- Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr
. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) was joined by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman
, Peter Scully, Regional Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, John W. Pavacic, Executive Director of the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning & Policy Commission, Carrie Meek Gallagher, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Suffolk County Water Authority, and friends and family of Edwin "Buzz" Schwenk for the "Edwin M. Buzz Schwenk Dwarf Pine Plain Trail" dedication ceremony in Westhampton Beach.
Schwenk was a legendary community and political leader on the East End, who died on December 17, 2009 at the age of 86. He was a lifelong resident of Southampton who made his mark as a leader through his involvement in numerous community organizations. His direct involvement in governmental affairs contributed to both the passage of the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act and The Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund (CPF).
Assemblyman Thiele stated, "Buzz was a dynamic leader and a good friend. He fought for the East End until the day he passed. He was a force in helping to protect our region's unique character. The dedication of this trail is a fitting tribute and lasting legacy to his efforts which, to this day, still benefit us all."
State Senator Ken LaValle
noted, "Buzz was a staple of East End politics with an amazing ability to charm people through his expression and delivery. His humanistic spirit and sense of compassion will be sorely missed. The dedication of this preserve will ensure that Buzz's legacy will long endure the passage of time."
"This honor is a fitting tribute to Buzz Schwenk, a gentleman so integral to the historic land preservation acts which today are responsible for the preservation of important environmentally sensitive land and preserving the integrity of our drinking water, without Buzz's outstanding leadership, Long Island and particularly the East End would be a very different place today," said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.
"Among his many contributions and accomplishments as a businessman and community leader, Buzz Schwenk's legacy may best be defined by the important role he played in ensuring an ample supply of pure drinking water for future generations," said Peter A. Scully, Regional Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Chairman of the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission. "It is safe to say that without his leadership, Long Island's Pine Barrens might never have been designated as New York's third largest Forest Preserve."