Past Events

    June 9, 2017


The Garden City Bird Sanctuary depends on your donations and volunteers to keep us and the birds going.  We used over A THOUSAND POUNDS of bird seed this year!!!

FACT:  Spring is one of the toughest seasons for birds to find food.  Their natural food gets wet from spring rains and becomes spoiled, making it inedible.  Mother birds will feed their young protein rich insects, but the bugs are not available in the spring until the temperature rises. So Mother Bird seeks nourishment from bird feeders.  Young birds imprint from their parents to go to the bird feeders for their meals.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT:  When the birds are healthy they produce more young, and they both eat more bugs.  Eating more bugs means fewer pesticides and fewer mosquitos which means less chance of West Nile Virus.  Humans receive a great benefit from our feathered friends.  The air is filled with beautiful singing and bright colors too!!!

Please donate bird seed, much needed funds, and/or volunteer.  You can leave bags of bird seed at the gate of 182 Tanners Pond Road, Garden City, NY.  (BJ’s WHOLESALE HAS A GREAT PRICE ON 40 POUND BAGS OF BIRDSEED!) The Garden City Bird Sanctuary is a non-profit 501©3.

GCBS to Host Halloween Fest 

It's time again for the Garden City Bird Sanctuary Halloween Fest!  Parents are invited to bring their children, wearing their Halloween costumes, to the bird sanctuary on Saturday October 28th at 1 PM.   Games and crafts will be available.  Your child might even win the "best Halloween costume" contest!  The event is free so come out and join in the fun.  The main entrance to the bird sanctuary is located at 182 Tanners Pond Road.

The children wait for the "best costume contest" at last year's Halloween Fest.


Ninth Annual Winterfest: A Time for Community and Shared Purpose
By John W Cronin, President 
Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Inc. 

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary (“GCBS”) invites everyone to join us for our annual Winterfest celebration.  What is Winterfest? As I’ve stated in previous years, it is a holiday we on the GCBS Board of Directors began in 2009 to honor all our members and supporters. It is full of meaningful ceremonies and traditions which reflect the three virtues that any community needs to survive; volunteerism, environmental stewardship, and hope.
 Humanity has always flourished in communities. Sharing our lives is needed for survival and a way of life. We have a nuclear family, then an extended family, which goes further into our surrounding neighborhood, state, and country. At Winterfest, we seek to celebrate and strengthen the bond of community that exists in Garden City between families. In so doing, we remember our common purpose, and come forth with a greater resolve to be part of the solution to the problems which afflict the world.
When we thrive together as a community, it means enhancing our capacities for empathy, communication, and love. I like to think that the Board of Dirctors of the GCBS, and all our supporters lead the way. We come together in pure volunteerism to solve problems collaboratively, with hope for the future, and in the spirit of environmental stewardship. The result has been the turning of a former sump (think:”garbage dump”) into a beautiful green jewel of environmental preservation. 
With the advent of technology, expanding populations, and people concentrating on their own needs more and more, the sense of community is disappearing. People leave behind deeper connections to each other, to a shared story, and to our planet. “There’s too much going on in my life to interact with my next door neighbor (I forget his name), but I’ll post a note on his Facebook timeline.” Pollution, exploitation, and a sense of isolation plague our modern society like never before because in being consumed in ourselves and only being connected to others technologically, we’ve lost the deeper sense of belonging and purpose we once had.
At Winterfest, we seek to engender a sense of belonging because you feel safety and comfort, which will lead us to be more willing to act with hospitality and generosity in our personal lives; it is something that gets “paid forward” with good effects that spiral outward into the whole world. There are no strangers who come to help at the GCBS, only friends we haven’t met. Isn’t this reason enough to join us on January 14, 2017?
The GCBS began as a nine acre stormwater basin and was transformed into a beautiful Bird Sanctuary and Nature Preserve that can be enjoyed by generations to come.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish together. If you don’t think one person can make a change for the better, join the rest of us who banded together to contribute our talents and make a difference together as a unified “one.” 
Winterfest begins at 4 pm as twilight approaches. As our supporters file in, there is warm cocoa to drink as we fill the birdfeeders and put up some decorations for our fine feathered friends. About 4:30, we have a poem recitation around our newly planted trees. Then we culminate the event with our Candle-lighting Ceremony in which we have the “Great Telling.” Just as some Native Americans have a ceremony that describes the history of their tribe, the Directors tell the story of the GCBS and Winterfest itself. Each Director tells a part of the story. During the ceremony we will publicly honor two of our outstanding helpers and then remember with gratitude both the persons who dedicated trees in 2015 for someone special (either in honor or in memoriam) and those people for whom they were planted.
At Winterfest we also remember the past year’s accomplishments and dream of the ones to come in 2017. Symbolism is an integral part of any tradition because it links tangible objects and ritual to the intangible ideals, emotions and ideas we wish to hold on to and pass along. We can’t see love, but we all realize it through the giving of the red roses and heart shaped box of chocolates on St. Valentine’s Day! During the Great Telling you will learn why: we start at dusk, we have our holiday in January, we use green candles, we express the three characteristics of Winterfest in the Latin language and much, much more! Finally, you will hear the ultimate message of hope that we pass on at Winterfest which is…ALL WINTERS MUST COME TO AN END. Not just seasonal winters, but the “winters” of social problems, economic problems, relationship problems, etc. The great religions of the world tell us even the winter of death itself will give way to a spring of new life.  So come on down January 9, 2016 to the GCBS and discover Winterfest: a modern holiday celebrating timeless ideals which make communities work! Won’t you become part of our community? The GCBS is at 182 Tanners Pond Road. The gates open at 3:30 pm. The event is free and open to the general public. It ends at approximately 5 pm. Hope to see you there.

