Tags Posts tagged with "Eric Young"

Eric Young

Einstein the screech owl. Photo by Kevin Redding

TIME TO CLEAN OUT THOSE CLOSETS

Let’s help Einstein and his friends at Sweetbriar! The nature center, located at 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown seeks donations for its annual spring yard sale and fundraiser on April 28 and 29 including antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and other “cool” stuff. Please NO clothes, books, baby supplies, electronics or anything that weighs over 40 pounds unless it fits the above guidelines. Proceeds will go toward the center’s mission of providing nature education and wildlife rehabilitation. To make a donation, please call Eric at 631-979-6344 or Joe at 631-901-5911.

A kestrel at Sweetbriar Nature Center
This Great Horned Owl calls Sweetbriar his home.

Time to clean out those closets: Sweetbriar Nature Center, located at 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown is seeking donations for its annual Yard Sale for Wildlife, which will be held on April 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All funds raised will support the nature center’s mission of providing nature education and wildlife rehabilitation.

Donations of antiques, collectibles, knick-knacks and other items under 50 pounds in good condition are now being accepted. (No televisions or other electronics, books or clothing please.) To make a donation, call Eric Young at 631-979-6344, ext. 302 to arrange a drop off or pick up.

Visitors to the new exhibit, Forest to Forest, can meet a box turtle up close and personal. Photo courtesy of Sweetbriar Nature Center

By Erika Riley

A tropical rainforest comes to life on the second floor of the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, and that magic will only expand with the addition of a new interactive experience coming later this month. The new exhibit, titled Forest to Forest, speaks to the touch, smell, visuals and sounds of the local Long Island woodlands and will officially open on Dec. 26.

The new room, which is located off of the rainforest exhibit on the second floor, aims to be as interactive as possible, allowing visitors the opportunity to use four senses (as taste is excluded) to experience the natural world, but all indoors and warm from the winter chill.

The project was led by Program Director Eric Young. “We wanted to build something to give them things they couldn’t necessarily see in the outdoors, but also times of year like this where they can’t experience the outdoors,” Young said.

One of the most exciting features is the addition of the crawl space underneath the box turtle exhibit. Children, as well as adults, can crawl through the underground world beneath the forest floor, look through a small window to view the forest floor above and peak at the center’s resident box turtles in their enclosure. There are already little dioramas installed into the walls of the crawl space showcasing different kinds of wildlife.

According to Young, visitors can also sniff containers with forest smells and explore a touch table that features different textures of objects found in the forest. “While they are doing all of this, they can take in the amazing artistry of the room as they play I Spy to explore the forest and field murals around the room,” he said. There will also be interactive computer programs set up in the room, such as one that plays an audiofile of a bird call, and visitors must click on the picture of the bird that they think makes that call. Once they click correctly, they can read information about that bird.

Young is planning on bringing in trees and plants from the area to utilize for the touch and smell parts of the interactive exhibit. All of the wildlife featured in the room will represent local plants and animals that are found in the surrounding woodlands. Any plants that are brought into the room will be directly from Sweetbriar’s woods on the property.

One of the main goals of the new room is to increase children’s excitement and appreciation of nature. According to Young, the involvement with the natural world is a three-step process. One: Help them appreciate the natural world. Two: Help them understand the natural world. Three: They want to get involved with the natural world. “If you don’t care about something, you don’t want to take care of it,” Young said.

Young enlisted the help of artist and head curator at Sweetbriar Jenine Bendicksen and carpenter John Scorola on this project. While Young credits himself as coming up with the idea, he gives them the credit for making it come to life. “It takes a village,” he said.

The exhibit is made possible by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts Decentralization program. The money was eventually allocated by the Huntington Arts Council to Sweetbriar, and they used it to finally do something with the room previously and affectionately known as Turtle Town. Once the exhibit opens, Young hopes to keep expanding it and making it even better throughout the years.

Sweetbriar Nature Center is located at 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown and is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends. For more information, please call 631-979-6344 or visit www.sweetbriarnc.org. Admission to the self-guided exhibit is $2 per person, which includes the rainforest room. Proceeds will go toward the upkeep of the exhibit.

About the author: Stony Brook resident Erika Riley is a sophomore at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She is interning at TBR during her winter break and hopes to advance in the world of journalism and publishing after graduation.

Social

9,197FansLike
0FollowersFollow
1,124FollowersFollow
33SubscribersSubscribe