For questions contact Board of Directors
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICERS – 2016-2018
Peggy Maslow, President 883-2130
Jill Vomacka, Vice President 671-9823
Belinda Nielsen, Secretary 628-1315
Michael Henahan, Treasurer 627-7018
DIRECTORS and COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES
Education – Peggy Maslow
Membership – Kathryne Natale 759-0925
Conservation – J.Wilson-Pines 767-3454
Publicity – Nancy Tognan 718-225-8064
Programs – Jill Vomacka, 671-9823, Jeanne Millspaugh 723-0269
Field Trips – Barbara Garriel 628-9022
Leaderless Walks – Wendy Murbach 546-6303
Editor – Jennifer Wilson-Pines 767-3454
Hospitality – Don & Joyce Bryk
Special Projects – Jill Vomacka
Website – Thomas Natale Jr
Please send to: Rich Kelly e-mail
The publication for “The First Twenty Years”, on June 5, 1972, was prepared by Ralph Cioffi. The committee consisted of Ella Brown, Ralph Cioffi, Jill Lamoureux, and Arthur McManus
This reminiscence is gratefully dedicated to the late Mrs. Mary Bonnewell, without whose foresight, dedication and hard work LLAS would not be celebrating its twentieth anniversary tonight. A Long Island Audubon chapter was her idea, and the resulting LLAS was entirely the product of her creative effort.
The publication on June 8, 1982 was prepared by Ralph Cioffi. The committee consisted of Edna Boyd, Ralph Cioffi, and Jill Lamoureux
THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
(from the 1972 text)
The climate in which the fledgling Lyman Langdon Audubon Society first tried its wings with a public meeting on September 10, 1952, was vastly different from that prevailing today. In those days birders and conservationists were looked upon as singular but harmless creatures whose nature activities and environmental forebodings were greeted with tolerant smiles and quips. The very word “ecology”, much less its meaning, was then virtually unknown.
The grim series of events of recent years have wrought a radical transformation in public awareness and outlook. The winds and odors of pollution have begun sweeping through the crevices of even the best-insulated homes in the best-insulated communities. The lesson is finally being grasped that man enjoys no godlike immunity from nature’s chain of life — that the continuing despoliation and eradication of our open space and wildlife portends a worsening existence in our lifetime and perhaps irremediably disastrous consequences for those who come after.
It testifies to the vision and prescience of the little band of founders of Lyman Langdon Chapter that high on the list of priorities stood the immediate organization of a conservation committee. From its beginning this standing committee benefited from a succession of active and dedicated chairmen, including Dr. Langdon himself. Over the years this committee has battled fiercely, sometime futilely to preserve specific wildlife areas and stream beds, to halt the steady creep of pollution in its multiple guises, to alert the public to the fact that ill-planned land development and population density were threatening our water supply, our air purity, our soil, our green space, our historic inheritance and the general livability of the communities in which we had chosen to make our homes.
It is noteworthy that as far back as May 1957, the LLAS Bulletin carried a passionate article by Sabra Kimball decrying the aerial spraying DDT for the “control” of gypsy moths. Subsequent articles in the Bulletin, no doubt inspired by the lonely but steadfast efforts of Long Island’s most outstanding naturalist, Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy, dwelt on the pesticide menace long before it began to receive more than passing notice in the pages of our daily newspapers.
The Lyman Langdon Chapter owes its name to an educator possessed of an extraordinary love and knowledge of nature. This was combined in him with the rare ability to communicate his zeal and inspiration to others, young and old. With a doctorate in education, Dr. Langdon served many years as principal of Port Washington Junior High School and associate professor of education at then Hofstra College. He retired in 1955 and moved with his wife Dorothy, to Canton, NY, where he died on January 25, 1963.
Dr. Langdon was a painter in oils and watercolors, as well as the author of “The Natural History of Long Island”, which was published in 1955, and was dedicated “to the many children and friends who have enjoyed wandering with me along our shores or in our fields and woodlands.” The chapter bulletin of February 1963 carried a moving obituary of Dr. Langdon, which included this tribute by Ms. Ella Brown: “His greatest charm was his interest in people. His friends were numerous, and no matter how young or old they were, they received every consideration on field trips…He inspired us all to more and to teach others… It was a delight to know him — we were blessed in his friendship.”
