It’s all about celebrating The Nature Conservancy’s accomplishments and plans for the future at its two upcoming virtual benefits. On July 21, supporters of Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island will celebrate its 40th anniversary. On July 30, Nature Conservancy members will celebrate 65 years of conservation across Long Island. Both events will live stream at 5 p.m.
“Though this has been a difficult year in many respects, there is much to celebrate about the Conservancy’s work here on Long Island and around the world,” says Nancy Kelley, the Long Island chapter director. “Our work is more important now than ever. We are happy to be able to bring our supporters together in a safe way, to share in our successes, to learn about our recent accomplishments, and thank them for making these efforts possible.”
The Nature Conservancy—which was first established to protect environmentally sensitive land—began its efforts on Long Island in 1955 with the creation of the Sunken Forest Sanctuary on Fire Island. In addition to focusing on protecting lands, the Conservancy works to restore water quality, promote healthy coastlines and marine life and deploy clean energy.
Today, Mashomack—a 2,100-acre preserve—is one of over 50 preserves that the organization owns and operates on Long Island. It welcomed 30,000 visitors last year. According to the Conservancy, the number of visitors to its lands in New York has tripled since stay-at-home orders began in March.
“These last few months, as Mashomack has become a refuge for people as well as a preserve, we’ve seen once again that caring for nature and caring for people are a very unified calling,” says Jeremy Samuelson, Mashomack Preserve’s director. “At Mashomack, we are grateful for the opportunity to play a meaningful role in people’s lives and are looking forward to gathering to celebrate the community, our supporters and all that nature has to offer.”
Both virtual benefits will highlight the Conservancy’s work to protect Long Island’s lands and waters.
At the Mashomack virtual benefit, speakers will include Samuelson, as well as the Conservancy’s New York State Director Bill Ulfelder and Mashomack Board Chair Sean O’Shea. Guests will hear how local conservation on Shelter Island connects to the global work of the Conservancy.
At the Long Island virtual benefit, guests will be treated to virtual nature tours on land and water with conservation staff Carl Lobue and Kevin Munroe. Viewers will also learn about updates from Kelley, Ulfelder and Long Island Board Chair Anne Erni.
For more information, visit nature.org.