The Ward Melville Heritage Organization launched a volunteer and fundraising effort after Tropical Storm Isaias left piles of debris and damage throughout Stony Brook village.
The storm destroyed more than a dozen trees in T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park on Harbor Road adjacent to Avalon Nature Preserve, and many more in the surrounding area. It also ravaged the park’s braille engraved handrails, the borders maintaining the park’s gardens, the walkways along the pond and more.
For 80 years, the park has served as a community space for people to enjoy the great outdoors and watch ducks, geese and other birds. The Stony Brook Mill Pond Fishing Club has been teaching fishing techniques to youngsters since it was established in 1951.
The park damage is still being assessed to determine a complete restoration cost. Local Girl Scout Troop 2907, of Setauket, and Girl Scout Troop 824, Service Unit 45, of Centereach, have committed to assist in removing debris at the park’s sensory garden, which features plants with an array of textures and scents.
The WMHO’s volunteer cleanup effort is part of a larger fundraising initiative titled the New Beginnings Online Auction and Virtual Party to benefit restoration of the park. The online auction and virtual party kickoff are scheduled for Oct. 19 when donors will have the opportunity to go online and place their bids for a good cause on a wide variety of highly prized items.
To learn more about the restoration fundraising efforts, call The Ward Melville Heritage Organization at 631-751-2244.