The first seed of LLAS was planted in September of 1951 when Ella Brown, Helen Graseck, the late Muriel Stevenson, Jill Lamoureux, Mr. and Mrs. John Porter, Mr. and Mrs. William LeVeen, the late Mary Bonnewell, and Don Ross were among a group of twelve who registered for an adult education course in “Beginning Ornithology” conducted by Dr. Langdon. As the sessions progressed, Mrs. Bonnewell suggested and pressed for the formation of a local Audubon chapter. The idea did not meet with instant acclaim, but her enthusiasm succeeded in fanning the spark in at least some of her fellow registrants.
A pre-organizational meeting held at Mary Bonnewell’s home on February 20, 1952 had the benefit of the advice and guidance of Carl Buchheister, of the Audubon Society. A second such meeting was held on June 7, 1952 at the home of Rawson Wood and third on June 29 at the home of William LeVeen at Sands Point.
The first session as an Audubon affiliate was on August 27, 1952, by Dorothy and John Porter. Officers were chosen from those attending the meeting who were already Audubon members. Mary Bonnewell became the first president, serving with Don Ross as vice-president, John Porter as treasurer and Helen Graseck (later Mrs. Helen McClure) as secretary. Bill LeVeen suggested that the chapter be named for Dr. Langdon, who later was elected honorary president.
The first public meeting was held on September10, 1952 at the Port Washington Junior High School library. The first program, a slide presentation of local birds, was given by Dr. Heathcote Kimball, a leading spirit of the Baldwin Bird Club, who was accompanied by the late John Elliot, a former president of that club and a birder of the first rank, who at that time wrote a “Bird Notes” column for the Long Island Press. Since the early programs organized by Dr. Langdon, a steady succession of interesting programs have attracted large audiences.
All 24 Audubon members who attended the first meeting became charter members. The many and diverse activities of the chapter attracted a steadily growing membership until today our membership exceeds 1100, even though the region from which we draw our membership is now more restricted.
With Dr. Langdon as leader, the first field trip on September 13, 1952 was to Shu Swamp at Mill Neck, then still the property of the Church family, but now maintained by local residents as one of Long Island’s finest nature preserves through the North Shore Bird and Game Sanctuary, Inc. The birding list for the day included bluebirds. In those early days bluebirds were common and it was a disappointing day when they were not seen.
The first overnight trip was to Montauk Point on the weekend of October 18-19, 1952, with the group staying at the old Montauket Hotel which was opened especially to house the LLAS birders. Among the accounts of the trip were the notes “we enjoyed a delicious boiled lobster dinner and dancing before retiring to the sound of the surf …. At 5 a.m. we were awakened by the sound of Dr. Langdon pounding on everyone’s door.” Dr. Langdon took the group first to Fresh Pond where according to a vivid memoir, “we saw seventeen wood ducks, brilliant in the early morning sun.”
Through the years the field trip program has increased in variety and sophistication under the direction of some of Long Island’s outstanding birders such as Aline Dove, Orville Dunning, Jill Lamoureux, Albert Bell, Ralph Cioffi, and Jeanette Doran. Certain trips, the “all clubs” gathering at Montauk in January, the April trip to Quogue, the “Big Day” count in mid-May and the August expedition to Bird Island, have taken on the dignity of traditions.
Besides its Saturday and Sunday field trips, LLAS began in the spring of 1954 to sponsor mid-week trips under the able and enthusiastic leadership of Muriel Stevenson. Her successors, Sue Stevens, Anne Baker, Erika Engelfried, Elsie Fruson, Jeanette Doran and Helen McClure kept mid-weeks as one of LLAS’s most active programs for adult nature education.
The first of the children’s field trips, which were to become a regular activity of the chapter, was held on September 20, 1952, also led by Dr. Langdon. These walks went on rain or shine, once with as few as two children and sometimesnwith as many as sixty eager young nature scholars. The trips built up to such a point that many volunteers were needed. Among those faithfully serving in this way were Jill Lamoureux, Aline Dove, Marylouise Matera, Betty Forquer, and Joanne Willis.
The example set by Dr. Langdon as a teacher of nature appreciation and ornithology was emulated by Aline Dove, Edna Boyd, and Jeanette Doran. Their well-attended classes became a constant source of strength and recruitment for LLAS and the conservation movement.
