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Community among the Groups, Agencies and Organizations involved in the Paumanok Path Countdown to Completion June 3 – 4, 2000
The broad base of cooperation was very encouraging.
Leaders from the following concerns all contributed to the National Trails Day events: The Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference, The Sierra Club Long Island Chapter, Southampton Trails Preservation Society, East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, Group for the South Fork, The Nature Conservancy South Fork Chapter, Nassau Suffolk Horseman’s Association, BikeHampton. All of these groups aggressively promoted this event in their newsletters.
Emily Leogrande, Publicity Director of Suffolk County Parks, promoted the National Trails Day event both in a Newsday Parks Department insert and on the Suffolk County Parks Website.
Bob Galli NYSDEC Ranger, enabled us to organize a maintenance event in the Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve and set aside a Saturday to help us clear the trail in anticipation of the event.
The Long Island Greenbelt set up their office in Blydenburgh Park as an information center for this event.
It was recently agreed that the Paumanok Path would now run through The Nature Conservancy’s Big Woods. Bruce Horwith of the Nature Conservancy walked the new portion with an STPS trails volunteer so that it could be blazed before the event.
Ray Corwin Executive Director of the Pine Barrens Commission promoted the NTD event on the Commission's "Pine Barrens Community Calendar" on their web site, Http://pb.state.ny.us. In the listing was a link to the event calendar for those days on the Hike-LI.com web site, along with the telephone numbers for three trails groups. Ray made copies of the National Trails Day weekend center pull out section from the LIGTC Spring 2000 newsletter, and made them available in the Commission's information area.
Long Island East Printing donated a beautiful poster / mail-outs to help promote the event. Dai Dayton of Southampton Trails Preservation Society (STPS) and Steven Biassetti of Group for the South Fork (GSF) worked together to create the text for the poster / mail-out produced by Long Island East.
Eastern Mountain Sports donated binoculars, a daypack and a gift certificate as raffle prizes. They also donated $500.00 to help promote the Paumanok Path. EMS substantially contributed to the festivities at the Trail Center with a very upbeat attitude and gifts of water bottles and tee shirts. Eastern Mountain Sports employees of the Carle Place and Lake Grove set up a table and tent. The trails groups would like to extend a special thank you to Judy Realmuto, Kerri Marshen and Christopher Jaisle.
As planned the Manorville Trail Center was very busy. There were about 100 people at the get together. Thank you George Fernandez of the Long Island Greenbelt Trails Conference (LIGTC) for helping buy the food and cook it. Many “old links” were reestablished at the barbecue. A very positive atmosphere developed among the participants.
The Rough Riders, members of the Nassau Suffolk Horseman’s Association made a strong statement of support for finishing the Paumanok Path. The equestrians who participated in the reenactment drove as much as four hours to attend the celebration. They sacrificed a beautiful day and not insubstantial resources to show that they believe in the Paumanok Path initiative.
Including the festivities at the Trail Center and the Rough Rider reenactment 234 people took part in the twenty-three National Trails Day events. None of the events were overcrowded. The moderately sized hikes created a very pleasant social atmosphere for the groups.
The New York Times March 19 article by John Rather about the Paumanok Path initiative drew the readers attention to the National Trails Day Countdown to Completion Celebration and the Hike–LI.com web site. The Suffolk County Parks Newsday insert, the listings on Channel 12 and the Jack Ellsworth WLIM radio interview with Ken Kindler stirred up a lot of interest in the Paumanok Path. The Southampton Press printed a huge article about the celebration. The East Hampton Star also published a list of the June 3-4 events.
Several miles of trail were cut, blazed or maintained in preparation for the event.
Suffolk County Parks Superintendent William Sickles worked with the LIGTC to connect the Trail Center with the Paumanok Path prior to National Trails Day.
The STPS maintenance crew with the help of GSF, East Hampton Trails Preservation Society and LIGTC worked extra hard to prepare the trails in Southampton for this event.
Eagle Scout candidate Jerome Manetta completed a beautiful 26-foot bridge on the Manorville portion of The Path just in time for the celebration.
The people who helped make the event a reality understand how unique and important this cooperative effort was. Many alliances were born of this initiative and will bear fruit in the future. Eastern Mountain Sports has learned of the Paumanok Path and they have developed an alliance with STPS. A greater awareness of the need to address the threat of trail erosion among the stewards of the hiking trails is finally emerging and an inter-group workshop is planned. The groups are beginning to relate to the trail as a single entity.
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