The North Fork Bay to Sound Trails initiative got a big boost this month with the announcement of $245,000 in state funding.
The project aims to connect the bay to the Sound with a series of public walking trails.
The town has already completed phase one, constructing new trails in Inlet Pond County Park and building a boardwalk in Arshamomaque Preserve.
Phase two of the project is to include new trails, boardwalks, wildlife viewing areas, kiosks and parking areas. It includes the 24-acre Sills parcel, which Southold acquired in 2011 but did not gain possession of until the former owner died a year ago. The town will remove dilapidated structures and septic systems and restore the parcel to a natural state. A section of the creek will be daylighted and restored for habitat and fish passage.
In addition to the Sills parcel, phase two of the trails initiative involves eight other properties, according to John Sepenoski, chairman of the town’s land preservation committee. The funding will also be used for cleaning up Moore’s Woods and Silver Lake in Greenport.
“This grant will go a long way to help us complete the vital Bay to Sound trails,” Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said.
Greenport Village Trustee Doug Roberts, who asked the village board to recommit to the project after the previous board decided not to pursue it, called it “a great partnership” with the town. The current mayor and board readily agreed, he said.
“Some day we’ll all be able to hike from the Bay to the Sound through Village and town lands,” Roberts said.
“All the credit goes to Mike Osinski, who championed this project and John Sepenoski,” Roberts said. “I just am glad we are able to have Village parklands be cleaned up at no cost to taxpayers so they maybe enjoyed by the public.
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