Focus on Waterways at Madoo

The winter lecture series will begin Sunday at noon
Robert Dash’s untitled oil-on-linen landscape is the first painting he felt “successfully showed layers of water bodies in the distance,” according to Alejandro Saralegui, the director of Madoo. Dash’s interest in the area’s waterways inspired this year’s winter lecture series.

The Madoo Conservancy’s winter lecture series will feature three landscape architects who will discuss current and past projects with a focus on their effects on the waterways of the East End. The series will begin Sunday at noon with a talk by Stacy Paetzel of Marshall Paetzel Landscape Architecture, which is based in Mattituck. Future speakers are Beka Sturges of Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture on Feb. 18 and Christopher LaGuardia of LaGuardia Design Group Landscape Architecture on March 11.

In a departure from previous series, lectures will be shorter than in the past, and each will be followed by a discussion between the speaker and Rachel Gruzen, a water quality expert who most recently coordinated the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee, an alliance of eastern Long Island municipalities and agencies that address water quality in the Peconic Estuary.

“There’s a great deal of interest in our waterways at the moment,” said Alejandro Saralegui, Madoo’s executive director, “whether it’s wells that are contaminated, concerns about overdevelopment in Bridgehampton, especially on Kellis Pond, or Georgica Pond being dead or alive. We rely on our waterways for so much, and ultimately for our drinking water, so it’s a crucial, crucial part of the environment here.”

Ms. Paetzel is a founder and principal of Marshall Paetzel, whose designs strive to incorporate habitat creation and native plantings in every project. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, she worked for Land Marks, an East Hampton land planning and site design firm, before forming Marshall Paetzel.

Mr. Saralegui cited the restoration of Madoo’s Asian pond gardens as one inspiration for this year’s focus on waterways. “The liners had disintegrated to the point where it took a day and a half to fill the pond, and then it would just drain. We rebuilt it, and now it’s a single recirculating system with a recharge garden. It doesn’t have a filter; it filters through plants and rocks.”

“Last spring I was walking down the driveway after work and heard this insane noise coming from the pond. It was the peepers going crazy. The frogs just found their way back into our pond. I realized these water elements, even though this one is completely artificial, are potentially very resilient. All of that was in the back of my mind when Leslie Close, one of our board members, and I began to think about the program.”

The lectures will take place in Madoo’s recently restored 1740 barn in Sagaponack and will be followed by a reception in the adjacent summer house. Tickets are $25, $20 for members, or $65 and $50 for the entire series.