Long Island Truck to Rail Intermodal (LI TRIM) 3/5/08

Patricia Burkhart is a founding board member of Friends of the Edgewood-Oak Brush Plains Preserve, a not-for- profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to improving and maintaining this 813-acre rare pitch pine scruboak state nature preserve, which is located on Commack Road in Deer Park. The group works both independently of and in cooperation with the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (who owns and manages the land) on various projects and programs. Through education and advocacy the group hopes to increase public awareness of the importance of this particular parcel of open space and encourage more meaningful public stewardship, especially by young Long Islanders.

Burkhart will talk about the proposed TRIM facility and discuss why Friends decided to fight the project, how they did it, the opposition they faced at first and then the “snowball effect” of support they finally obtained in late summer. She will explain why this particular parcel of land is important and why it should not be developed .

Burkhart will outline the legal structure of the preserve, that it is part of the State Nature and Historic Preserve (lands protected by our state constititution) as well as talk about the Sole Source Aquifer Act of 1987, which limits development near groundwater protection areas (both the preserve and adjacent lands are part of these protected areas). Also, she will discuss the two bills recently introduced in the Senate and the Assembly which would transfer the TRIM site parcel to the preserve and permanently protect the Edgewood preserve. Burkhart will provide copies of the bills as well as copies of a form letter that Friends is asking everyone to sign and send to Albany.

Burkhart has worked in the nonprofit world her entire life, doing everything from grantwriting to event planning to newsletter design/development. A lifelong social and political activist, Burkhart has volunteered at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in NYC and has done animal/wildlife rescue work in NYC and Long Island. She spent the summer of 1989 in war-torn Nicaragua, performing a variety of community service projects there. She has won numerous awards for her volunteer efforts, among them the Cardinal Cooke Award for Community Service.

Babylon Green Party Gatherings are held on the first Wednesday of every month. The following gathering will be held on April 2, 2008 featuring Paul Arfin talking about cohousing, ecovillages, and intentional community. The Green Party of Suffolk is now running its “End Global Warming” poster contest; holding an annual membership meeting on Saturday, March 8, 2008; and its annual fundraiser on April 26, 2008. For more information about these activities, please go to www.gpsuffolk.org or call Green Party of Suffolk Chair Roger Snyder at 631-351-5763.

You can enroll in the Green Party by checking the box marked “Other” on the voter registration form and writing in the word “Green” on the line next to it. Click here to find a voter registration form. You can send donations to the Green Party of Suffolk,14 Robin Drive, Huntington, NY 11743.


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