On Nov. 12, the Friends of Massapequa Preserve hosted their 16th annual open meeting at the Bar Harbour Library. Welcoming the large number of enthusiastic members who attended, president Richard Schary began the meeting by recalling how bad conditions were in the preserve when the all-volunteer organization first started in 2000.
The group was disturbed by the vandalism, dumping, litter, fires, homeless people and overall neglect throughout the preserve. Visitors were upset by what they observed, but didn’t know what to do or who to contact about it. That’s when a group of concerned citizens got together to form a “friends” group, with one main mission—to protect, preserve and restore the Massapequa Preserve.
At the meeting, it was pointed out how much the preserve has improved since Friends got started and how much better most people were saying the preserve looked. The number of received complaints have declined significantly. The group acknowledged there are still problems in the preserve, and that with more than a quarter million visitors a year, there will always be problems there. Some of the issues discussed at the meeting include invasive plants, feeding of waterfowl, graffiti removal, rules for walking dogs and party spots.
One of the main points made during the evening involved the importance of Friends’ members continuing to act as the eyes and ears of the Massapequa Preserve. Although the group does not own or manage it, with more than 500 members, they can watch and report on it. Every member is provided a detailed list of who to contact when they observe something wrong in the preserve. Phone numbers, email and postal addresses are provided, so people can assist Nassau County, the land manager, in doing the job residents’ taxes paid for.
If you would like to obtain a free copy of this list, or learn more about Friends of Massapequa Preserve, email email@example.com, call 516-541-2461 or write to 90 Pennsylvania Ave., Massapequa, NY 11758.