The Seatuk Environmental Association recently opened their nature preserve in Islip, NY, hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday and an eco-carnival yesterday. The foundation, now housed in the former Scully estate, is situated on 200+ acres along the Great South Bay, and features a growing selection of hiking trails. The variety of those trails is rather impressive. Moving from hard woods to salt marshes, the birdwatching is extraordinary. Egrets, osprey, red-shouldered blackbirds, cardinals, and of course the standard waterfowl of Canada geese and mallards pepper the property. The house itself, with its wonderful slate-roof, is also a treat to explore. Upcoming events include yoga and meditation, as well as showcasing a current photography exhibition.
The carnival, a charming low-tech affair featuring eco-friendly booths like wild animal rescue, face painting, and worm production, had a huge turn out of people from all over the area. It was great to see, especially with the threats to the NYS parks system's budget looming in Albany. But what could be a better way to build community and environmental awareness than having families meet up at the local nature preserve? That sounds like a worthwhile investment of public funds to me.