Changing of the guard at Baxter’s Pond Foundation

The Island Now

Baxter’s Pond Foundation, the nonprofit environmental steward of Baxter’s Pond and the surrounding Barbara Johnson Park & Preserve in Port Washington has named Kim and John Keiserman as its new Co-Presidents.

The Keisermans assume the mantle from the Foundation’s long-term President, Nancy Comer, who co-founded the group in 2003 with the late Carolyn Mandel.

Comer, who also serves on the Port Washington Public Library Board of Trustees and the board of Community Mainstreaming Associates, continues as a director on the BPF board.

The other BPF board members are Dr. Edward Athanasian, Nancy Baldwin, Barbara Cohen, and Caroline Vickers. Holly Byrne serves as BPF’s Executive Administrator.

Historic Baxter’s Pond is the centerpiece of Port Washington’s Village of Baxter Estates. While the Pond and Park are owned by Nassau County, Comer recognized that in order to maintain their beauty and environmental integrity, local residents needed to be involved in their continuous care and maintenance. To that end, she created the Foundation and has remained its guiding spirit for 18 years.

In a recent letter to donors, Comer wrote: “What started as an urge to rip out the ragweed infesting the tiny Shore Road Garden evolved into a three-acre project of conservatorship and the Foundation itself. With my excellent Board of Directors, I have had the honor and pleasure to witness many seasons roll into the next, designing gardens that bring joy and inspiration to passers-by, and working to mend our crumbling infrastructure. Most importantly, I have made friends who are dedicated to our environment and to our community.”

Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton saluted Comer’s leadership: “Nancy Comer has been instrumental in [the County’s] efforts to make Baxter’s Pond Park an even more beautiful and treasured community destination. Whether she was hosting one of many Park clean-up days or advocating to secure resources to install benches and restore the cottage on the grounds, it was always a pleasure to work alongside such a passionate and dedicated advocate. I congratulate Nancy for all she has accomplished and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life!”

Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson added: “Since founding Baxter’s Pond Foundation, Nancy Comer has steadily worked to find funding to maintain the Park. Through her efforts, Baxter’s Pond Park is recognized as a jewel within Port Washington, and although the pond is owned by Nassau County, it resides in Baxter Estates. The Village proudly commends Nancy on her vision for this special place.”

Kim and John Keiserman, Port Washington residents since 2001, have lived in Baxter Estates since 2017 and have been board members and dedicated volunteers with BPF since 2019.

Kim is Director of Development for Residents Forward and an educational consultant. She serves on the board of several community and educational organizations. John is a partner at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP in New York City.

They commented, “We are eager to continue Nancy’s work and ensure that the Pond and Preserve remain among the most beautiful spots in Port Washington.”

John and Kim welcome your ideas and input at To donate please visit: The Baxter’s Pond Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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