A local environmental group is celebrating 40 years of efforts to preserve Staten Island.

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods held a luncheon at Li Greci's Staaten on Sunday in West Brighton.

Volunteers celebrated their dedication to protecting parks in the borough and recognized a long-time member for her commitment.

"The more development there is on Staten Island, the pieces that are saved are so important," said honoree Ellen Pratt.  

"Anybody should become part of their community, and that's really what Ellen has done, Ellen has showed us

that community service is vital to a healthy community," said the President of Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, Cliff Hagen. 

The group was originally first formed to preserve Clay Pit Ponds State Park in 1975.

For more information on the group, visit their website at http://siprotectors.org/.