The first LLAS scholarship award went to Jill Lamoureux, to attend the Audubon Camp in Maine. She subsequently became an instructor in the nature study courses being conducted at the Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory. John Ricks represented the chapter at the first annual meeting of the Long Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, later assuming the chairmanship he still holds.
On September 18, 1952, Mary Bonnewell was the first LLAS representative to attend a national convention of the Audubon Society. The chapter undertook its first unofficial Christmas Count on December 20, 1952. The first officially recognized count took place on December 27, 1953, when Jill Lamoureux, as compiler, reported 64 species. When the count was turned in to Mrs. Margaret Hickey, wife of the famed ornithologist, she questioned the reporting of a laughing gull. When told it was verified by Dr. David Skaar, however, she accepted the report “without question”. The following year Dr. Skaar became compiler, and due to his knowledge and organization the species count rose to 88, including 63 bluebirds! In subsequent years other competent compilers such as Orville Dunning, Paul Gillen, and Al Bell, making ever-improving teams of field workers, gradually increased the count until it now tops one hundred.
The chapter later became affiliated with the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs, Inc., and on August 27-28, 1954, Ella Brown, Mary Bonnewell, and Muriel Stevenson represented the chapter at the federation’s annual convention at Cornell University.
The first Bulletin appeared in 1953, with Don Ross as editor. Since that time the Bulletin has been published regularly, at first four times a year and now monthly. A fortunate succession of accomplished and conscientious editors, including Mrs. Kimball, who introduced the osprey masthead, Carol Stevenson, Aline Dove, Betty Forquer, and Al Bell, established high standards for the Bulletin which has consistently won high praise even outside our own periphery for its content and format.
A nature library was established in 1957, with Marylouise Matera as Librarian. Today’s sizable collection of books, pamphlets and memorabilia is maintained by Jeanette Doran.
The moving away of a top birder is always a difficult experience for an Audubon group. When the time came for Dr. Langdon and later for Mary Bonnewell to move away from Long Island, those were critical days for the young chapter. It was feared by some that LLAS could not survive the loss of their skills and leadership. Fortunately, however, LLAS had prospered so that other leaders such as Paul Gillen, Jill Lamoureux, Orville Dunning and Aline Dove rose to the challenge and by their example attracted more good birders, increased membership, and improved the effectiveness of LLAS as a nature organization.
Space will not permit the listing of the many environmental battles in which LLAS has been engaged over the years. Particularly deserving of mention, however, is the never-endingstruggle to preserve our shorelines, our wetlands and our green space.
The chapter’s Wildlife Preservation Committee, headed by Jill Lamoureux as a sub-committee of the Conservation Committee, was successful in 1958 in having the Sands Point Wildlife Preserve established. This was the culmination of efforts extending back to 1954. For many years this sanctuary was the scene of much LLAS activity, including field trips, children’s education walks, and conservation and maintenance work. Unfortunately the woodland section of the preserve no longer exists, the owner having opened it up for “development” a few years ago.
In 1968 then conservation chairman, Ralph Cioffi, and president, Joanne Willis, were the leading spirits in organizing the “Citizens for the Hempstead Plains”, a small coalition of nature-minded groups dedicated to preserving the last sizable remnant of the historic Hempstead Plains. Out of our Hempstead Plains effort emerged the Long Island Environmental Council. Many of our members soon became active in the daily environmental battle engaged in by the LIEC.
The Lyman Langdon Audubon Society can look back proudly over the twenty years of achievement that even the most fervent imagination among its founders could not have anticipated. It is a record whose impact for good can not truly be measured or documented in this brief reminiscence.
But looking back, however satisfying, wins no battles. Today we must be imbued with a heightened sense of urgency if we are to avert the “silent spring” which the late Rachel Carson wrote about so fearfully and so fearlessly. It gives us confidence, however, that the new leaders needed for tomorrow’s battles are already among us, ready to take the places of ourolder members as time compels them to lay down their arms.
