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March-ing through Mashomack: Visitors and volunteers welcome

Living as close to nature as Islanders do, the little hints that seasons are beginning to change are easy to find.

Nowhere is this more true than in the Mashomack Preserve, where the trails welcome visitors to explore different terrains, challenging themselves to stretch their legs for jaunts of varying lengths. For those ready to shake off winter, the trails are open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

If you’re willing to lend a hand, volunteer workdays have been scheduled. While enjoying the late winter — almost-spring — days outdoors, you can improve habitats for wildlife and access for visitors at the Preserve.

Trail Maintenance is scheduled for Friday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. A Visitor Center Spring Cleanup is planned for Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If the starry nights of late winter intrigue you, grab your flashlight and boots and join a nighttime hike on Friday, March 18, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., exploring Mashomack’s shoreline and seaside forest in the moonlight.

Mashomack team members will lead visitors on a half-mile walk. Visitors will explore the effects of climate change, sea-level rise and erosion along our coast, while enjoying the beauty of winter’s last full moon.

For more information about the workday activities and to RSVP for these programs, please visit nature.org/nyevents.

One of the Preserve’s popular customs revolves around a Book in the Woods: for March, the selection is “If You Find A Rock,” by Peggy Christian. Come for a self-guided, half-mile walk and read a story as you go. Wish rocks, skipping rocks, chalk rocks, climbing rocks — so many are waiting to be found and enjoyed. Beautifully photographed, this book captures the wonder that special rocks can call up in all of us.

This is a perfect family nature adventure and a great way to get children into the outdoors.

Please note that the Visitor Center and restrooms are temporarily closed.