and one of the few mills in the nation whose mechanisms are still based on the original Norse design utilizing a horizontal wheel to grind.

The Friends have been spearheading the restoration of the Mill. To date, work on the foundation, framing, shingles and doors has been completed. The Friends will utilize the matching grant from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation to reinstall the main drive mechanism, horizontal wheel and mill stones. Once complete, the Mill will be a museum dedicated to increasing the public’s understanding of the social and industrial history of Long Island and the Preserve's role within that framework.

Friends Board Chair Robert Labuski, speaking on behalf of the Board, has said that the Friends "are very grateful to the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for their constant support of the Mill restoration. Their generosity is allowing us to finish the Mill restoration, which, when complete, will be a new cultural resource for the residents of Long Island."

Download this press release in PDF format.

Chairman's Letter, FOC Newsletter, Spring 2016

The Chairman's Letter for Spring 2016 has been released.

Here are the highlights:

  • The Friends are proud to announce that the hatchery is now fully operational.
  • Our recent lectures on foxes and bats drew large audiences.
  • The annual Trail Ride and Hike was held on May 1st, and again the weather was uncooperative, but the event was still a success.
  • About six hundred pine seedlings were planted on I Love My Park Day, May 8th, to replace many that have been heavily damaged by southern pine beetles, and subsequently removed.
  • A pair of American Bald Eagles have made the park their hunting grounds. They have been seen almost every day, fishing the river and main pond.

Please visit the Chairman's Letter page to read the full letter.

OnCell Audio Walking Tour!

Did you know you can take a walking audio tour of Connetquot River State Park Preserve using your own cell phone?  Thanks to OnCell and the Friends of Connetquot, you can learn about the history behind the landmarks of the park such as Mile Marker "50", the various bridges along the trails, the Ice House, Hatchery and more!  Plus, you can find out what to look for as you walk the trails of the park.  It's a whole new way to see Connetquot even if you've been here hundreds of times.

Simply download the map here or get one at the entrance booth as you come in to the park.  Call 631-703-3313 to begin the tour and look for the markers along the trail.  Enter the number on the marker and you'll be treated to a short summary of what you're looking at and what to look for.

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