(end of 1972 text)
INTRODUCTION TO 1982 TEXT
An event that joined the first two decades with the third was the celebration of our Twentieth Anniversary on June 5, 1972, by more than one hundred members and friends at Lauraine Murphy’s Restaurant in Manhasset. Jill Lamoureux was singled out for special award that night, and Charles H. Callison, then executive vice president of National Audubon Society, was an honored guest. The speaker for the evening was Anthony Taormina, who spoke on the growing threat to Long Island’s water supply.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS
This new history is dedicated to the memory of the late Arthur McManus, for the many tasks he performed for LLAS, and for the clarity and finesse he brought to our first history by his contribution to it; and to the late Ella Brown whose personal reminiscences of the early years gave form to our prose.
As we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of Lyman Langdon Audubon Society, we are reminded that many early members, and some of the original small band of founders, are still with us and are actively involved in bird study, conservation, and other chapter activities. A look backwards helps us realize the strength of Audubon movement is in the loyalty of its longtime members and enthusiasm of its newcomers.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS
Some other highlights of the decade just past were our incorporation, Welwyn preserved, new field trips, association with the Muttontown Preserve, the defeat of the Bayville-Rye Bridge, and the rescue of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary.
In 1971 research began into the need for a new constitution and the benefits of incorporation. In October, 1972, member and attorney Arthur Goldstein proposed to General Meeting that an incorporation committee be formed to draw up the necessary documents. At the meeting of February 22, 1973, a motion for incorporation and the new constitution was approve and LLAS became Lyman Langdon Audubon Society, Inc.
The General Meeting has continued to be an important means of achieving membership action and interaction. The program content ranges from the educational and informative to the entertaining. In January 1973, program chairperson Mary Schreiber organized our first educational forum. The evening’s events consisted of discussion groups, displays, and audio-visual demonstrations of birds, ecology, and conservation. Participating in the first forum were George Horton, Orville Dunning, Carol Johnston, Joanne Knapp, Helen McClure, Kathy Sacco, Jo Ann Larson, and Ted Zinn. The popularity of this format was such that LLAS continued with it and used it to celebrate its 25th anniversary on January 24, 1977.
LLAS educational zest continued undiminished. In 1972 a series of educational field trips were conducted in cooperation with the Nassau County Department of Recreation and Parks. Members who participated were Ruth Neumann, Cathy and Bill Overton, Margret Nathanson, Helen McClure, Erika Englefried, Jo Ann Larson.
In 1973 Elizabeth Baehler announced the establishment of research and development grants to members. These grants were made in addition the scholarships awarded each year for nature study. Innovative was a seminar course in ornithology offered by LLAS at C. W. Post College. In 1981 Lois Lindberg gave a very interesting adult education course in Great Neck called the “habitats of Long Island.”
A conspicuous field of activity of our education committee was the contribution of time to “manning” conservation exhibits at various flower shows and ecology fairs. Leadership in this area was supplied by Jo Ann Larson, Elizabeth Baehler, Kathy Sacco, Kathy Denston, and Lois Lindberg.
The urge to share the delights of birding brought out the inventiveness of LLAS people. In January 1972 Helen McClure and Jeanette Doran taught a January Bird Study Course to prepare members for the coming spring migration. In the spring of 1974 a Wednesday-Saturday migration watch was organized in local preserves.
A new concept in field trips began in September 1975. Al Hobart and Don Thompson developed a schedule in which the Wednesday morning field trip was followed by an encore trip the following Saturday morning. September 1975 also saw the start of the late George Lehr’s extremely popular Great Neck Bird Walks in response to the idea that member act as area resource personnel in their own neighborhoods. The first walk was at Kings Point Park and was very well attended. Many new people were introduced to the Audubon ideals through these contacts.
Saturday Field Trips continued without interruption each month from September to June. Jill Lamoureux and Herb Roth were among the members who gave these all-day trips their support by their frequent participation. The Christmas Count remained our prime winter activity. In December 1973 we counted an all-time high of 120 species. There were even 3 Eastern Bluebirds seen on count day. In April, Al Bell was recognized for ten years of service as Christmas Count compiler. He was followed in this office first by Jack Huke and then by Herb Roth.
In 1973 new ground was broken when LLAS began looking at birds from a new angle. The June Resident Bird Census was based loosely on the idea of a Christmas Count in June.
