Today was the first day that the Sustainability and Service on Long Island course has met. In the morning, we had a guest from Habitat for Humanity Suffolk. Her name was Catherine Murphy and she did a presentation on introducing us to how Habitat for Humanity works. The company takes existing housing or builds new houses to help families on Long Island (and other parts of the United States, as well as internationally) own a home for them to live in. This company tries to help Long Island families cannot afford to buy a home because Long Island is an expensive place to live in. She showed us some graphs about the prices of homes on Long Island and why people can’t afford to buy them. At the end of the lecture she showed us a video that Habitat for Humanity made about a family in need of a home called “Nicks On The Wall”. The video shows how the family gets their home with the help of the company. After the end of the lecture, we went to lunch to eat.
~ Gurkan S.
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife refuge established December 27, 1954, through a donation by the Morton family and it is located in Suffolk County, New York. It is managed like a park, so it is a suitable place for people to hike in the forest and to look at the view of the sea while taking in fresh air. However, you can neither cycle nor walk your pets due to the protection of the wildlife.
The refuge is composed of diverse habitats such as beach, ponds, marsh, grasslands, and oak forest. Its diverse habitat is significant to Long Island’s wildlife. You can observe diverse types of birds and you may have chance to feed them. It might not be easy to feed the birds, but if you stand still calmly with your seeds in your wide-open hand, the birds will come and get the seeds. This experience will help you to interact with nature and to feel the spirit of wildlife, leading to realize why sustaining the environment is an important thing that could influence you to change your bad habits toward nature.
For example, you can meet Cardinal birds when you hike through the woods. Cardinals are a species that can only be found in North and South America. They choose to inhabit forest edges, woodlands, fields, parks and backyards. In Long Island, one of the adequate places for these circumstances is Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge. Not only cardinals, but also other types of wildlife such as turkeys or woodpeckers are one of the animals that are involved in the food chain and are the preserver of nature. Therefore, we have to sustain the wildlife refuges and change our views to protect the wildlife.
For the remainder of your stay, after hiking in the forest, it would be better not to miss seeing the bay beach. The beach is wide and has benches where you can sit down and relax. The seawater is clean that you can see through the water. You can discover shiny gravels in the sand, so it would be a great chance for observing the gravel. Moreover, don’t forget to look through the telescope. You can see the smooth tide of the ocean, which makes people feel refreshed. Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is a great area for experiencing and interacting with nature. So those who are interested in it should never forget to visit this place.
~ Tommy C.
Select photo below to view more photos of our first day!