Long Island’s known “father of sustainability” was just honored in a big way.

On April 13, the Town of Brookhaven dedicated a 46-acre parcel of woodlands in Setauket to Dr. Lee Koppelman, Suffolk County’s first planner.

The land, located by the Laurel Ridge-Setauket Woods Nature Preserve along Belle Meade Road, is now known as the Dr. Lee Koppelman Nature Preserve.

The North Shore preserve was purchased by the town 45 years ago and has remained as a deciduous forest with a variety of trees and shrubs ever since.

“It is an honor to recognize Dr. Lee Koppelman, whose legacy of environmental protection far exceeds the 46-acre parcel that we dedicate here today,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “He has guided planners for more than 50 years to preserve open space and protect our precious groundwater. His vision for the future will benefit the residents of Long Island for generations to come.”

Since the 1970s, Koppelman has worked to maintain and preserve Suffolk County parklands.

“His concern for the natural environment was reflected by a strong interest regarding Long Island’s fragile and vulnerable sole source aquifer, which comprises Long Island’s drinking water supply,” said a town spokesperson.

From 1999 to 2016, Koppelman served as the Chair of the Town of Brookhaven’s Open Space Committee where he oversaw the town’s acquisition of hundreds of farmlands and open spaces.

Today, he continues his work as the head of Stony Brook University’s Center for Regional Policy Studies.

Top: Dr. Lee Koppelman (sitting) being honored by the Town of Brookhaven. (Courtesy of photo.) 

The parcel of land now known as the Dr. Lee Koppelman Nature Preserve.