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Shelter Island Preservation Committee discusses West Neck Preserve: Student volunteers to assist at sites

Work continues at the West Neck Preserve, where black locust saplings have been removed, clearing the way for cleanup of other materials from the site.

The step was needed because of thorns that were impeding removal of other invasive vegetation, said Tim Purtell at the Monday morning Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board (CPF) meeting.

Mr. Purtell also met with Shelter Island School Science Teacher Dan Williams about plans to bring students to the West Neck Preserve in April and/or May to monitor insects on the preserve.

Mr. Williams’ students have been studying insects and plants at Mashomack Preserve and have been able to identify some previously unidentified species. He sees the alliance with the CPF site as a long-term project, lasting several years, Mr. Purtell said.

There have also been efforts to use student volunteers in Chris Conrady’s shop class to create signage and more benches for preserved sites, CPF Chairman Gordon Gooding said. A bench that students built for the Dickerson Preserve to honor Nick Morehead also needs refinishing, and students are expected to take on that project, as well as some at other CPF sites.

The Advisory Board continues to work on its acquisition plan, and Mr. Gooding also asked members to look at a draft of stewardship plans for the Artists Lane site, acquired from the White family last year.

Further discussion on that is expected to take place at next month’s meeting.