WELCOME to the Long Island NY environment and greenways site! Our goal is to preserve greenspaces on LI and eventually create a network of walkways, trails, and bikepaths to connect our parks, beaches, preserves, local parks, and communities so that Long Islanders can enjoy the outdoors without being forced to compete with traffic and fumes.
These greenways would use facilities such as abandoned roads and railroad rights of way (ROW), utility ROW's, parks, undeveloped lands, abandoned parcels set aside for unbuilt roads and whatever other parcels can be considered. Future developments can be required to set aside greenspaces to eventually be linked together.
We need to establish transportation and recreational facilities that would be fun to use, safe, encourage participation of more adults and children, and be a useful alternative to competing with automobile traffic on existing roads.
The Oak Brush Plains preserve in western Suffolk was preserved by NYS when after years of indecision regarding development ,they turned over 640 acres to the DEC as a preserve. It is one of the last intact areas of Oak Brush plain environment, which once covered 65,000 acres. A few smaller parcels have been added, bringing the total acreage up to about 850.
A master plan for the entire area should be developed, since there is still significant open space that should be preserved. About 132 state acres near the Sagtikos MUST be preserved and at least 105 more should be preserved at the Pilgrim TRIM site and hopefully a few more acres to the north end of Pilgrim near the old Cemetery. Since a poorly vetted decision to place the LITRIM rail facility at Pilgrim, we have decided to fight this project, which is by far the worst and most intrusive of all the developments we have seen. The effects will likely include increased noise, air pollution, traffic, and lower the quality of life, as well as negative impacts on wildlife and native plants. It is essential to preserve some more of this land, and to preserve most of the 132 acre parcel that surrounds the Sagtikos parkway immediately north of Pine Aire Drive and just south of Pilgrim. The old rail spur was built, according to an old Gardiner family deed, only to serve Pilgrim. They reluctantly allowed that use but clearly did not favor any major rail lines on this land. The old document is actually signed by Robert Moses. After this new town square or mini city is built, the area will be densely populated, (not necessarily a bad thing if the people can walk, bike, or use public transportation) and recreational opportunities nearby that could be reached on foot or bicycle should be part of the plan. Please contact your state, county, and town officials and ask them to consider the open space potential of these last remaining parcels (especially the TRIM site and the parkway woods) in the immediate area. The intermodal project is undergoing extensive review after many people protested the way it was planned, without much public input, right next to the Edgewood preserve, existing homes and all the planned new developments.
Suffolk County DPW has demolished the historic bridge that connects a hiking and mountain bike trail in Dix Hills to the preserve. This structure would have cost about $100,000 to repair, but they claimed the road below had to be widned to make it safer. We still have the TEP funds to restore the bridge, and will have to follow through with the SCDPW to make sure it can be applied to a NEW prefabricated bridge. It makes it possible to safely cross the busy CR4 (Commack road) below. The bridge is/was located about 1 mile south of the LIE. Please write to your local officials to support the replacement plans! It also makes the adjacent Oak Brush preserve more accessible to the local community. We are proposing that a multi-user recreational trail be constructed along the western side of Commack road, from the Bridge to Otsego Park and down to Burlington Ave. This trail would also cut through the popular Otsego Park, cross Carl's Path via Otsego Ave. then join the LIPA powerlines for a long ride over to the former LI Motor Parkway corridor into Nassau County. Permanant loss of the bridge would make the existing Edgewood trail system significantly shorter. The bridge was also used by wildlife, such as fox, rabbits, turtles, and stray cats.
Also, a sensible plan to preserve the open space at the former Kings Park Psychiatric center needs to be considered. Selling all of it for development, while spending millions to acquire other lands does not make sense. A bid was recently made for this land, the developers can only build on a small portion of the property. Also there is a NYC title issue that has to be resolved before any construction takes place. Our alternative would be a plan to renovate the landmark multi- floor structures, which would cost millions to demolish, and not allow development of any pristine wooded acreage. Some smaller structures could be re-used, and others demolished to improve the site. Unfortunately vandals have begun to damage many of the buildings so action is needed before it turns into a costly demolition project like Edgewood state hospital did in the 1980's
Another large parcel, the former site of the planned Jamesport nuclear power station, has been acquired by NY State and preserved. Some of it will remain as farmland. It's the largest parcel, over 500 acres, of open space in this area on the north fork's north shore of Long Island. There is not much undeveloped waterfront acreage on LI available. Thank the Pine Barrens Society, NY legislators and Keyspan for this successful preservation.