Its rigors caused us to develop a more intensive type of field work and rewarded us with a greater knowledge of local bird distribution. A spin-off from it was the One-Square-Mile of Birds, a special census of every “nook and cranny” of Sea Cliff. The June census served as a precursor and training ground for LLAS participation in the ongoing Atlas Bird Project. This is a 5-year field study to determine the breeding status of all the resident birds of New York State. In the first two years LLAS workers had the greatest overall success in our region in approaching this goal. Among those working on the Atlas Project are Jeanette Doran, Barbara Spencer, Herb Roth, Zu Proly, Helen McClure, Ralph Cioffi, Allan Lindberg, Estelle Capelin, Joseph Bookalam, Bill Patterson, Don Thompson, Al Bell, Jerry Morea, and Jo Ann Larson.
The full range of national conservation issues engaged the energies of LLAS and its conservation committees. The 1972 Environmental Bond issue, Alaska Wilderness legislation, controls on all-terrain vehicles, limits to offshore drilling, and nuclear power restrictions were all causes championed by our board and conservation chairmen Basil Tangredi, Kathy Sacco, Betty Forquer, and Kurt Sundheimer. in 1972 the LLAS board voted to support legislation to permit citizen suits to enforce environmental laws. We joined the Environmental Planning Lobby and we continued to support the Long Island Environmental Council.
The words of past-president Basil Tangredi, “Think globally, but act locally” could well describe LLAS. Local environmental issues were solid waste disposal, resource recovery, air quality, and water quality. Water was prime concern because of Long Island’s dwindling potable water, its vanishing wetlands, and degraded quality of its harbors and bays.
Being a member of LLAS helped some of us perceive our civic duty more clearly. The great wave of environmental awareness of the late sixties and seventies led to the appointing of many local environmental boards, on several of which LLAS members served.
LLAS members have always been concerned about the loss of our precious open space. Many became supporters and workers for The Nature Conservancy. In 1975 LLAS
proposed a wildlife preserve in the Port Washington Sand Pits. The Pine Barrens and underlying reservoir of sweet water found our support in 1979.
One of the high points in the history of LLAS was our successful participation in the setting aside of the Pratt “Welwyn” estate in Glen Cove as a county preserve. Originally slated to be a much needed landfill site by the city, it was saved by a coalition of environmentalists spearheaded by local Audubon members. Among these were Dorothy Blumner, Florence McDonough, and Ralph Cioffi of Glen Cove and Helen McClure of Locust Valley. In September 1974 Barbara Conolly led an LLAS-sponsored “Walk for Welwyn” on the grounds of the estate for Glen Cove residents and friends. The Great Horned Owl that nests there became the symbol of wildlife preservation to the people of the city. Responding to the ground swell of public opinion, the mayor of Glen Cove, Vincent Suozzi, and County Executive Ralph Caso reached an agreement to dedicate “Welwyn” to passive recreation and education for the people of Glen Cove and for county residents as well. LLAS members are proud of the role they played in achieving this and they are dedicated to support the concept of “Welwyn” as a nature preserve.
The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary in Oyster Bay is the oldest continuously run sanctuary of the National Audubon Society. It was set aside in 1923 as a memorial to conservation-minded president. By 1971 when it appeared that National Audubon Society was about to abandon it, LLAS representatives began to meet with concerned people from other Audubon chapters to discuss ways to save it. By December 1972 we had joined with three neighboring chapters “to undertake to protect and maintain its facilities and eventually to provide an educational outreach into Long Island communities.” Betty Forquer, Herb Roth, Al Bell, and Barbara Spenser have served on its governing board. Roz Fisher, Helen McClure, Rose Miller, Basil Tangredi and Elizabeth Baehler also made important contributions to the sanctuary.
One of the important jobs of the local chapters has been to raise funds to support a full-time director and staff for the sanctuary. Each year bird seed has been sold in bulk at “Bird Seed Savings Day” and the profit channeled to the sanctuary coffers. John Meirs has been a prominent worker in this effort, aided by the efforts of Bob and Helen McClure, Zu Proly, Midge Maple, the late George Lehr, Herb Roth, Kurt Sundheimer, and Adolph Gehde.
In another show of cooperation LLAS met withthe various Long Island chapters in the fall of 1972 on the need to work together on mutual conservation concerns. Once all Long Island belonged to one chapter, LLAS, but as the Audubon cause flourished, it was necessary to found many new chapters. Eventually this meeting led to a new unity in the establishment of the Long Island Audubon Chapters Coalition.
