The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center in Bridgehampton has received a grant from an anonymous donor in support of SoFo’s new after-school educational program, South Fork Environmental Learning in Suffolk County, Long Island.
SoFo’s South Fork Environmental Learning educational series launched on September 17 as a three-month pilot weekly program in conjunction with the Sag Harbor Elementary School in Sag Harbor, and will run through December 20. Students are transported from and back to the school at no fee by a school bus supplied by McCoy Bus Service & Tours.
“We are extremely grateful to our donor for funding this important program,” said SoFo executibe director Frank Quevedo. “Giving back to the East End community is an important part of our mission, and it is essential that SoFo is supported as we work to educate and engage children and adults to preserve our fragile ecosystem. We are very pleased to offer these after-school classes at no charge to our local students.”
The environmental learning program will expand next year to include additional East End schools, with classes beginning on January 14, 2015, running through the spring semester.
“We look forward to offering this program to adults as well in the near future,” Quevedo said. “We are also excited to present at SoFo during the spring of 2015 a Climate Change Symposium, which will be open to the public, as a component of the South Fork Environmental Learning program.”
Exploratory outings for the South Fork Environmental Learning fall 2014 program include a wrack line bay discovery walk, where students study the marine habitat and the importance of algae, and invertebrates such as the mollusks to the ecology of the area. During a woodland trail walk, students study habitat ecology and the interconnectivity between animals and plants. As they identify and learn about invasive native and non-native species of trees and shrubs, they are educated about how to help specific vegetation thrive to attract and conserve wildlife in the area. On beach walks, students learn about climate change by studying beach erosion caused by hurricanes and rising sea levels due to melting glaciers.
“This is an important time of growth for SoFo,” said Diana Aceti, the museum’s new director of development. “We are extremely grateful to our donor, whose generous grant make it possible for SoFo to create new programs and projects integral to the character and long-term sustainability of the East End. The new South Fork Environmental Learning program is just one example of SoFo’s commitment to continue to serve the community and preserve our fragile ecosystem.”