The David Weld Sanctuary, Nissequogue NY
The Sanctuary offers a diverse habitat of trees, shrubs, ferns, wildflowers along with a variet of small animals and birds. It is located on the north side of the Harbor Hill terminal moraine, and has over 1800 feet of beach and bluff frontage, a northern hardwood forest, a kettlehole community, a woodland swamp, and an overgrown field. Among the vast array of trees is a tulip tree which is the tallest tree recorded on Long Island. In the Sanctuary's northwest portion, a stream once flowed into the Long Island Sound, but is now blocked by a close growing stand of phragmites. The moist woodlands are dominated by a red maple canopy, while young alders, spicebush, and viburnums compose the understory.
The land was formerly a section of the famed Richard "Bull" Smith patent, the Sanctuary's one-time climax woods were cut down for pastuyre by a Smith descendent in the early 1900's. The land was used for cattle grazing for the next 20 years until that practice was abandoned and the area left free for natural revegetation. The land was then purchased in the early 1960's by Mr. & Mrs. David Weld. In 1969 they donated 42 acres to the Nature Conservancy, plus 15 more acres in 1972. Today the sanctuary is over 76 acres in size.
The trails of the Sanctuary are open for hiking and observing wildlife from dusk to dawn, every day of the year. Please disturb no plants or animals and please refrain from bringing pets.
A photo of the class atop one of the glacial erratics found along the shoreline. These erratics were brought to the area by glaciers some 20,000 years ago.
Link to a MAP of the WELD PRESERVE