Tag Archive | "The Nature Conservancy"

Watershed Weekend with The Parrish Art Museum & The Nature Conservancy

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Accabonac Harbor. Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy. 

The Parrish Art Museum has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in two events meant to highlight one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the East End of Long Island: water quality.

On Saturday, September 27 at 11 a.m., the museum will host “Watershed: Artists, Writers, Scientists and Advocates on Our Waters” in the Lichtenstein Theatre. The PechaKucha style talk will feature eight speakers including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited architect Glynis Berry who serves on the Suffolk County Planning Commission and is with the U.S. Green Building Council; Dr. Chris Gobler, a professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences and an expert on the topic of harmful algal blooms; Nature Conservancy Long Island Executive Director Nancy Kelley, Hampton Bays bayman Ken Mades; Southampton resident and Executive Director of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Thomas McAbee; Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst; Edwina von Gal, East Hampton-based landscape architect and President of the Azuero Earth Project whose mission is to preserve the earth’s ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy communities; and artist and teacher at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, Allan Wexler, whose work in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art explores human activity and the built environment.

The museum will follow the discussion with a Sunday, September 28 Walking Tour of Accabonac Harbor, one of the regions most diverse tidal marsh systems. Both programs are being presented in conjunction with The Parrish Art Museum’s ongoing exhibition, “Platform: Maya Lin.”

For more information, visit parrishart.org. 

Nature Conservancy & Suffolk County Officially Preserve 29 Acres in North Haven

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Two weeks ago, The Nature Conservancy took title to a 29 acre property in North Haven Village that will be transferred to Suffolk County sometime next month and will be preserved as parkland.

North Haven Village will manage the parkland on behalf of Suffolk County.

According to The Nature Conservancy’s conservation advisor Randy Parsons, property owner Andrew Lack agreed to sell the parcel to the Conservancy for $3.7 million. In 2010, the Conservancy and Suffolk County struck a deal where the county agreed it would re-purchase the property for the same price with monies from the county’s water protection fund.

The deal was not without its headaches, noted Parsons, including a veto on the purchase by then Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. That veto was overridden with help from Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, enabling the county to announce it had a formal deal with the Conservancy to work on purchasing the property together in August of 2011.

“He was really instrumental in this coming together,” said Parsons during a walk throughout the new preserve, which includes two-acres of wetlands at Fresh Pond and wooded uplands Parsons said he hopes will be used for passive recreation like hiking. The property connects Fresh Pond and the Peconic Estuary across from the Conservancy’s 2,039 acre Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island through a narrow tidal creek that on Tuesday afternoon was home to two blue herons.

Lack, the former president of NBC News, had subdivided 12 acres of the land into five building lots, according to a map produced by the Conservancy and was once zoned for two acre residential development. Now, those lots, along with the remaining 17 acres, have been merged and protected.

“In addition to providing a beautiful place for peaceful walks, this parcel is important for shoreline and water quality protection,” said The Nature Conservancy’s Executive Director Nancy Kelley. “The salt marsh on this parcel plays an important part in filtering land-based sources of pollution to the Peconic Bay. The upland areas provide a spot for salt marsh migration in the face of accelerated sea level rise.”

According to Legislator Schneiderman, while purchasing the property has been a priority of the Conservancy, it was really North Haven Village Mayor Laura Nolan who brought the property to the county’s attention.

“This is a critical environmental area and she recognized that,” said Legislator Schneiderman. “It creates a large block of open space and I think there is habitat value as well. This was very important to North Haven Village. Certainly a top priority for that board.”

The land is nestled between the Peconic Estuary, as well as a 64 acre stretch of land on which the Peconic Land Trust holds easement and close to 40 undeveloped acres in private ownership.

“This parkland has the potential to grow,” noted Parsons. “It could even double in size.”

Exhibit Celebrates East End’s Wild Side

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web Lavendar Before Twilight 24 x 36 oil on canvas

By Marianna Levine

 “My tribute to the landscape is to paint it,” explains local artist Grant Haffner, who will be part of this year’s Labor Day Landscape Show, entitled A Walk on the Wild Side, opening on Friday September 4 at Ashawagh Hall in Springs. It’s a show in which a portion of the proceeds benefits The Nature Conservancy.

Haffner is one of 13 artists who were asked by the show’s organizer, photographer Tom Steele, to contribute work to a show that focuses on how nature and the landscape inspires artists. Casey Chalem Anderson, another exhibitor, who assisted Steele in this year’s planning of the exhibit, explains, “We really emphasize a mix of artists that take the local landscape as their inspiration.” She muses this doesn’t mean the show is all plein air landscapes, but encompasses abstract and three dimensional work as well.

For example, Heffner, who is exhibiting for the first time in this group show, takes his inspiration from the roads he drives as much as from the natural bays and beaches of the East End. He paints in bright colors, and although very figurative, his images have a pop art feel to them.

Haffner is a native East Ender who grew up in East Hampton, but is currently relocating to North Haven, which he states has already changed what he is painting.

“My drive each day to work inspires me the most. I’m now painting a lot of Long Beach, and I think I will try to include the harbor and bridge too.” 

However, he decided to focus on Accabonac Harbor for the paintings he is exhibiting at Ashawagh Hall, since the show’s theme is beaches, bays, and salt marshes.

Barbara Pintauro Lobosco, who’s exhibiting her paintings for the second time, enthuses, “I like to be involved with a group that preserves the land. Especially since I love to paint what is uniquely here in the Hamptons.”

Like Anderson, she explains that the work in the show isn’t necessarily plein air painting, and that her’s certainly isn’t. Although she has primarily worked with representing the sky and the sea, her primary interest is in color, and lately trees and the land have inspired her. Also like Haffner she is a long-time resident of the area, having raised a family out here as well as serving on the board of directors of the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. All artists including Anderson say the area’s beauty is their main inspiration and all feel they have a deep relationship with the East End.

Anderson, a native New Yorker, who lived for a long time in California, returned to the east coast and Sag Harbor about 17 years ago. She noted her work was primarily figurative until she moved here and focused more and more on landscapes.

 “I really relate to the horizontal landscape, and I really rely on the natural landscape as my inspiration to paint. I feel I really got lucky living here,” Anderson explains, and then elaborates on her reason for wanting to support the Nature conservancy.

“I’m very aware of the fragility of the land that the Nature Conservancy protects,” she said. “If we don’t take care of it, it will no longer be as pristine.”

Haffner completely agrees, “It’s nice to contribute something to the Nature Conservancy because they preserve the landscape I use as my inspiration.” And goes on to add, “the landscape here is so beautiful. It has great feeling and energy. At the end of my busy day — and you know you have to work hard to live out here as an artist — I can still sit down and watch a sunset on a beach. I’ve driven across the country but nothing inspires me like here.”

Steele has been putting this show together for five years and selects all the artists who exhibit their work in the show. As well as photography and painting, the exhibit also includes three-dimensional work and tapestry, giving it an interesting eclectic mix. Anderson states, “We’ve had some very successful shows in terms of viewers and sales.”

The show will run at Ashawagh Hall through September 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with an opening reception on Saturday, September 5 from 5-8 p.m.