One of the areas we can improve on LI is creating a network of recreational trails for bicycles, walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, and any other non-motorized transportation you can think of. Please consider supporting these goals so we can avoid getting in the car just to travel a mile to the local park or strip mall. These projects include creating such trails from Belmont Lake to Babylon Village, a 13 mile trail along Ocean Parkway from Jones Beach to Captree and eventuallly Robert Moses Beach, another connecting Otsego to Edgewood Preserve via the old bridge on Commack and over to the Sunken Meadow parkway greenbelt up to the beach, an extension of the Bethpage parkway bike path to Syosset, another 12 mile route along the abandoned LIRR Wading River branch, which has now been funded, and the vital restoration of the remaining historic LI Motor parkway, (AKA Vanderbilt parkway) as a recreational path running from Western Suffolk to Queens, where the bike path already exists. It's hard to get people motivated to support these projects, and there is always one local resident who fights it tooth and nail because they feel an increase in crime will come with the "outsiders" coming through. However, in other areas where such trails have been built, home values INCREASED and crime decreased, it actually improved the quality of life in the area and created a park like atmosphere in these areas where it was safe for local children to play away from motor vehicles. Neighbors became well known to each other, and some later joined the fight to have the trails improved and extended.
Unfortunately, development looms large wherever you look. NY has not adequately funded the acquisition of vast tracts of forest lands that are now on the market in the Adirondacks and elsewhere. Locally, although I have been reassured that the Edgewood preserve will remain intact, a 44 megawatt gas fired powerplant and a 79 megawatt plant have been completed(and repeatedly failed air quality tests), and a TRIM Intermodal rail-truck transfer station which could add a lot of diesel emissions, and the big box stores already built will take a toll on the area. If anyone has further interest or questions E-mail me.
On the National front, we need to preserve a lot more federal lands and ban roadbuilding that is paid for with our tax dollar s. The Bush administration has not enforced the ban on new roads. Clearcutting and heavy logging on our lands must be stopped, especially in old growth forests such as the Tongass, our own "rainforest" in Alaska. The Arctic National Wildlife refuge must never be opened to oil exploration or drilling. They made a real mess at Prudhoe bay and the pipeline has had numerous leaks. It's time to get serious about planning for an oil free future, because it will eventually run out, though not for another 40 years or so. The emissions of all coal fired power plants must be reduced to minimize the amount of acid rain now falling on the Northeast. The administration has amended the rules to allow expansion without adding pollution controls on old plants, further hurting the northeastern forests. Other industries, such as steel, aluminum and chemicals could get a phase in period to lessen the financial impacts. Also, the Bush administration favors the sale of public water systems to private industry. It must not be allowed to happen, since wherever it did, the end result has often been poor service, expensive rates and lower water quality. The new proposal to allow the logging in "emergency" situations is flawed too, since there are no restrictions on it's use and the public cannot protest it in court. And certainly it is high time to require a nationwide emissions program to reduce diesel soot, one of the worst offenders and a beneficiary of long standing loopholes in our environmental laws, due in part to the powerful industry lobby. We hope the environmental laws created in the 1990's stand up in court. Let industry operate on land they own outright, and monitor environmental compliance closely. We also need to set some new higher mileage requirements for cars, trucks, and SUV's. The technology to reduce fuel consumption exists, there needs to be a financial incentive in the automotive industry to impliment it. Hybrids are one possibility. We also need to address the Global Warming issue before it is too late. Ignoring it wastes precious time.
On the international front , we have to do more to enlighten nations who seem to have little concern for the environment. having a law to reduce emissions but not having it apply to India and China, which have a billion residents each, is like exempting GM or Toyota from requiring catalytic converters on cars! It has to be inclusive. One other major concern is free trade. It has some benefits, but few look at the amount of energy required to ship all these goods around the world to their final destination. There are also shady tribunals of the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. The public and media have NO access and no recourse to the decisions made behind closed doors. The end result is that foreign corporations can sue individual states for environmental laws thay don't like on the grounds that they hinder business. It already is happening with the MTBE gas additive; a Canadian company sued California for $1 Billion after California banned the additive as a source of groundwater pollution.
