Our Roots

Since its inception, Avalon Nature Preserve has sought to protect and restore the ecological heritage of this special landscape. With the purchase of 8 acres in 1997, Avalon’s evolution began; the preserve has flourished into a thriving 216 acres of fields, forest, and wetlands, 140 of which are open to the public.

The Paul Simons Foundation maintains Avalon Nature Preserve in the memory of Paul, an avid outdoorsman whose vibrant life was interrupted prematurely. Our ethos of protection, restoration and inspiration stands as an enduring symbol of Paul’s love for the natural world. We hope that our visitors will share in this spirit and continue to foster their own connections with these native fields and woods, as well as all natural places to which they venture.


Our Comprehensive Master Plan

Two decades ago, Avalon started with a simple notion-to create a natural place that Paul would have loved to spend time. His exuberant spirit inspired and guided our core principles of protection and restoration in creating the preserve. We are confident that Paul would delight in the thriving, healthy connections between preserve visitors and the natural communities within the preserve’s forests and meadows.

Like any growing organization, Avalon Nature Preserve continually reflects on our past and  looks to the future; in May of 2018 we initiated our Comprehensive Master Plan. Moving forward, the preserve  will embrace three main focus areas: Protection, Restoration and Inspiration.

In order to best protect this sensitive landscape, we believe that understanding is key. Avalon Nature Preserve has been carefully examining and revising the Preserve’s management guidelines. Our exhaustive biological and cultural inventory has provided us crucial data to help shape our management objectives and visitor policies.

Throughout the Comprehensive Master Plan process, the preserve has continued to seek out and implement best practices when it comes to restoring native habitat. Avalon enlisted the services and guidance of ecological planning and restoration professionals throughout the creation of our Comprehensive Master Plan. With the integration of newly acquired properties, Avalon Nature Preserve has renewed our commitment to viable restoration of these pristine Long Island landscapes.

We undertook a careful examination of our carrying capacity and human footprint and its impact in the preserve. With our increasing visitor traffic, Avalon will continue to promote a Leave No Trace ethic. For the sake of all of our great natural landscapes, Avalon Nature Preserve hopes to inspire visitors to carefully consider their actions in these culturally and biologically essential environs.

Our History

Follow our story on the labyrinth below.
Click on a firefly to view an important event in the history of Avalon Nature Preserve.


  • Acquisition of 8 acres on Mill Pond from Ward Melville Heritage Organization
  • Acquisition of 76 acres from Coleman Family


  • Hire Andropogon Associates


  • Begin construction


  • Open park to the public


  • Renovation of park office


  • Construction of Avalon barn
  • Astronomy program kick off







  • Acquisition of Shore Farm from the Lawrence family
  • Acquisition of East Farm Preserve from The Nature Conservancy
  • Construction of the Sky Dome


  • Acquisition of Perry Farm from the Lund family
  • Development of Strategic Master Plan


  • Begin implementation of Strategic Master Plan