Restored grassland at Parade Grounds.

President’s Message: 2018

It is hard to believe that spring is upon us when the biggest snow storm of the season has just blanketed the east coast. But Red Wing Blackbirds have returned to the island and the White Throated Sparrow could be heard calling “Sam Peabody Sam Peabody” shortly thereafter – a sure sign that the seasonal shift is now upon us.

Tom Sargent

Soon, many of us will be returning to Fishers Island and to the beauty and serenity that the island provides. With summer fast approaching, we at the Fishers Island Conservancy have been getting to work planning exciting initiatives and programs. One of our first yearly projects is our seasonal burn that took place in February in partnership with the Fire Department. Our ongoing work will continue in the Sanctuary with remediation to tackle invasives while over seeding with native grasses and wild flowers. Look for additional bird boxes to provide nesting spots for the Eastern Bluebird as well as abundant Tree Swallows.

Stop by the Demonstration Garden and see how well it fared over the winter and watch it slowly wake with the longer days. Sit on one of the benches and observe the host of wildlife that our native flora attracts. We will have more benches throughout the sanctuary to invite contemplation and a chance to disconnect for a little while. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of the Northern Harriers that call the sanctuary home. It’s a truly wonderful sight.

The Conservancy will continue to work with Professors Doug Tallamy and Adam Mitchell from the University of Delaware. We will hold our Spring Migration Bird Count the first weekend in May, which promises to be enlightening and fun. All are welcome to go birding with some of the best. The Weed Team from the university will be returning again this June so please say hello when you see them in the field. We will be joined by the Delaware folks in both July and August for the Conservancy’s Sunset on the Beach (Saturday July 21st) as well as Nature Days (Aug.11th). Please stay tuned for specific program events.

In addition to our work in the Sanctuary, our island naturalist Justine Kibbe, has been continuing to engage our students in the Island Sentinels program. She also provides real time year round observations that enhance our understanding of the island’s place in the natural world. We will be welcoming back those involved in eco friendly mosquito control and will perform occasional water testing to assure our beaches and waterways stay as clean as possible. As always, we will work in concert with homeowners to offer remediation plans to further eradicate the “foreign invaders” that disrupt and overwhelm our native species.

As you think of the coming summer and the precious beauty of the Atlantic coast, please remember the Fishers Island Conservancy in your giving plans. Your donation is greatly appreciated.

For the Conservancy,
Tom Sargent, President