It all started when…
The Rewild Initiative had originally been founded by environmental analyst David Jakim in January 2017 with the aim to protect existing biodiversity and rewild public spaces to benefit wildlife at the Port Washington peninsula.
In the fall of 2018 a group of concerned citizens organized by activists Hildur Palsdottir and Patti Woods got together at the Port Washington Public Library and discussed urgent matters of local and immediate environmental and public health. ReWild Long Island was born out of that meeting to increase biodiversity in both public and private spaces using native plants.
In the Fall of 2018, ReWild Long Island started our first Fall Planting with seven Pioneer families joining together to ReWild their yards, guided by Landscape Architect Rusty Schmidt, Founder of Long Island Native Plant Initiative. A seed donation from an anonymous donor greatly accelerated the growth of the nascent organization. Even in the first season, ReWild Long Island drove two public ReWildings at Whitney Pond Preserve and Sands Point Preserve.
This effort was redoubled in Spring of 2019, when ReWild Long Island worked with 16 families to transform their yards with native plantings, while engaging 32 additional families who started adding natives to their existing gardens. In addition, ReWild Long Island was able to work with five public institutions on their ReWilding including a 1200 square foot planting at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Manhasset and The Science Museum of Long Island in Plandome.
Our work was well received and spread through word of mouth. You can learn of our early successes through the stories told by our pioneer families on the blog pages, or check out the Newsday article on ReWilders or this video that ran on CBS nationally.
ReWild Long Island was incorporated in July 2019 as a non-profit corporation with the New York State Division of Corporations and State Records. The organization is in the process of filing as 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS.