Nature Preserve Revitalization Project
The History of the Nature Preserve Revitalization Project
In the fall of 2010, Dr. Lilavois proposed the development of a task force to revitalize the 33 acre piece of land known as the Three Village Community Nature Preserve. As the principal of the adjacent WS Mount School, she wanted to tackle to issue of repairing and refurbishing this area. Along with two teachers, Dr. Lilavois spearheaded a series of after school meetings and presentations to increase community awareness and garner support. With district, local government and community support, this project soon took hold and many people were inspired to join the task force, attend the clean-up efforts, and donate time, wo(man)power, and materials to see its success. Dr. Lilavois registered the preserve as a site with the Town of Brookhaven’s Annual Great Brookhaven Clean Up scheduled for April 16, 2011. This first, extremely successful clean-up effort was featured in Newsday’s FutureCorp.
The second clean-up event took place on October 22, 2011 as part of the National Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service, sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light. http://daytabank.handsonnetwork.org.
In the interim, meetings and discussions continued to increase awareness, encourage participation, and identify resources. Over 90 people were actively involved in different phases of the project, not including the students, boy scouts, girl scouts, and sports teams that have come out to support the events. Its supporters include former Brookhaven Councilman, Steve-Fiore Rosenfeld; Suffolk County Legislator, Kara Hahn; former Legislator, Vivian Viloria-Fisher; New York State Assemblyman, Steven Englebright (District 4) in addition to the Three Village Board of Education. As one of the original groundbreakers of the Nature Preserve in 1996, Assemblyman Englebright wholeheartedly embraced the project.
The third and most ambitious effort on March 31, 2012 was an “Extreme Makeover” style event focused on building a kiosk at the preserve entrance to provide maps, informational pamphlets, and display student work related to their outdoor education nature walks and activities. While the weather did not cooperate, people still came out to begin this project, which continued over the next few months. Future plans included installing fitness stations; developing an outdoor education curriculum; and exploring fundraising opportunities to support the maintenance and full operation of the Three Village Nature Preserve.