There IS an environmental cost to all this and it's being ignored.
It would be nice if the rest of the open space around LI could be saved from developers; some examples are the Kaufman campgrounds and USDAN center on Colonial Springs road in Wheately Heights (there is a natural spring in there... all part of the historic Conklin estate). Someone wanted to mine sand there a few years back but it was stopped. Also, we should preserve and clean up the wetlands that connect Geiger Lake to Belmont Lake, as well as Sampawam's creek which runs on the east border of Deer park. Saving the open space sections of Kings Park Psychiatric center is vital. Another HUGE parcel, over 800 acres, is still owned by Keyspan at Shoreham... the bulk of it should be purchased since not much of this type of forest remains intact on LI. More pine barrens than in the original plan... in places like Yaphank, Manorville and Coram could be spared. Rebuilding the older communities and downtown areas, as well as allowing limited development along existing roads in some of the fringe areas could allow for some "next generation" housing. Redevelopment of Pilgrim should proceed by building taller buildings and saving more of the open space...this plan is conceptually good and could be an overall positive plan if we really want the young people... the NEXT GENERATION... to stay on LI. It can and should be allowed to proceed with a one car per family concept, since everything, including shopping, recreation, workplaces, and nightlife would be within walking or biking distance. Connectivity to a planned regional trail network AND public transportation can make it work. The list goes on and on... by connecting all of these lands together in a series of greenbelts we could make LI a much better place, and more user friendly for all outdoor recreation. For example, it would be possible to create a greenbelt connecting Edgewood to Otsego park, follow LIPA lines through Dix Hills, connect to the Old LI motor parkway (Vanderbilt) in Wheately Heights, go through Melville, Old Bethpage village, Battle Row campground, and Bethpage state park, continue following the Motor Parkway through Levittown or possibly the old LI central RR tracks all the way to Eisenhower park. (they run within a few feet of each other for several miles) It could even continue all the way to Queens with a little creative routing, a lot of the old parkway is still intact as a LIPA route. In Queens, most of the old parkway is already in use as a bike path and a lot of the old bridges are still in use for that purpose.
And last, but not least, we have to do a better job with litter. Far too many people still use the roadside and wooded areas as a personal garbage disposal. If you have ever hiked near any major highways, the amount is staggering. And any remote area accessible to vehicles becomes a repository for everything from wrecked cars to old appliances, construction debris and landscaping waste. LI and NYC are by far the most littered areas in the USA. We should have more pride in our area. Please advise those who toss debris from cars about this bad habit, and report illegal dumpers wherever you see this activity. They could be dumping hazardous waste into a drinking water recharge zone.
There are some projects that have stalled for more than a decade, and other concepts that should be considered to convince the young people who continue to move away from LI that we are a vital and forward looking region, and not a has-been or runner-up. I think there are many challenges both environmental and economic facing us now, and the only way to solve both may be to come up with ideas that combine common sense approaches to both. I had a chance to visit Plum island over the summer and learned about the important work that is done there. Dr. Barrett spoke about the proposed move to Kansas for this facility, and of Federal government plans to sell the island to the highest bidder. Touring the site, we observed that at least two-thirds of this island is a pristine natural habitat, home to so many species, miles of wonderful beaches, a historic former Army base, and a historic lighthouse.
There will be a delay in getting the new facility in Kansas built, in fact, they have barely begun to build it. Since it is unknown if Suffolk or NY State will be able to obtain the island for a preserve or parkland, why not get the lab to join the consortium that includes Stony Brook university, BNL, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to try and find new uses for the lab or even keep the entire operation on Plum island, while getting the federal government to protect the rest of the island in perpetuity? There are some brilliant people working at this facility, and about half of them live in Eastern Suffolk County. If you have never toured the island, I highly recommend it! Anyway, I think it is important to figure out which companies and facilities are vital for the region, especially green-minded organizations, and to reach out to all of them so any efforts by other regions to lure them there can be dealt with early on.
