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Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Center

Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro is announcing the return of several educational programs being offered to Town of Brookhaven residents this spring.

The Traffic Safety Department is hosting a free Bicycle Rodeo on Saturday, March 26, at Safety Town, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville. The event encourages children to learn how to safely ride their bikes in a mock-roadway, kid-sized setting. Participants of all ages will be evaluated and given feedback on their bicycle-handling abilities, after proper bicycle safety skills are demonstrated. Participants are required to bring their own helmets and bicycles; both will be inspected for safety. This event is by appointment only; those interested should call 631.363.3770 to schedule a time to attend.

The Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve is offering Spring Pee Wee Gardening Classes for those 3-5 years of age. Children will learn about the environment, animals and plants through crafts and stories. Two different six-week sessions are available beginning either April 12 or 13, for $50. Call 631.451.5330 for class dates/times and to register. Additionally, the Ecology Site is hosting Adult Horticulture Classesduring which participants will learn how to start plants through propagation, grow vegetables from seeds, spring gardening techniques and the uses for native plants. Classes, which are $50 for a six-week session, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays beginning April 14; call 631.451.5330 to register.

Holtsville Hal’s handler, Greg Drossel, introduces Hal to the crowd during a previous celebration. Photo from Town of Brookhaven
UPDATE: This event has been canceled due to the weather. Check back soon to learn Hal’s prognostication for 2021.

Six more weeks of winter or an early spring? On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Town of Brookhaven Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro will announce Holtsville Hal’s famous forecast in a virtual ceremony to stream live on Facebook from the Holtsville Ecology Site.

According to tradition, if a groundhog sees its shadow after stirring from hibernation on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; if not, spring should arrive early. Hal’s forecast will be revealed at approximately 7:25 a.m. 

“Our annual Groundhog Day celebration is an enjoyable tradition for many local families,” Superintendent Losquadro said. “While we are disheartened that we will not be able to open the ceremony to members of the public this year due to potential COVID risks, families will still be able to see Holtsville Hal and learn of his prognostication.”

The online ceremony, which will begin at 7:15 a.m., can be viewed at Facebook.com/brookhavenwildlifecenter and Facebook.com/danlosquadrohwysuperintendent. It will also be viewable on the Town of Brookhaven website, www.BrookhavenNY.gov/896/Groundhog-Day, throughout the day for those who miss the live stream.


Eight-year-old Eliana took this artistic photo of Victoria the bald eagle, during a visit to the Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Center with her grandmother who lives in Port Jefferson. Located at 249 Buckley Road in Holtsville, the Town of Brookhaven center is a haven for over 100 injured or nonreleasable wild animals and farm animals including a buffalo, black bear, fox, owls, horses, cows, goats and pigs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends and holidays. Admission is free.