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The North Shore Land Alliance has joined a (Credit: Steve Pfost)

The North Shore Land Alliance has joined a handful of others to restore the Historic Hillside House on East Main Street in Oyster Bay. (Oct. 31, 2011)

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.

The North Shore Land Alliance has joined a
(Credit: Steve Pfost)

The North Shore Land Alliance has joined a handful of others to restore the Historic Hillside House on East Main Street in Oyster Bay. (Oct. 31, 2011)

Louis C. Clark Sanctuary

The invasive burning bush plant is prevalent in
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The invasive burning bush plant is prevalent in the North Shore Land Alliance's Louis C. Clark Sanctuary in Old Brookville., seen here on Jan. 18, 2012.

Darwin James Preserve

Jane Jackson of the North Shore Land Alliance
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Jane Jackson of the North Shore Land Alliance stands by a stream in the Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay on Jan. 18, 2012. It's a popular spot for bird watchers.

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The frozen wetlands of the North Shore Land
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The frozen wetlands of the North Shore Land Alliance's Louis C. Clark Sanctuary in Old Brookville. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A pond in the North Shore Land Alliance's
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A pond in the North Shore Land Alliance's Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay. (January 18, 2012)

A dogwood tree blooms in the North Shore
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A dogwood tree blooms in the North Shore Land Alliance's Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve in Upper Brookville. on Jan. 18, 2012.

A sign for the North Shore Land Alliance's
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A sign for the North Shore Land Alliance's Louis C. Clark Sanctuary in Old Brookville. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A sign points toward the meadow in the
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A sign points toward the meadow in the North Shore Land Alliance's Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve in Upper Brookville. (Jan. 18, 2012)

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Jane Jackson of the North Shore Land Alliance
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Jane Jackson of the North Shore Land Alliance crosses a bridge built by an Eagle Scout in the Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay. (Jan. 18, 2012)

Young plants sprout up in the North Shore
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Young plants sprout up in the North Shore Land Alliance's Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve in Upper Brookville. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A stream runs through the North Shore Land
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A stream runs through the North Shore Land Alliance's Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay. (Jan. 18, 2012)

Cordelia Hepburn Cushman Preserve

The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson walks
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson walks in the Cordelia Hepburn Cushman Preserve off Route 25A in Oyster Bay Cove. on Jan. 18, 2012.

The wetlands of the North Shore Land Alliance's
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The wetlands of the North Shore Land Alliance's Darwin James Preserve in Oyster Bay. (Jan. 18, 2012)

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Poison ivy clings to a pine tree in
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Poison ivy clings to a pine tree in the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A sign for the North Shore Land Alliance's
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A sign for the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

Banfi Fields

The North Shore Land Alliance's Banfi Fields in
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The North Shore Land Alliance's Banfi Fields in Oyster Bay on Jan. 18, 2012. This property was acquired by Nassau County in 2009 to be preserved as open space.

A sign welcomes visitors to the North Shore
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A sign welcomes visitors to the North Shore Land Alliance's Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve in Upper Brookville. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A trail marker is pictured in the North
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A trail marker is pictured in the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

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Beech trees stand tall in the North Shore
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Beech trees stand tall in the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

The pine plantation in the North Shore Land
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The pine plantation in the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

The North Shore Land Alliance's Cordelia Hepburn Cushman
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The North Shore Land Alliance's Cordelia Hepburn Cushman Preserve in Oyster Bay Cove. (Jan. 18, 2012)

A nature sanctuary sign is pictured in the
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

A nature sanctuary sign is pictured in the North Shore Land Alliance's Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow. (Jan. 18, 2012)

Fox Hollow Preserve

The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson stands
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

The North Shore Land Alliance's Jane Jackson stands in the pine plantation at the Fox Hollow Preserve in Laurel Hollow on Jan. 18, 2012.

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Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land Alliance, says says the group has helped save hundreds of acres of open space in Nassau County. The Alliance estimates there are about 12,000 acres of open space left on the North Shore.

The North Shore Land Alliance has undertaken many
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

The North Shore Land Alliance has undertaken many projects, among them helping to facilitate the purchase of the Farm at Oyster Bay in Oyster Bay Cove and Hillside, the historic home of the Trousdell family adjacent to Oyster Bay High School.

Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land Alliance, works at the office in a historic barn in Old Westbury.

The North Shore Land Alliance works out of
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

The North Shore Land Alliance works out of an old barn, above, in Old Westbury. It leads various preservation efforts in Nassau County.

The office of the North Shore Land Alliance
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

The office of the North Shore Land Alliance is in an historic barn in Old Westbury. The Alliance has become a major player in preserving environmentally sensitive land and, more recently, historic homes in Nassau County.

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