We have been working on trying to get the Port Jefferson to Wading River recreational path built. This is a Suffolk County project that is already funded with $10 million in State and Federal money and has run in to so many obstacles over the decades. As recently as spring 2011, we were down to one seemingly minor issue, the LIPA reverter clause that ensures LIPA can take back any land it needs for future substation or other utility infrastructure it may need to build. They did agree to sign a lease for 25 years with Suffolk, but the federal highway administration wants a guarantee that someone, be it the county or state, will reroute or repair any future damage to make sure the route stays intact for the entire term of the lease.
It seems now that no one is willing to take that risk. Most likely, there would be little cost, perhaps $100,000 or less, for such reroutes. But since the risk is not clearly defined, it is stalled. And Suffolk now risks losing the funding if the project does not advance. The biggest problem seems to be getting all the parties in a room to iron out this last issue. There is almost no community opposition to this great concept, which is rare on LI. If we cannot get this one built, perhaps all the others may just be dreams of what could have been.
Of course, there is also the long-delayed Ocean Parkway trail, which originally had other components, such as a bicycle and pedestrian pathleading from Montauk Highway to Captree, and still has some funding, but DOT elected to drop it due to some controversy from a few residents. The rest will probably be built in phases, starting at Jones beach and stopping at or near the Suffolk County line. We suspect that DOT may be trying to avoid controversy from a few residents of the barrier beaches... residents who mostly do not own the land their homes are on. Nassau county also has adopted a Master Plan to build the recreational path along the former route of the LI Motor Parkway, but it has not been funded. NYDOT has drawn up preliminary plans for the Suffolk portion, mostly in Huntington town, but there is no concise plan for getting it built yet. However, we hope to at least get the first segment from the Edgewood Preserve to Otsego Park done in the next year or so when the bridge over Commack road is hopefully replaced. There is a clear trail route to Route 110 from this location.
There is another river in Deer Park, known as Sampawam's Creek, that has largely been forgotton. This also leads to the Great South Bay, but it appears that much of it south of Bay Shore road is on private property. However, it appears a trail could also be created from the north side of Bay Shore road leading right in to the town park at Birchwood Field in Deer Park or even up to Grand Blvd near Tanger Outlet. The long neglected streambed could use a cleanup, and some management of stormwater to filter it before it overflows from sumps into the river would help. It appears the best location for the trail would be on the Deer Park side of the river.
We think that the plan to revive Wyandanch is wonderful and hope that it will be a major success. The entire corridor, beginning at Rt 110 and east to Deer Park should be also considered as part of the zone that could benefit. On the Rt 110 side, you have that covered with plans to reopen the Republic LIRR station and get rid of the blighted Republic buildings now owned by the state. I do hope they will be redeveloped as planned.
However, there is one idea that seems to have been left out, reopening the original Deer Park train station for at least some limited service. The station is located just a few hundred feet off Deer Park Avenue and the heart of the hamlet. It was common for people to walk to this station in past decades. When the new station was built about 2 miles east, there was little concern for the impact of this action. The old station is still largely intact, used by the LIRR for equipment storage and operations. However, the privately owned parking lot and other adjacent lands are now for sale. The railroad will probably claim reopening the station is not feasible, but they are not concerned about building walkable communities. A lower cost alternative might be to build a bike lane from DP Ave to the "New" Station at the Islip border.
The effort to add the additional lands to the Edgewood failed again, possibly due to pressures exerted from New York City interests. However, since the process of advancing the LITRIM has bogged down, progress at USRAIL in Yaphank and at the Calverton site may negate the need for NY State to spend millions on building a site that private concerns appear willing to fund themselves. We always thought that multiple mini-intermodals are the way to go, and that may be happening now by default.
Another site that has our concerns are the NYS owned former Kings Park Psychiatric center. The land was once to be sold for redevelopment, but the community felt that the proposals were too dense. The plans included renovating many of the old buildings at the site into various housing, hotel, and office uses, as well as many new buildings. Now, there is a foundation that has created some new plans to renovate some of the massive buildings there for various uses. However, while the state debates and studies endlessly, the buildings continue to deteriorate from weather, time, and serious vandalism.
