The Hempstead Harbor Preserve, Port Washington’s greatest secret

The Hempstead Harbor Preserve, Port Washington’s greatest secret
Photographs from the Hempstead Harbor Preserve.

“The Hempstead Harbor Preserve, Port Washington’s Greatest Secret” is a story of transformation and natural regeneration of an area formerly known as the Hempstead Harbor Sand Pits. The presentation will be delivered by David Jakim on Thursday, Aug. 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Hagedorn Room at the Port Washington Public Library.

At 240 acres, the Hempstead Harbor Preserve is Port Washington’s largest natural habitat area and contains Port’s largest upland forest and freshwater wetland. The preserve is a testimony to the regenerative capacity of nature. Parts of the preserve were an open sand mine throughout most of the 19th century.

Jakim has described over 20 distinct types of habitats and over 400 species of wildlife and plants, including breeding deer, breeding fox, heron rookeries, beaver, box turtle, and species that occur nowhere else in our region or in the state. The presentation will examine the area’s local history, geology, habitats, wetlands of the area, and diversity of life.

Two of the most important biodiversity and environmental conservation actions in Port Washington’s recent history were passed last year: in January 2017 at a Town of North Hempstead Visioning Session, Supervisor Judi Bosworth announced that the 240-acre natural area adjacent to West Shore Road would become Port Washington’s largest protected natural area; and at a critical moment in April 2017, a local law was passed banning all-terrain vehicles from being used in this environment.

Jakim has been mapping, photographing, and studying the habitats and wildlife of the Hempstead Harbor Preserve area since 2011. For more information about how to get involved or for Jakim’s online book regarding the Hempstead Harbor Preserve, visit the Port Washington Monarch Alliance website at

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