|Back by popular demand .... the East Hampton Trail Maps!|
A SPARK THAT CAUSED THE ISLAND TO
In 1976 Nancy Manfredonia, a
member of the Citizens for a Clean Environment, spear headed a campaign to
protect the scenic Connetquot and Nissequogue rivers and keep them in as
pristine a state as possible. Other environmentalists and town officials who now
shared Nancy’s vision mounted an effort to acquire the private lands necessary
to close the gaps between the large areas of public lands. By 1979 the corridor of public holdings in the river areas was
secure. At the same time an intrepid group of inspired individuals
mapped out a trail for hikers and outdoors lovers.
The resulting hiking path is a
32-mile National Recreation Trail that meanders over bluffs and beaches, past
ponds and through pinewoods. The Long Island Greenbelt Trail runs from Long
Island Sound to Great South Bay. It
passes through Sunken Meadow, Caleb Smith, Connequot and Heckscher state parks
traversing the Ronkonkoma Moraine.
Today Nancy Manfredonia is
President of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference and also Executive
Director of the Central Islip Civic Council.
It is this writers opinion that Nancy’s vision back in 1975 was the
spark that led to the LIGTC's subsequent success in building 150 miles of trails
west of the Shinnecock Canal and was also instrumental in giving impetus to the
development of the South Fork’s trail system.
The Long Island Greenbelt Trail
Conference is now a powerful organization comprised of a team of awesomely
intelligent and effective environmental advocates all donating their time and
efforts to protect thousands of acres of open space in both counties.
When you hike on this island, in a
large part, it is the LIGTC that you have to thank for the experience.
I urge you to purchase a Pathfinder membership with this group, not only
because you will receive a quarterly newsletter and get maps, but also because
it is in your own best interests to support an organization that protects the
things we love.
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