Montauk Community Notes, May 1


I spend lots of time walking: to work, church, the library, or walking my dog. Especially during warmer months, you’ll see me out there. Walking is great exercise.Reverend Hoffmann delivered a good sermon on Sunday at Montauk Community Church. Logically, one would not expect the best sermon on the week following Easter Sunday. Pastor Hoffmann began with the topic of “doubting Thomas,” and went on to share how his faith has grown, with words sympathetic toward struggles we all face. Here was something to mull on my walk home.

Cars speed by on Montauk Highway. It’s a relief to make that first left turn off the main road. I’ve walked this route for years yet notice for the first time a nondescript rusty iron stake about 4 feet tall, painted white at the tip, at the side of the road. I notice a narrow path leading into the woods next to the stake. In fact, what I see is part of the Paumanok Trail.

Several years ago husband Don and I wandered down a path, starting off from the Montauk Library parking lot. We ended up over by Lion’s Field. Don enticed me up this path saying it would be an alternate route home. We walked well out of our way and were scratched by brambles.

On my own now I unexpectedly find the right path when I’m not looking for it. I explore a section of the path which parallels Montauk Highway. Through the woods I can see glimpses of cars speeding by.

There are “trail blazes,” which I follow, sometimes a spot of white paint on a boulder, or a white rectangle painted on a tree trunk. In a month the trail will be even lovelier when native plants are fully out of dormancy. I leave the path at the intersection of West Lake Drive and Montauk Highway.

Later, researching on the internet, I learn I had been on the Paumanok Parkway trail, “Montauk’s secret trail.” According to the Paumanok Trail website this is a tunnel cut through primarily shad, pepperbush, bayberry, black cherry and vines, often running through carpets of New York fern.

The segment of the trail I discovered is the “adopted section” of Eva Moore who leads hikes for the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society.

Ms. Moore will lead a 3 mile hike today, Wednesday, April 30, at 10 a.m. on the ocean view trail to Fresh Pond. This moderate-paced hike in Hither Woods follows a seldom used, hilly trail with ocean glimpses at the highest point. Meet at Hither Hills West Overlook on Rt. 27, about one mile east of the Old Montauk Highway fork. In event of uncooperative weather, contact Ms. Moore at (631) 681-4774 to confirm.

In honor of Earth Day, which was April 22, several family activities happen in Montauk this weekend.

The Montauk shellfish Hatchery will be open to the public for tours this Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Leader John “Barley” Dunne, hatchery director Kate Rossi-Snook and bay management specialist Peter Topping will host, in conjunction with Concerned Citizens of Montauk’s Earth Day Celebration. This program is for adults and children age 10 and up.

It’s an exciting time of year at the shellfish hatchery—spawning time. You’re invited to guided tours of the hatchery at 10 and 11a.m. to see what happens in the spawning tables. Phone CCOM at (631) 238-5720, or email to reserve a spot for the guided tours.

You can also drop by for a self-guided tour, check out the aquarium, explore the touch tank and see Bruce Nalepinski’s film, “A Hatchery Season,” which illustrates the important work Mr. Dunne and his dedicated staff do over the course of a season.

The hatchery is at 21 Fort Pond Road. Take an immediate left off Edgemere Road after B&B Auto. Then take a very quick (.04 mile) right and a quick left. Look for a blue sign that says “East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery and Montauk Marine Science Institute” on the corner. Head straight through the Avalon apartments parking lot, through the gate onto a dirt track and continue to the end, paralleling the railroad tracks. The hatchery is on the right.

There’s no charge for members and nonmembers. Bring your kids and teach them the importance of being good environmental stewards!

Mickey’s Carting will donate a dumpster again this year for the Montauk spring cleanup. Stop by the Montauk Movie Theatre this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to pick up bags and gloves before you head off to clean up beautiful Montauk. The table will be manned until 2 p.m., with the Dumpster remaining for trash drop-off later that day. Trash bags will also be available at the hatchery if you’d like to clean up around the Fort Pond area.

Thank you, Mel Mendelssohn, for “Celebrating Shakespeare—A Tribute to Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday,” at the Montauk Library on Saturday evening, April 26. As well as directing, Mr. Mendelssohn sang basso, Rebekah White, soprano and Jere Jacob, alto and with Dee Laveglia on keyboard. The audience enjoyed an informative talk on Shakespeare’s works accompanied by performances of popular songs from that period.

This Sunday, May 4, from 3:30 to 4 p.m., also at the library, New York Council for the Humanities speaker Anthony W. Robins presents “Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark.” This illustrated lecture will bring to life the remarkable history, stunning architecture, and central role of the terminal in creating midtown Manhattan. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Maureen Rutkowsky, director of Montauk Youth, has sent word of upcoming events.

Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, is Montauk Youth’s tenth annual Mother’s Day 5K Run, scooter or stroll with your family and help raise money for a local family in need. To purchase raffle tickets and register in advance, look for volunteers at the post office and at the IGA.

Montauk Youth’s T-Ball program is in full swing with six teams! Although rain canceled for April 26, the program should be back this week, providing the weather cooperates.

East Hampton Little League’s older divisions started games recently. Thanks go to the parents, coaches, men’s softball league in Montauk and Little League Board Members as well as the Town of East Hampton for spiffing up the ball fields at Pantigo and Lions Field. Check out the dugouts at Pantigo. According to Ms. Rutkowski, they were built entirely by donations!

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