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Nissequogue River State Park Foundation Celebrating 10th Anniversary

By Pat Biancaniello*

The Nissequogue River State Park Foundation (NRSPF)  will hold a celebratory 10th anniversary gala Thursday, October 10th at the Sunken Meadow Pavilion. The NRSPF was formed for the improvement and beautification of the NYS Nissequogue River State Park. NRSPF members work to raise awareness and funds for the beautification of the park.

2015 Turkey TrotThe foundation has raised money by hosting various events including an annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, Sunset Run and Regatta On The River. Participation at the events has grown over the ten years with past and new participants coming from all over Long Island.

Since its inception the NRSPF, comprised of volunteers, has been actively calling for a park master plan to ensure that the park is properly preserved and its utilization  is appropriate for a park. In addition to fundraising for a master plan and creating a garden at the park, the NRSPF is raising funds for the addition of an accessible park for children with special needs. 

Work has begun on the Administration Bldg. thanks to the $1,000,000 donation from the Reichert FoundationIn addition to NRSPF fundraising, the Nissequogue River State Park has benefitted from the generous support of Helen and Charles Reichert who have supported every foundation event. Most recently they donated one million dollars to NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to help with the remediation of the park’s administration building. 

The Reichert’s, owners of the IGA in Fort Salonga and Northport, have a history of giving back to the community. Earlier this year they donated $226,642.68 to the Smithtown Historical Society for the remediation of the Obidiah Smith House on St. Johnland Road. 

Charlie Reichert, center with $1,000,000 check donated to remediate Admin Bldg.The Reicherts philanthropy is not limited to Smithtown. They have generously donated baseball uniforms for student athletes in Greenport, helped to preserve a vessel for the Fire Fighter Floating Museum,  they are huge supporters of Huntington Hospital and most recently promised to donate the five-cent bag fees collected at IGA to the Center for Mother and Babies at Huntington Hospital.

The Nissequogue River State Park has seen a steady increase in the number of park attendees with 227,179 visiting the park in 2018. On any given day you can find people walking, biking, boating, taking photos and visiting the healing garden.Kings Park Interact club members working at garden 2019 Kings Park students belonging to the 2018 Regatta on the River Interact Club clean-up the garden, local scouts do projects, students run the annual Regatta at the Nissequogue River State Park. Foundation members plan, advocate, fundraise and work towards the betterment of the park. And people like the Reicherts provide the resources to make things happen.*

The 10th Anniversary celebration is Thursday, October 10th at The Pavilion at Sunken Meadow,Sunken Meadow Boardwalk, Kings Park. If you are interested in attending or making a donation for this event contact the NRSP Foundation. All proceeds will go to expanding the Nissequogue River State Park playground. 

Nissequogue River State Park is located on St. Johnland Road in Kings Park

Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, PO Box 159, Kings Park, NY 11754

About the Foundation

The Nissequogue River State Park Foundation was established in March 2008. It united local community leaders under one umbrella organization to help enhance and beautify the park. The foundation has restored the cupola on the park’s Administration Building, helped paved the roadway around the park’s soccer fields, sponsored several cleanup projects, organized numerous recreational and cultural events, supported the expansion of the park’s hike & bike trail and funded the creation of a conceptual master plan for the park.

*Pat Biancaniello is a member of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation