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North Shore Land Alliance

The North Shore Land Alliance maintains a low profile by design. The only indication of the group’s presence in donated space in a historic barn off Post Road in Old Westbury is a tiny sign by the door that reads “NSLA.” In its nine years of operation, the group has learned that to preserve open space, especially land owned by wealthy Gold Coast residents, it’s better to tread lightly. “It’s kind of the nature of our work,” says president Lisa Ott. “Land is a very personal thing.” So the six-woman Alliance staff works primarily behind the scenes — often with governments or other partners — to keep pristine woodlands and farms from sprouting McMansions and despoiling the groundwater.