The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead a $10,000 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant to construct a kayak access point behind two adjoining historic properties in Rye.
Based in Rye, The Committee to Save the Bird Homestead is a group whose mission is to “preserve and restore the Bird Homestead and Rye Meeting house, two adjacent historic properties located on the banks of the Blind Brook estuary, to conserve their coastal habitat, biodiversity, and natural systems and to inspire, foster and promote an appreciation of coastal ecology, historic preservation, science, sustainability and the legacy of the Bird Family.” For more on The Save the Bird Homestead Committee click here.
The Committee will match the Long Island Sound Future Fund’s grant with $11,980 in order to complete a project that is expected to take about one year.
“We are thrilled with this award and very grateful to the Long Island Sound Futures Fund,” said Anne Stillman, president of the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead, who wrote the grant proposal. “A kayak launch has been part of our vision for these important historic and environmental properties from the beginning. We want to increase public access to the Sound and to teach about this great environmental resource, which has defined the history of our region.”
The Committee's press release announcing the award detailed the project:
"The project will design and construct a kayak access point for free public use behind the Bird Homestead-Meeting House historic enclave, which borders Blind Brook as it enters Long Island Sound at Milton Harbor. The grant also supports the removal of invasive plants and the installation of educational signage about Long Island Sound along the access path. The Committee plans to sponsor educational kayak tours about the ecology and history of the shoreline.
The proposed launch will be constructed primarily of salvaged lumber. No chemically treated wood will be used. Floatation devices underneath will accommodate the rise and fall of the tide. Kayakers will be able to launch or tie-up and visit the historic sites or take advantage of the eateries in close walking distance. Walter Sedovic Architects of Irvington are contributing their design services pro bono. The project is expected to take about one year to complete, starting with the permitting process."
To read more on the project click here.
The funding was announced on Monday as part of a $913,202 package of grants secured by the Long Island Sound Study that will support 15 different projects in New York. The grant program combines public and private funding for projects that protect and restore the waters and associated habitats of the Long Island Sound, coming from organizations such as the EPA, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Department of Agriculture, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Committee to Save the Bird Homestead is the only Westchester County organization to receive one of the grants.