Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take Pride School In Action

This past Spring Jericho Middle School students (pictured above) of the eight grade community service classes and the Gardening Club recently planted over 150 tree seedlings on the school grounds as part of the Take Pride in America Schools program. Take Pride volunteer Jan Porinchak, a teacher at Jericho schools, coordinated the effort with teachers Spiridoula Nikolopoulos, Danielle Dunbar, and gardening club advisor Cheryl Viviano. A 40 foot by 8 foot planting bed was first constructed under the supervision of Tim Almeida and the staff of the Jericho Buildings and Grounds department. The seedlings were ordered through the New York State D.E.C, which offers nursery grown seedlings of trees native to New York. The D.E.C. offers some seedlings for free to schools. The remainder of the over 150 trees were paid for through fund raising efforts of the community service class.

The students researched which trees would grow best on Long Island. They also studied the benefits of the various trees to wildlife, landscape, and the community. Over two days the Take Pride volunteers planted white pines, red oaks, sycamores, crab apple trees, and highbush cranberry shrubs. Thanks to the hard work, careful planning, and enthusiasm, the seedlings are growing well. Over the next several school years the seedlings will be relocated to various parts of the school grounds to create wildlife habitat and enhance the beauty of the school grounds.

The students learned how gratifying working together to accomplish a goal can be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Buddy Lawrence, Presidential Volunteer Service Awardee

(L-R: Bonnie Wright, President FOHI; Buddy Lawrence and Vivian Wayne FOHI Turtle Director.)

Friends of Hunting Island volunteer Buddy Lawrence is known for his "Midas Touch" when it comes to finding, identifying and confirming new sea turtle nests on the beaches of Hunting Island in South Carolina. So it is only appropriate that he found the first nest of the 2008 turtle season.

Buddy has been a volunteer with the FOHI for over 8 years and has contributed over 4,500 hours doing morning turtle patrols, nighttime turtle hatching monitoring, hatching inventories, maintaining a certified National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat at the Nature Center and helping out with other FOHI projects at Hunting Island.

This past spring Buddy was recognized for his outstanding service and was presented with the President's Lifetime Volunteer Service Award.

Congratulations Buddy! And a special thanks to our friends at Hunting Island State Park and to the amazing volunteers who make up the Friends of Hunting Island.

(L-R: Vivian Wayne, FOHI Turtle Director; Bonnie Wright, President FOHI; Buddy Lawrence and Jeff Atkins, Park Manager.)