Attractive changes are afoot at the entrances of three of the preserves the Land Alliance stewards: Red Cote Preserve (purchased by Nassau County with Environmental Bond funding) on Yellow Cote Road in Oyster Bay Cove, Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve on Chicken Valley Road in Upper Brookville and James Sanctuary in Old Brookville.

New signs subtly grace the parking area and trailhead at Red Cote. Visitors can now learn not only how this important 30-acre property was protected but also about its ownership history, how it is managed, some of the plant and wildlife species found there and how to enjoy the trail system. Native highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) and sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) shrubs are being planted alongside the driveway and parking area to beautify and add color to the entrance, while enhancing the wildlife habitat the preserve provides.

Offering nature’s serenity to harried Long Islanders, our Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve’s 42 acres rewards visitors with gentle trails, a colorful meadow, a majestic hardwood forest and a pristine pine plantation. Changing seasons usher in ephemeral delights: trailing arbutus clinging to a hillside in May, sunflowers lighting up the meadow at summer’s end and silent snowshoeing excursions in the dead of winter.

Thanks to grants from the Hope Goddard Iselin Foundation and the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (for more details, see LTA grant article on p. 23), we now have the ability to make these preserves more visible, more inviting and safer. These improvements, paired with associated educational signage and programming will help transform these preserves into places that Long Islanders can discover and enjoy.