The Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability, Inc. has announced their launch in partnership with the Long Island Game Farm to engage, educate, and encourage the public to foster an understanding and respect for wildlife, and inspire action to protect wildlife for a healthy ecosystem.
Founded in February 2023, FWS gained nonprofit status this past October. Helmed by executive director Patricia Snyder, the organization is formally launching cultural, educational, and wellness programming this month, with much more planned for the year, ensuring the longevity of the Manorville game farm.
“The Long Island Game Farm has benefitted so many people and animals over its nearly 55-year history, it’s important to ensure its future,” said Snyder.
“The mission of the Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability is to connect people with wildlife and the natural environment through awareness activities and engaging experiences that support and complement the work of the game farm. We have programs scheduled for learners of all ages, summer camps, art classes, music classes, and more, as well as the return of the popular Senior Social Club. Volunteer and fundraising opportunities will also be a priority to advance our mission,” she said.
The foundation’s education team includes education coordinator Shannon Swanson, a learning specialist at Peconic Community School, educator James Carey, who has also worked at the game farm since 2021, and educator Jenna Culbertson, a music facilitator at Peconic Community School. Swanson will also serve as director of Camp Zoo, a summer program that introduces and immerses children ages 5 to10 in nature through outdoor exploration, games, crafts, and other educational hands-on activities.
To date, the foundation has coordinated a number of initiatives at the game farm, including the dedication of Woodland Hall in memory of late Sergeant Paul Ferrara, a memorial bench program, volunteer corps program, and an inaugural yearly fundraiser. The foundation also worked with the game farm to secure critical funding through Suffolk County’s JumpSMART Small Business Downtown Investment Program to renovate the game farm amphitheater and create a universal access woodland trail.
“2024 is going to be an exciting year,” said game farm president Melinda Novak. “Having a supporting non-profit is an important step in keeping the game farm sustainable. I’m so happy to see this long-held idea come to fruition.”
The foundation is also preparing to celebrate the Long Island Game Farm’s 55th anniversary in 2025. More information on how the community can get involved will become available in the coming weeks. Learn more at the foundation’s new website at wildlifesustainability.org.