COW MEADOW PARK AND PRESERVE
Foot of S. Main St., Freeport, Hempstead, Nassau County
150 acres nature preserve and 21.2 acre recreational facility
Freeport. Southern State Parkway Exit 22, south on Meadowbrook Parkway, Merrick Road west, Mill Road south to South Main Street.
1600s and 1700s -- the meadowlands used as a common grazing area for livestock and sheep.
1970 -- Nassau County acquires the land from Moses Hornstein, maintaining the area's name from the colonial days.
(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island; http://www.newsday.com/features/custom/names)
The preserve's marine wetlands and upland areas protect 150 bird and 15 mammal species and include a 1/4-mile nature trail.
Facilities and Activities:
Athletic fields, chess & checker tables, fishing, handball, nature trail, and bird sanctuary, picnic areas, a playground, and a fishing pier.
Nassau County Dept. of Parks says:
Cow Meadow Park and Preserve offers a combination recreational facility and nature preserve. The Park features a playground area (including swings, slides), a one mile jogging course, a community meeting room, a quiet game area with chess and checker tables, and unlighted facilities for tennis, basketball, handball/paddleball, shuffleboard and a lighted softball field. Football and soccer are played at Cow Meadow Park. In addition a fishing pier is available year-round, weather permitting. There are 2 picnic areas (1 reserved and 1 unreserved).
Since 1970, the adjacent Cow Meadow Preserve, has existed to protect and showcase the 150 acres of Long Islands marine wetlands, including salt marsh, mud flat, tidal creek habitats, and the Preserves surrounding upland areas. Cow Meadow is home to over 150 bird and 15 mammal species which use the space during nesting, migrating, and wintering-over periods; a variety of invertebrate animals inhabit the Preserve's grounds. The 1/4 mile nature trail, winds through upland bayberry thicket, tidal marshes, and creeks; the trails marsh overlooks a view of the preserve while providing nature lovers a chance to explore the wonders of marine wetlands.