The state has failed to keep people out of the buildings and most valuable metals have been stripped from the site. Some planning to stabilize the big buildings from weather, vandals and potential arson should take place to prevent more damage, as well as perhaps form a task force with clear objectives. The estimated costs of full demolition and cleanup would be well over $210 million now. It took almost $30 million just to remove Edgewood Hospital back in 1989, just for perspective, and there were not nearly as many buildings involved. Also, the state plans to remove 15 buildings that are too far gone to reuse next spring, but should take action sooner to stop the damage and prevent young people from getting injured at the site.
Above all, the wars between developers and environmentalists should stop. We need to get away from the old ways of doing things and move back to the REALLY old days when people lived in downtowns where you could walk and bicycle to get anything you needed. But we need to build and rebuild these downtown areas to make them an energy-efficient modern amenity packed version of the past so people would aspire to live and work in such locations, meaning plenty of parks, wide sidewalks, bike paths, and other non-automobile infrastructure.
Rebuilding and redeveloping blighted and underutilized areas should be favored by tax code, planning boards, and all levels of government, as well as retrofitting older empty buildings for new uses rather than wasteful demolition where feasible. All new projects on vacant wooded land should be clustered to save the maximum amount of forest, with a new priority to save virgin forests over all other lands, including farmland. That's not to say we should not protect farmland too, but farmland has been altered by man so it should be slightly lower on the scale ... so all new development should be steered towards formerly developed sites, brownfields, grayfields, etc. to protect groundwater, open space, forests, and wildlife.
Copy what you feel are good ideas, then add your own and send them along:
1)build more mountain bike trails
2)build more paved bikepaths
3)build more hiking trails
4)save the old pedestrian bridge on Commack rd.
5)save more of the remaining open space at Edgewood
6)save more of the remaining open spaces of LI
7)create more active regional parks
8)mandate open space set asides in new developments
9)require planting of more native landscaping
10)convert utility easements into bikepaths/trails
11)nationwide diesel emissions reductions and testing
12)mandate better fuel economy for ALL vehicles
13)have oil and coal fueled plants install scrubbers
14)mandate more recycling of all materials
15)try to clean up waterways, acquifers, and oceans
16)Develop MAJOR alternative power sources such as Solar, Wind, and Geothermal
17)reclaim more abandoned waterfront for public park usage...NYC and Glen Cove are doing it!
18) STOP THE POLLUTING LI TRIM INTERMODAL FACILITY FROM BEING BUILT IN BRENTWOOD!
Send all ideas, messages, and information along and report any illegal dumping: contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.Hike-LI.com/ Significant site promoting LI hiking and outdoor activities, preservation of open space and completion of the Paumanok path
www.climbonline.org CLIMB mountain biking
www.bikearoundli.com Bike Around Long Island site
NYRides Bike Trail Info Site promoting existing and new user friendly bike path networks on LI
Save the Commack Road Bridge Site western Suffolk trails and bikepath advocacy site to save a valuable pedestrian bridge and promote greenbelts and ribbon parks
The Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve Site Site dedicated to improving the Edgewood-Oak brush Plains Preserve located in Deer Park and Dix Hills. Also historical data and photos of the institution once located there
The LI Motorparkway site proposed Nassau county and Melville trail along the original Motor parkway (Vanderbilt) open spaces
The Trust for Public Land funds public land acquisition
Http://www.thehamptons.com/group/ Group for the South Fork (hiking boating environmental advocates)
The Long Island Pine Barrens Preservation Society http://www.nassauhiking.org
Nassau Hiking & Outdoor Club Http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/ny/longisland/index.html
(The Sierra Club Long Island Chapter) Http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/exec/parks/
Parks recreation information Http://www.nature.nps.gov
The Nature Conservancy Long Island Chapter
Http://www.pinebarrens.org/ The Long Island Pine Barrens Preservation Society
http://www.nassauhiking.org Nassau Hiking & Outdoor Club
Http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/ny/longisland/index.html (The Sierra Club Long Island Chapter)
Http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/exec/parks/ Parks recreation information
Http://www.nature.nps.gov The Nature Conservancy Long Island Chapter
Http://www.peconiclandtrust.org Protecting our natural resources
Http://www.nynjtc.org New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Http://www.lihistory.com/1/hs111a.htm Pine Barrens info
Http://www.bicyclelongisland.org/ Centralized resource
http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg1/index.html State owned DEC managed lands/public access activities - Region 1
Http://pb.state.ny.us (Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission)
Http://www.cce.cornell.edu/suffolk/ (Environmental resource)
Http://www.nshaonline.org Nassau Suffolk Horseman's Association
Http://everest.hunter.cuny.edu/~tbw/lioc/ Long Island Orienteering Club
Http://www.nativeamerica.com Want to know more?Visit Native America website
Http://www.lieye.com "LI Eye, a new
web-zine at http://www.lieye.com captures the pulse beat of
Long Island. Click on "Lighten Up" for entertaining articles and information
about a variety of Leisure time activites, including hiking."
