The Town of Brookhaven Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve was recently awarded a $38,748 grant through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Zoos, Botanical Gardens & Aquariums Program. The money will be used for operating costs related to the care of the more than 100 unreleasable wild and farm animals residing there. The grant will be automatically renewed annually through 2026.
“The Holtsville Ecology Site is a beautiful facility enjoyed by more than 200,000 visitors each year, free of charge. This grant will enable our caretakers to continue to provide the animals entrusted in our care with the attention and shelter they deserve,” said Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro.
After completing numerous infrastructure improvements, including upgrading enclosures and replacing damaged concrete and fencing, the Animal Preserve, located at 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville is now fully reopened to the public, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition, the Ecology Site is now accepting registration for its summer programs.
For those interested in learning more about the animals who reside at theAnimal Preserve, tours are available, including self-guided, guided and behind-the-scenes tours. Behind-the-Scenes tours are available by appointment only, for groups of six or more, for $10 per person. In addition, from July 5 through Aug. 26, tour guides are available by appointment to take visitors on a guided tour (minimum of 10 people) for a cost of $5 per person. Call 631-451-5330 to schedule any tours.
The Ecology Site staff also hosts several fun and educational summer programs, including “A Day with an Animal Caretaker” for children entering 4th through 6th grade. Participants are invited to spend time with the caretakers as they feed and care for the animals on Tuesday, July 12, Thursday, July 21, Tuesday, Aug. 2, Thursday, Aug. 11, OR Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $50 per child.
On Thursday, July 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., children entering 2nd through 6th grade can attend “Where the Wild Things Are” to learn why wild animals do not make good family pets and, rather, belong in the wild. Cost is $10 per child.
Children entering 2nd through 6th grade interested in learning about caring for farm animals such as cows, pigs, chickens and goats, can attend “Fun on the Farm” on Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost for this class is $10 per child.
“Ice Ice Baby” is a program for children entering 2nd through 6th grade who are interested in learning about cold-blooded animals including snakes, lizards and turtles. Participants may choose to attend this class on either Tuesday, July 19, or Thursday, Aug. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
All participants must pre-register for the summer programs by calling 631-451-5330.