Because of a natural feeling for all living things, LLAS tried to promote the protection of endangered species. The “Save the Great Whale” program of the June 1974 General Meeting typified this spirit.
A fear of all ecologists is the terrible losses of wildlife caused by oil spills. In 1973 Basil Tangredi worked to set up a program to treat birds contaminated by oil. Instructions in cleaning procedures were offered to LLAS volunteers. This project continues today in cooperation with other agencies including the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary in an “Coast Watch”. LLAS volunteers in this good work have been Lucille Young and Zu Proly.
Wildlife and energy may seem worlds apart but Audubon people have always understood the unity of all conservation. The subject matter of two General Meetings should make that clear: “That Upon Which We Depend — Energy” and “Energy, Are We Part of the Solution?” In 1979 LLAS developed a comprehensive energy policy and gave it prominent space in the September Bulletin of that year.
During these eventful ten years we remember fighting the battle of “The Bridge.” LLAS members participated in all aspects of this cause. Success came with the signing by Governor Nelson Rockefeller of legislation to block the construction of the Bayville-Rye Bridge. Our Bulletin celebrated in September 1973 with an article titled “Thank God It’s Over.”
The publishing of the Bulletin has continued without interruption these past ten years. Each of its editors has maintained the basic style, developed and refined over the years, that makes the Bulletin outstanding in its class.
Field notes first appeared sporadically in some of the earlier editions of the Bulletin, but they did not become a regular feature until the sixties under editors Aline Dove and Al Bell. Since 1972 field notes have been given increased coverage. The value of these records, aside from the interest they afford our members, is that they contribute to the storehouse of local bird information.
A very happy story to tell of the past decade was the growing cooperation between LLAS birders and the staff of the Muttontown Preserve. Since 1971 the preserve’s meeting room has been the scene of our Christmas Count summary. The hospitality and cooperation of Bill Paterson and his staff have been unfailing. The success of the June Resident Bird Census and Atlas Project were greatly due to their efforts. The high quality of their nature education program has set a standard for others to imitate. In the field of bird study, in particular of the raptors, Allan Lindberg has few peers. In return LLAS members served the preserve as worker-volunteers in impressive numbers. Visitors to the preserve were sure to see one or more of the following people: Ruth Neumann, Zu Proly, Don and Virginia Thompson, Rose Miller, Helen McClure, John and Virginia Meirs, Lee Dauvergne, Roz Fisher, Ken Stier, the late Arthur McManus, Margret Nathanson, and Al and Helen Hobart.
The amazing growth of LLAS from its first group of 24 continued to impress under the direction of membership chairperson Doris Rowe. In 1975 a special membership drive was organized. Wildlife artist Guy Coheleach’s donations of prints to new members and to their recruiters gave us an added boost. By July 1975 Martha Van Loan informed us that we had grown to 1450.
While there were impressive gains there were some losses. We were saddened by the passing of Arthur McManus, Ann Baker, George Lehr, Kagen Christensen, Ella Brown, Joe Wing, Muriel Stevenson, Dave Skaar, and Elsie Klein, but we were buoyed up by the remembrance of the good days we had known with them and of all they had done for LLAS.
At the beginning of this decade, Basil Tangredi, then our conservation Chairman, said aptly, we should seek a “balance between field trips and conservation work.” As we examine the record, we see this was exactly the path laid out for us by the founders. Each new wave of leaders, from our first president, Mary Bonnewell, to our latest, Dorothy McConnell, continues to illuminate this path in a way particular to the needs of the day.
As we look ahead to the next decade, we envision: good times birding and serious bird study, the enjoyment of nature and conservation crusades. It will all be there when needed, balanced and in proportion.
PRESIDENTS OF LLAS AND NSAS
INTRODUCTION TO 2011 TEXT
Reading through the account of LLAS history, it’s fascinating to realize that the chapter is now 60 years old. The first 30 years have been documented in a clear and concise way, now it’s time to update for the next30 years, which begins with the 30th Anniversary dinner held at the Swan Club, Roslyn Harbor.
Within the last 30 years the chapter has had some ups and downs. There had been discussions in 1989 and again in 1996 to deactivate the chapter but members stepped forward, one of them being Kathryne Natale, who became President in 1990 and kept things moving along. The upside is that, now we have a vibrant chapter fulfilling our mission to educate on many bird and environmental issues.
