Pictured Above: Science teacher Deb Kimmelman, Master Gardener Nancy DePas Reinertsen and Kristen Bashen of the Group for the East End with mountain mint at the seed swap in the fall of 2023.

A new North Fork chapter of ReWild Long Island, with the vision of rewilding, revitalizing, and restoring our precious environment, one garden at a time, is forming on the North Fork.

The group’s inaugural meeting will be held on Jan. 8 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Folk Room upstairs at the Southold Free Library. All are welcome to attend.

ReWild is part of a growing worldwide movement to help enable anyone who is able to plant a plot of land with native and organic plants to help provide essential habitat for the creatures that share our world, and to restore lands and waters that have been damaged by our past land use practices.

Another chapter was formed on the South Fork last year.

The North Fork group is being formed by residents who have been involved with the North Fork Pollinator Pathway, who have restored the Custer Preserve Arboretum Native Garden next to the Custer Institute Observatory in Southold and held seed swaps and garden tours over the past year.

Over an eight-month period, beginning in April, Southold Town permitted volunteers from the Southold Peconic Civic Association, mostly from its Environmental Advocacy Committee to clear away an area over 3,600 square feet, choked with invasive plants including poison ivy.

It was the first ReWild Long Island native garden on the North Fork, and they’re hoping it will be the first of many. ReWild Long Island has over a dozen gardens island-wide, either only native plants as at Custer or edible gardens surrounded by native pollinator plants.

The new ReWild chapter is accepting applications for garden grants this month and will soon be accepting applications for its summer program

The group is looking for community organizations that would like to participate or apply for their grants to create more sustainable native gardens, community gardens, and youth summer programs.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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