Http://www.tnc.org/southfork The Nature Conservancy, South Fork-Shelter Island Chapter
Http://www.sofo.org South Fork
Natural History Society fosters
appreciation, understanding and preservation of the unique natural world of
the South Fork.
Dawn of Day Children's Publishing
Publisher of Young Authors/Young Readers Writers Club
This Club gives young people a chance to be a potential author by
walking them through the writing process and combining education by
organizations that support us.
Long Island Game Farm
Nestled in a beautiful 300-acre pine forest, the Long Island Game Farm gives
everyone a chance to enjoy a wide variety of animals up close. Monkeys,
llamas, bears, buffalo, antelope, and many others make their home here.
Long Island Links - Attractions, Tourist
Information, Places of Interest
Large collection of links for Long Island visitors and locals. Links to "Official Sites" for museums,
golf courses, attractions, nature sites, beaches, bicycling, municipalities, parks and all types of
http://www.plantingfields.com/Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park A Long Island Historic Site
Old Westbury Gardens - Built in 1906 by the English designer George A. Crawley, Old Westbury Gardens is the former home of John S. Phipps and his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps. The Charles II style mansion is nestled amid 160 acres of carefully planned formal gardens and landscaped grounds interspersed with woodlands, ponds and lakes.
http://www.cresli.org THE COASTAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SOCIETY OF LONG ISLAND, INC
www.nfec1.org A grassroots environmental protection organization, The North Fork Environmental Council believes that there are solutions to the challenges for protecting the environment of the North Fork.
Http://www.bigfoot.com/~wildmansteve Learn about the environment and get back in touch with nature. By studying
nature and foraging, we enjoy our renewable resources and reaffirm our
commitment to preserving and rebuilding our ecological riches.
Http://www.qualityparks.org/index.html Our nonprofit mission is to improve the stewardship of parks and protected
Http://www.liopenspace.org/ OSPT is a not-for-profit corporation, which protects land. A land trust is a
practical and visionary way for landowners to exercise their need for
self-determination, as well as, secure and protect their land for their
heirs and future generations.
Http://www.licamping.com/ Long Island Camping information
Http://www.mylongisland.com "Your Portal to the Long Island community"
American Hiking Society: the only national
organization dedicated to serving hikers and protecting hiking trails
Http://www.seatuck.org The Seatuck Environmental Association is dedicated to the study and conservation of native species and their natural habitats on Long Island. SEA sponsors and conducts scientific research in ecology, wildlife management, and conservation biology, and provides environmental education to facilitate conservation of the region's biodiversity
Http://members.aol.com/starflexp Starflower Experiences, Inc. is a local not-for-profit educational organization that offers programs and experiences to help people understand, appreciate, and live more in harmony with the earth's life systems. Experiences include programming for schools, a summer children’s camp, walks for adults, an annual environmental fair, etc. Most of our public events and outdoor experiences take place at Sweet Hollow Hall in West Hills County Park, Melville
Http://www.shorewalkers.orgShorewakers, Inc. (212) 330-7686
A not-for-profit walking and environmental group, New York City and Vicinity "COLLECTING IS GOOD; SHOREWALKING IS BETTER" --Shorewalkers Motto
www.bikenewyork.orgBike recreation promotion and sponsor of the 5-boro bike tour
Moriches Bay Audubon Society, Inc. A New York Chapter of the National Audubon Society
Serving the communities of Southampton, East Hampton, Western Riverhead, Eastern Brookhaven. To be an inspiration for all those who feel a sense of kinship for Long Island by instilling on the local community a renewed appreciation for the natural world and a commitment to be stewards of the environment. This will be accomplished by engaging in educational and scientific activities, which promotes conservation.