Welcome to aumsett
Welcome to The Caumsett Foundation’s website! Browse through its many pages and you will be treated to a virtual tour of one of Long Island’s most treasured parks- all 1,500 acres of varied terrain and historic buildings from the Golden Age of the 1920s.
However, before you begin let me introduce you to The Caumsett Foundation. Our mission is “To support and enhance Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve as a unique and historic environment on Long Island’s north shore. The Foundation is dedicated to education, low-impact recreation, historic and environmental preservation and conservation of the scenic value, natural heritage and cultural history of the site.”
Fresh Pond with Phragmites Infestation
Interns Gathering Information
Native flora that was previously blocked by dense stands of Phragmited.
Fresh Pond Restoration Project
The highly invasive plant Phragmites australis, or common reed first appeared along the shoreline of Fresh Pond at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve in the early 1980s. Growing as dense stands around the 12 acre freshwater body the invasive grass spread to approximately 0.5 acres by early 2000. Once established it crowded out native species causing a decline in the biodiversity of this habitat. With time more and more of the open pond and native vegetation was replaced by this aggressive invasive plant. Consequently in 2017, The Caumsett Foundation applied for and received a grant from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to remove the Phragmites infestation at Fresh Pond over the course of three years and to re-establish the native freshwater wetland plants. This removal project follows the long-term goals outlined in Caumsett’s Master Plan, which calls for the management and control of non-native plants in order to maintain the historical and environmental integrity of the preserve. The Foundation coordinated the goals of the grant with both the Regional NYS Parks Environmental Office and The Long Island Sound Studies (LISS).
The grant will occur in phases and evaluate the effectiveness of each treatment strategy. Prior to the removal of Phragmites the Caumsett Foundation environmental interns guided by the Foundation Environmental Chairperson gathered pre-treatment data including density of the Phragmites stands, seed bank analysis and native flora inventory.
The Caumsett Foundation hired a professional team to consult and perform the removal of the Fresh Pond Phragmites which began this summer by cutting down 0.5 acres of the 10 foot tall Phragmites to water level over a 2 day period. Two weeks following the initial cutting expected new growth emerged from the cut stems. In response, members of the NYS Parks invasive plant STRIKE team, The Caumsett Foundation environmental interns, North Shore Land Alliance and LISS staff as well as Foundation volunteers took to Fresh Pond in kayaks and its shoreline by foot to cut as much regrowth as possible. When the Phragmites plant produces new growth its uses some of the stored energy in its rhizome. Each cutting will help to deplete the stored energy in the root system and reduce the plant’s ability to flourish.
Next on the project agenda will be the installation of two native plant test plots to help determine the plant selection that will be added to the shoreline to replace the Phragmites. The replacement of Phragmites with native vegetation will retain and increase pollinators along with other valuable species that rely on native freshwater wetland vegetation.
Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve reaches from Long Island Sound across Lloyd Neck to Lloyd Harbor and occupies approximately 1,500 acres. Located in the Town of Huntington in the Village of Lloyd Harbor, it includes open meadows, pristine beaches, hardwood forests, specimen trees and shrubs, and a fresh water pond in addition to Field’s main house and outbuildings. Caumsett is a mixture of habitats that make it a rare and valuable resource. Its natural setting offers unlimited opportunities for environmental, scientific and cultural research.
The Caumsett Foundation and the NYS Parks Regional Environmental Office initiated a 30 acre grassland restoration project and a comprehensive approach to best control invasive plants. They created a website to provide land managers with on-going information on Caumsett's projects.