The Baxter’s Pond Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to assist Nassau County in maintaining, beautifying and improving Baxter’s Pond and the area immediately surrounding it in the Barbara Johnson Park and Preserve.
Our vision is to realize the full potential of Baxter’s Pond and the surrounding park and preserve as a welcoming public green space and vital watershed, the Baxter’s Pond Foundation advocates for the revitalization, maintenance, and enhancement of park infrastructure and amenities to create a balanced ecosystem that advances native species and is an inviting setting for community and educational use.
Barbara Johnson, the late Nassau County Legislator for whom the park is now named, refused to allow further decline of the park with an infusion of County funds for a mammoth restoration project. Completed in 2001, this featured the latest in environmentally sound techniques, including a state-of-the-art sedimentation basin, permeable walkways and all-native plantings.
During the park's restoration in 2000, the stream banks were landscaped to create wetlands, which also serve as a flood relief zone, since even modest rains overrun the banks of the stream. Native grasses, plants and shrubs that were planted were selected to stabilize the area, and for their ability to absorb toxins and excess nutrients from fertilizers, particularly in the flood plains. The selections were also made to promote wildlife habitat and to create an attractive and inviting sanctuary; and the area is home to many local and migrating birds. Failure to clean and maintain the basin in the past caused the pond to become clogged with sediment and fill in.
To continue what Barbara Johnson and others began, dedicated neighbors and advocates formed Baxter's Pond Foundation (BPF) in 2003. What started as a clean up and weeding project developed into decades of advocacy and care.
As BPF was established, so was a partnership with the Nassau County Parks and Recreation Department. One of 30+ parks managed by Nassau County, the five-acre Baxter's Pond and Preserve is a "passive" park and, therefore, doesn't warrant full-time staffing from the county. (A passive park is a public area designated as a park, but does not have facilities or equipment for exercise or play, i.e. a nature park or greenspace. It can have benches or trails, but is not conducive for "active" use such as sport or play.) Nassau County is responsible for the heavy lifting: dredging and skimming the sedimentation basin; emptying garbage cans; tree pruning; snow removal and clearing debris from the sidewalks; infrastructure repair; upkeep of the wooded preserve and of the split rail fence. It is responsible for the pond itself, including planting and maintenance of environmentally friendly water plants; water sampling; and repair of major storm damage.
President Emeritus and co-Founder, Nancy Comer along with long-standing board member Nancy Baldwin h
Knowledge and understanding are the foundation to stewardship. Our volunteers share knowledge of the flora and fauna that live here, the purpose behind the of the sedimentation basin infrastructure, and so much more.
Working with our partners at Nassau County and pursuing grants, and by support from individuals who are passionate about the park, Baxter's Pond Foundation tackles projects big and small to maintain the environmental integrity of this watershed location.
Each year, Baxter's Pond becomes the meca of sailboat racing. The Model Boat Regatta at Harborfest is one of several community events hosted at the pond.
John P. Keiserman, Co-President
Kim Keiserman, Co-President
Ted Aitken, Treasurer
Caroline Vickers, Secretary
Erica Zimmerman Aitken
Carolyn Mandel, Founding Co-Chair
Jake Eisenman, Founding Director