An important issue was realized, that it was time to change the chapters’ name, as many new members didn’t know who Dr. Lyman Langdon was or his significance to the chapter, so in 1997 Lyman Langdon Audubon became North Shore Audubon. In 2008, since our logo is an Osprey, the newsletter was renamed “The Ospreys’ Platform”.
Saturday and Wednesday bird walks have endured through the decades, participants visit a wide variety of preserves, marshlands, beaches and museum grounds. We have been fortunate to have many wonderful leaders such as, Helen McClure, Jennifer Wilson-Pines, Joe Orenstein, Jerry Bernstein, Rick Kendenburg,
Mary Normandia, Barbara Garriel, Don and Joyce Bryk, inspiring us to listen for bird calls, watch the behavior of different species and learn their field marks. We not only learned about birds but flowers, butterflies, trees and nature in general.
All-day trips, such as, Montauk, Hook Mountain, Doodletown, Croton-on-Hudson, Sunrise Mountain, Basherkill were guided by Herb Roth and Zu Proly. In 1983 many sightings of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were recorded in the area of Shu Swamp, in Mill Neck, Helen McClure’s garden in Locust Valley and Garvies Point Preserve, Glen Cove, by Ralph Cioffi. In 2007 Wendy Murbach organized our “Leaderless” walks that continue throughout the year on Wednesdays. Our chapter is the only one to have recorded, over several decades, all the species seen in our area and surrounding Nassau, Suffolkand Queens. “The Field Notes” have been diligently kept by Ralph Cioffi since 1973.
In 1984, under the watchful eyes of Harold Simons and Linda Grace, many schools participated in “Audubon Adventures”, which would continue until 1998. In 2009, the then President, Peggy Maslow, took up the cause in the Port Washington schools, educating the 4th Graders in birding 101, which led to those grades joining Cornell Lab of Ornithologys’ Project FeederWatch. Grant money, obtained from Audubon New York and the Port Washington Educational Foundation bought feeders and seed. These grant monies also included a feeding station for the Port Washington Library children’s room. Peggy also held classes in Great Necks’ Adult Education.
In 1988, an Aunt of Dr. Basil Tangredi, bequeathed to the chapter her half of a house in Queens that she shared with her sister. After the passing of this relative there was extensive litigation, until October of 1992 when the house was finally sold at auction and LLAS received their share of the proceeds $60,914. After much consideration by the board, it was decided to donate $35,000 to T.R. Sanctuary for unspecified improvements to their property and buildings. The remainder was placed into investments for future use by the chapter.
In keeping with our mission to educate, NSAS continues to award a young child with a summer scholarship to either Garvies Point Museum or T.R.Sanctuary and a scholarship to a teacher, who applies for it, for a weeks program on Audubons’ Hog Island, in Maine. In 1988 – 1993 a childrens’ party “for the birds” was attended at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, this was held just before Christmas time.
With the help of our many volunteers we take our display board and table, consisting of printed material, nests, eggs, bird song books and a wide variety of educational information around to Eco-fests, school environmental days and Earth Day events enabling us to get our message out to as many people as possible.
The continuation of the bird seed sale, under the guidance of Dorothy McConnell, John Meirs, Zu Proly, Jerry Bernstein and Rick Kendenburg, was very successful, with the profits going to support T.R.Sanctuary for their rehabilitation of wildlife. In 1996, due to lack of volunteers, there was no bird seed sale, the chapter made a donation instead, but in the years 1997 – 1999 again we had the bird seed sale only to be cancelled in 2000. We continue to place members onthe T.R.Sanctuary board, which guarantees our support of that wonderful wildlife sanctuary.
Since the beginning of LLAS, a member has attended the New York Federation of Bird Clubs. In 1953 the chapter officially started a Christmas Bird Count, Jill Lamoureux was the first compiler, to this very year, in December, we still have volunteers out in all kinds of weather, searching for as many birds and species as they can. Since 1963 Huntington/OysterBay Audubon has joined us in the effort to cover as much ground as possible. In 1971, with the co-operation from Muttontown Preserve, we have always had the compilation dinner there with the 2 chapters alternately bringing the home cooked food.
Over the years Al Bell, John Huke, Herb Roth, Mary Normandia and Glenn Quinn have excelled at gathering and recording the numbers. In 1953 there were 64 species recorded compared to 2010 when we counted 105. Our highest total of any year was in 1973, 119 species. Another long standing count has been the winter Waterfowl Census, which still continues to this day.
In 2006, for 4 years, Mary Normandia and A.W. Cafarelli participated in NOAA’S wetland restoration monitoring at Hempstead Harbor, which led to Mary discovering that a pair of Peregrine Falcons were using the high south-west chimney stack as a nesting site. Glenn Quinn and Bobby Rossetti participated in gathering information for the 2nd edition of the Breeding Bird Atlas. In the late 1980’s we participated in 2 International Beach Clean-ups held in mid-September. One at Manorhaven Beach in Port Washington, the other at Garvies Point Preserve. After each clean-up the volunteers are “rewarded” with snacks and juice. At Garvies Point Preserve we have now incorporated our beginning of the year program, for which we usually try to get a Wildlife handler or Rehabilitator to bring a variety of raptors. The children really love to see raptors up close and learn their habits. In 1998 our chapter officially adopted Garvies Point Museum and Preserve.
Since October 2007, our meetings have been at the Manhasset Public Library. This change was after being at the Congregation Church, many years at the Church of our Saviour, Lutheran, and prior to the Churches, Munsey Park School, all in Manhasset. Over the past 30 years there have been numerous environmental issues the chapter has been involved with, sominstead of them being listed by year, they are listed by each 5 years… 1982 – 1986:- Clean Air/Clean Water Act. Freeze Nuclear Weapons, Bottle Bill. Clinch River Reactor Coalition. Toxic dumping by Purex in the Town of North Hempstead. Minnewaska State Park. NSAS participated in helping preserve the Underhill property in Jericho. Recreational Vehicles on Fire Island. Our involvement in the Hempstead Plains continues. New York State Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities. Old Bethpage Landfill.
1987 – 1991:- Solid Waste Recycling. Saving Long Island Sound Waters. Environmental Quality Bond Act. Endangered Species Protection Act. Hudson River Habitat Bill. “Listen to the Sound” initiative.
1992 – 1996:- Long Island Watershed Conference. Became members of (1) Long Island Sound Steering Committee. (2) Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor & Manhasset Bay. (3) Coalition on Pesticides. (4) Audubon Activist Program with an Activist Phoneline to Albany. The Northern Forests. Protecting the Adirondack Park. Sand & Gravel pits in Port Washington. Revitalizing Hempstead Harbor. Sumps To Sanctuaries.
1997 – 2001:- Dune Grass Planting at Centre Island Beach, Oyster Bay. Shade Grown Coffee Offered for Sale. Bike Trail at Jamaica Wildlife Refuge. Glen Cove Waterfront Revitalization Plan/Captains’ Cove.
2005 – 2009:- In 2005 & 2007 participated in the Sea Cliff Yard Sale as a Fund Raiser. Nassau County/Greespeace Egg Oiling Program. Fire Island Hawk Watch Program. Breeding Bird Atlas. Crackdown on Nurseries Selling Invasive Plant Species. Preservation of the Smithers Property in Mill Neck (upper and lower Francis ponds). Bike Trail at Garvies Point Preserve. Calverton Grasslands. Bigger Better Bottle Bill. State Council wants The removal of Cat Colonies from State Parks. Feral Cats. Became a member Of the Coalition for Hempstead Harbor Parkland. Piping Plover monitoring. Horseshoe Crab Monitoring.
2010 – 2011:- “Keep Cats Indoors”issue.
As the chapter moves ahead in this next decade, we will continue educating people interested in birding and our wonderful surroundings that Mother Nature has provided for us. We will always be vigilant in protecting the land.
LLAS/NSAS BULLETIN EDITORS
From the beginning of the chapter until Sept. 1953 it is believed, through word of mouth, that Don Ross was Editor of the first bulletin.
|Sept. 1953 – Summer 1956
Sept. 1956 – Sept. 1957
Oct. 1957 – June 1958
Sept. 1958 – June 1961
Sept. 1961 – June 1964
Sept. 1964 – June 1968
Sept. 1968 – June 1972
Sept. 1972 – June 1974
Sept. 1974 – May 1979
June 1979 – June 1997
Oct. 1997 – June 2001
Sept. 2001 – Aug. 2006
Sept. 2006 – To Present