The Town of Huntington took title recently to a one-acre piece of property in Fort Salonga that will be used to protect natural open space and to provide a small gravel parking area to enable safe access to the northern trailhead to the Makamah Nature Preserve across the street.
The town paid the Roberg family $350,000 for the parcel, which is located just north of the intersection of Makamah and Breeze Hill Roads. The narrow road width, winding road alignment, and fast speed of cars on Makamah Road had made parking along the western road edge dangerous and contributed to erosion of the road bank in close proximity of freshwater wetlands. Purchase of the parcel will allow the Town to address both situations.
“The Town has been working for some time to acquire this property, both for its
environmental significance and for how the Town can now make it easier and safer for residents to access the Makamah Nature Preserve trail,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “I appreciate the Roberg family’s patience in working with us throughout the acquisition process.”
The Fort Salonga Association supported the Town acquisition, which was funded through the Huntington Environmental Open Space and Park Fund Program. The parcel lies within the Crab Meadow Watershed Area, a region that drains toward Long Island Sound. A hydrology study and stewardship plan for the Crab Meadow Watershed are about to be initiated with grant support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The acquired property, which will be named the Davis Brickmaker Preserve, was once used to mine brick molding sand and was critical to the operation of historic brickworks in the area. Molding sand was used to line forms for bricks. In the heyday of the brickmaking operation, workers would transport the sand by wheelbarrows to the end of Makamah Road.
The old pilings of the brickworks still remain along the frontage of the Town’s Geisslers Beach.
Bruce Roberg, who as trustee handled the sale of his mother’s property, informed Petrone at the Jan. 17 closing that he had only recently learned that it was always his grandmother’s wish that a portion of the property should go to the town. The family once owned 80 acres that stretched from Breeze Hill Road to Route 25A. The acquisition process has been a lengthy one, since the parcel had to be split from a larger parcel through the County Health Department subdivision process. Petrone thanked Roberg for his patience in working with the Town to enable purchase of the property for the benefit of Huntington residents. Local wildlife, such as deer, turkey, fox, opossums and raccoons, will benefit as well.
The Roberg site is the 31st parcel acquired under the Town EOSPA Program. A total of 240 acres has been purchased and protected since the Town’s first EOSPA acquisition in 1999.
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Several acquisitions are pending and will close this year, having been authorized and funded by the Town Board already. Included will be the 12.4-acre Carpenter Farm in Huntington, 8-acre Meyers Farm in Melville and 5-acre Erb Property in Dix Hills.