Mike and Susan Laspia of Mashomack to retire in September

REPORTE FILE PHOTO Mashomack Preserve Director Mike Laspia and his wife Susan are retiring in September.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO Mashomack Preserve Director Mike Laspia and his wife Susan, preserve operations manager, are retiring in September.

Mike and Susan Laspia, two people who have helped create one of Shelter Island’s greatest assets — the Mashomack Preserve — have decided to retire.

The Nature Conservancy, which owns the 2,039-acre preserve, covering one third of Shelter Island, recently announced that the couple would retire in September.

The Laspias have been there from the beginning— literally — with Mr. Laspia coming on board as preserve director in 1980 when the Nature Conservancy acquired the pristine forests, freshwater wetlands and 12 miles of undisturbed shoreline. Ms. Laspia took over the reins as preserve operations manager three years later.

The Laspias reside 100 steps away from the Manor House —undergoing a major renovation — in what’s known as the Pond House, where they’ve lived and raised three daughters

Ms. Laspia said the couple has plans to build a house on property they own on the Island after they retire. They will do “a little traveling” Ms. Laspia said, and spend more time with their grandchildren.

“The Laspias share a passion for the environment and a strong love for Mashomack, where they have lived and raised their family,” said Nancy Kelly, executive director of the Nature Conservancy of Long Island. “Through their careful stewardship, the preserve has become a jewel in the Conservancy’s land holdings, as well as an integral part of he community.”