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Picking Up the Torch for a Local Nature Preserve.

Former girl scout, Faith Laursen, former publisher of Bellmore and Merrick Life, had the heart and soul to have a 25 acre site, the Faith Laursen Meroke Preserve declared “forever wild.” She wanted this area to be the forest lands that Long Island used to be and especially wanted young people to have a place to learn about nature. As in other cases where she had helped form a civic action group, raising the railroad tracks or organizing a bicentennial celebration, she was, as fellow New York Press Association board member Cliff Richner, now the publisher of the Merrick Herald Life, put it, a “force of nature.”

When Deniz Tanacan, Environmental Analyst / Specialist at DB Schenker, Freeport, stumbled across this site several months ago, he was discouraged about how uninviting it was. Main paths were blocked off with unkempt and overgrown plants and thorn bushes. Negative graffiti was everywhere, especially across the park benches that were placed to find calm and solitude. Deniz reached out to his workmates at DB Schenker and Boy Scout Troop 109 for help in making the preserve the beauty it once was.

Help he got! A dozen energetic volunteers came to work. They clipped, mowed, hacked, sanded, and painted – all with the heart and soul that would make Faith Laursen proud. Paths were widened and benches restored so it now would be an inviting place to walk or sit and view the waterway. They all felt good to be able to restore Faith Laursen’s vision to the preserve. Many thanks to the team!

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