Having eco-friendly fun

IB/Finnegan

Having eco-friendly fun

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
4/21/2016


SUFFOLK COUNTY—Last Saturday’s sunny skies and moderate temperatures made it a perfect day to be outdoors. Some people took advantage of the nice weather by attending the annual Eco-Carnival at the Suffolk County Environmental Center on the Scully Estate in Islip. The event is sponsored by Seatuck Environmental Association and is held in honor of Earth Day (April 22). It is a family-friendly approach to celebrating nature while also having lots of fun.

“This is nice,” said Christine (Lorello) Warkenthien of Deer Park, who grew up in Islip. “I’ve been down this way so many times, but never came here. I like nature and enjoy walking through the woods, so I will definitely come back.”

Karen Harte of West Islip said she learned about the event and the nature center from a flier that was sent home from her children’s school. “I had no idea this was here,” she said. “We love anything with nature.”

Seatuck Environmental Association manages the 70-acre property for the county and runs a number of conservation programs there for both children and adults. They also conduct research on the premises. The not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1989 promotes education, advocacy and awareness that focuses on the preservation of the environment and local wildlife.

The carnival provided a number of activities and games, which were set up to keep everyone amused. A number of other environmental organizations were on hand to provide information and displays. 

CRESLI (Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island) set up a table with marine vertebrae for kids to explore. Dr. Arthur Kopelman, president of the group, said whale watching and seal watching events are just a portion of what they do. “People don’t know about the nature around them,” Kopelman said. “They know where stores are, but they don’t know that there are 26 different species of whales just off of this coast.”

Michelle Lepsis of Bay Shore brought her young sons to the event for the first time. “This is big and there’s so much to do. We’re coming back to Eco-Carnival every year,” she said.

Lisa Smith, development director at Seatuck, said more than 1,500 people had attended this year. “There were so many people here who would have never been on the property before,” she said. “This is a way to get them here and expose them to nature and to explore.”

For more information about Seatuck, go to www.Seatuck.org.