Tuesday July 8, 2014 (Cutchogue, NY) A little over a year ago, Group for the East End partnered with the Town of Southold to provide environmental education programs at the town-owned Downs Farm Preserve. This beautiful 51-acre parcel on Downs Creek in Cutchogue is a significant natural and historical resource. The property boasts a Native American fort site, scenic woodlands, and tidal wetlands. In fact it has been designated a “National Historic Landmark,” this is the same designation held by the Washington Monument, Statue of Liberty, and many other well-known places.
The Town reached out to Group for the East End (with our over 25 years of experience teaching local environmental education) to help make Downs Farm Preserve a place for the community to gather and learn about our local environment. So far, we have held over 50 popular programs for individuals and families, many making use of the two meandering nature trails on the Preserve. There is also a Visitor and Nature Center on the grounds, which is the perfect place for programs during rainy days.
In the first year, this unique partnership brought over 800 people to Downs Farm Preserve to learn about and enjoy our local environment. “Some of the most popular events included a Family Scavenger Hunt through the trails, a hands-on science program for children called “Kitchen Chemistry”, and a workshop in which participants built their own birdhouses,” said program coordinator and GFEE Educator Missy Weiss. Group for the East End has received lots of positive feedback from participants, including Karen Murray who told us “The programs are terrific… You’re making a huge impact on the kids you teach.”
This summer’s programming promises to be popular, interesting, and fun as well! We already have many events scheduled and more are being added all the time. Saturday July 12th is Family Nature Bingo night, a fun way to learn about our local environment and maybe pick up some prizes! On July 23rd we will be hosting a marine animal exploration, in which participants will learn about a variety of local marine life focusing on sea turtles. For the younger children (and their families) we regularly offer a nature-themed story-time and craft hour, which is always a big hit or come by anytime and visit the Peconic Estuary Program rain garden and rain barrel installation to learn about bay-friendly projects for your yard. There really is something for everyone!
Visit our calendar for the current list of upcoming events at Downs Farm Preserve and elsewhere across the East End: http://www.groupfortheeastend.org/events/calendar/. We are also looking for volunteers, community groups, or student groups to help with various projects around the preserve.
Contact: Jen Skilbred
631-899-3651 – firstname.lastname@example.org