By: Victoria Grover
A swallowtail butterfly has been keeping me company today as I water the new street trees along the trail by the railroad tracks. The sun is shining and it is another beautiful day to be spending at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center. My name is Victoria Grover. I am going into my junior year at nearby Adelphi University. Currently, I am a Physics major en route to Civil Engineering. I want to develop a focus on water systems, soil and water conservation, hydraulic power, and erosion control. This summer I am serving as the preserve's summer Field Intern. Through a coalition between Adelphi's Community Fellows Program and Garden City Bird Sanctuary I have found a place at the preserve. On a daily basis, I am here to welcome visitors, give tours, and work alongside our many community service volunteers. The number of projects that are simultaneously going on within our gates is always staggering to me.
As an environmental center our job is not only to provide a nearby "backyard habitat" for local and migrating birds, but also to educate people about the dangers of pollution and the importance of environmental preservation. Accordingly, another large part of my job consists of sharing the preserve with local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops that often come to explore the park and learn what we are all about. Not only do we explain to them the purpose and mission of the Environmental Center, but we provide them with opportunities to take a personal part in the betterment of our preserve. Young scouts fill bird feeders and plant colorful flowers such as zinnias and other annual flowers to attract birds, while older scouts fill whole garden beds with sun loving herbs and flowers or, design their own projects. We have had numerous project installations by Eagle Scout and Girl Scout Gold Award recipients. Some of these include chimney swift nesting towers, a native birds' nest display, an amphibian pond, and label posts for many of the trees within the preserve. This last project is part of our work to create an expanding arboretum within our boundaries. This is a preserve that caters to the interests of so many individuals in our community. Not only birders and scouts come here but also joggers, photographers, and even bicyclists!
There is always something new and wonderful going on here, not to mention the everyday maintenance and upkeep of the preserve. That in and of itself is a backbreaking job! Lucky for us it is well orchestrated by our dedicated directors Mr. Robert Alvey and Mr. Anthony Cenzoprano. They along with Mr. John Cronin (president), Ms. Elizabeth Bailey (vice president), Ms. Annette Seltzer (secretary), Mr. Eugene Martens (treasurer), and all the other wonderful people on our Board of Directors strive to keep the park blooming and beautiful. I am also very excited to be a part of our upcoming "Nature Camp" in July that we run with the Village Recreation Department. I am sure that it is going to be a terrific summer for me, and I hope to see some of you as visitors to our backyard habitat or working right alongside me as volunteers. If nothing else come watch our birds, they can put on quite a show!