Community Remains Hopeful Nonprofit Can Steward Girl Scout Camp In Hampton Bays

As Emma Hughes frolicked in her East Quogue backyard on a recent sunny Monday afternoon, the curious 3-year-old bent over and plucked a nearly ripened radish out of the ground to give to her mother Doria.

The radish was among a collection of plants and vegetables Ms. Hughes is growing on her half-acre property. Throughout the past several months, Ms. Hughes, a novice gardener, has been transforming her grassy yard into a blooming garden filled with more vegetables than she could possibly need to feed her family of five.

Ms. Hughes picked up gardening in the early spring when she enrolled in a series of adult classes offered by the Ecological Culture Initiative, or ECI, a nonprofit based in Hampton Bays, started two years ago by Marc Fasanella.

The nonprofit encourages residents, homeowners and even business owners to incorporate traditional, pesticide-free agricultural practices into their landscaping as some of the first steps to improving the environment.

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Initiative Evaluates Hampton Bays' Assets

Hampton Bays, originally established as Good Ground in 1740 as an agrarian and fishing community, contains distinctive ecological characteristics—now threatened by development—that still play an important role in the community’s deeply rooted identity. The Ecological Culture Initiative (ECI), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to using geospatial mapping and examination to evaluate cultural, historic and ecological assets, which, when taken collectively, bring to light a rationale for why Good Ground can serve as an example of regenerative neighborhood development.