Senator Owen H. Johnson celebrated Earth Day at a volunteer community project at Gardiner Park in Bay Shore. National Grid sponsored the Earth Day cleanup event on April 21, 2011 partnering with other community groups including Bay Shore Schools, Bay Shore Beautification Society, Keep Islip Clean, Boy Scouts and Suffolk County Parks. Volunteers cleaned trails, planted flowers and trees, stained benches, pruned branches, and restored the historical fence as part of the day’s activities.
“It’s a pleasure to be part of Earth Day 2011 at Gardiner Park,” Senator Johnson said. “I applaud National Grid for sponsoring the community effort here today and am pleased to see so many volunteers come out to share in the maintenance of this beautiful Long Island retreat.”
Gardiner Park was previously a large piece of the Sagtikos Manor Estate; one of the earliest estates on Long Island, established in 1647. The park is a 231 acre retreat and is part of the original farm owned by the Gardiner family, Suffolk County’s first non-native landowners.
The park has 3.5 miles of trails that wind through a diversity of Long Island native flora and fauna, and is just south of Montauk Highway on the South Shore of Long Island. The main trail runs directly past small lakes, woods, and wetlands, transitioning onto the beaches of the Great South Bay. Salt water marshes are alive with fish, seabirds and small mammals and breathtaking views await hikers on the sandy beach.
This year marked the 41st celebration of the modern movement we know as Earth Day. It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin on April 22, 1970, and is now celebrated in more than 175 countries each year.