On Saturday, May 4, North Forkers gathered with local environmental restoration organization Group for the East End to clean up land that will be part of the Bay to Sound Trail System, a series of interconnected trails from Peconic Bay to the Long Island Sound.
The cleanup was also in celebration of “I Love My Park Day” and followed an April 21 cleanup that is part of a years-long effort to get the trail system up and running. On both days, volunteers removed brush and trash, and cleared paths for hikers.
The group’s Jessica Kennelly and Aaron Virgin spearheaded the cleanups. The group was joined by local businesses and volunteers including Jason Peters of North Fork Pool Care and Ian Zuhoski of Motts Tree Service who brought machines, tools, and some of their staff to help with clearing the land. John Sepenoski from the Town of Southold also helped determine where the trails would be laid out, while taking into consideration protected wetland areas.
The GEE was contracted by the Town of Southold to lead the volunteer effort to get the project started after it received a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to add to existing trails. The trail system is expected to measure approximately four miles and the goal is two-fold, aiming to connect preserved land while offering nature lovers an uninterrupted experience between the North Fork’s prized natural resources.
The Bay to Sound project was initiated and approved in 2011. Some of the trails that will be part of the system have been in place for years, and some will be new additions to the North Fork. The trails are expected to begin at Sound Beach and Inlet Pond County Park and wind through Moore’s Woods and Silver Lake in Greenport. From there, those involved hope it will continue through Arshamomaque Preserve and Pipes Cove.