Left to right:  Gold Award Recipients Elena Fernandez, Maia Fernandez and Kelly Anne Norberto.  Not pictured:  Olivia Coffey.

Girl Scout Gold Awards for Projects Related to the Garden City Bird Sanctuary
Four Girl Scouts received their Gold Awards for projects related to the Garden City Bird Sanctuary at the Girl Scouts of Nassau County 2016 Gold Award Ceremony, which took place on Monday evening, June 27th at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.  It was a special ceremony as 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Gold Award.
Elena Fernandez increased community awareness of human impact on the environment through her project, “Return of a Giving Tree – the American Chestnut Tree”.  She planted 13 seedlings and saplings, conducted workshops and presentations, and prepared educational materials which are posted on the Garden City Bird Sanctuary website.  Elena graduated from Dominican Academy and will attend Cornell University in the fall.
Maia Fernandez’s project was “Butterfly Garden”.  She created a butterfly garden at the bird sanctuary and a coloring book which contains drawings of plants and flowers from her garden as well as environmental tips.  The coloring book will be given out to visitors at the bird sanctuary.  Maia also gave tours of the bird sanctuary.  She graduated from H. Frank Carey High School and will attend SUNY Purchase in the fall.
Olivia Coffey’s project was entitled “Protect the Hempstead Plains”.   She conducted community education sessions to increase awareness of the value of the Hempstead Plains, which is home to a number of rare plant and animal species.   She created a brochure which will be distributed at the bird sanctuary and displayed in the learning center at Nassau Community College.   She graduated from Garden City High School and will attend the University of Richmond in the fall.
Kelly Anne Norberto’s project was entitled “Project Arboretum”.   Kelly Anne researched what was required for the bird sanctuary to be accredited as a Level 1 arboretum.  She documented the location of 30 designated trees using GPS technology, prepared the necessary documentation for the bird sanctuary to become an official Level 1 arboretum, and submitted an application to ArbNet, the certifying organization.  She graduated from Garden City High School and will attend Marist College in the fall.

Winterfest At The Garden City Bird Sanctuary
By John W. Cronin, President 
Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Inc.

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary (GCBS) celebrated the 8th annual Winterfest holiday to honor their supporters and volunteers.  Jodi Wood and her son, Donovan Wood, were presented with the “Volunteer of the Year Award” for 2015. Donovan is in 8th grade and was volunteering as part of the requirement to join the National Junior Honor Society. Jodi Wood is retired from the Nassau Co. Police Department and had been in the Army serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  
They were the gate attendants at the Tree Dedication Ceremony in September. Jodi greeted the visitors. Donovan distributed the programs for the event and helped set up the chairs as well as the refreshment table.  Both mother and son were eager to come back to do some cleanup. The pair returned for a few months and had no problem getting “getting their hands dirty.”  They expressed their desire to return and volunteer some more time and talents when we reopen in March. They are the type of volunteers the GCBS welcomes and we want to express our gratitude for all their help.

Annual Dedication Ceremony at Garden City Bird Sanctuary

Caption:  GCBS Vice President Elizabeth Bailey welcomes the crowd.  Photo by  June Fay.

Caption:  Minister George Bashian of the Garden City Community Church offers some reflections.  The Will Sing for Food band is in the background.  Photo by June Fay.

The Garden City Bird Sanctuary held its annual dedication ceremony last Saturday, September 19th.   In this ceremony, the bird sanctuary gratefully recognized families and friends who donated a tree and/or a bench within the last year.  Elizabeth Bailey, Vice President, opened the ceremony by welcoming the donors and their families and friends.    The donors of each item were acknowledged:  
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Courtney Wilczewski by the friends of Linda Norton throughout the Garden City Public Schools.  Ms. Norton is principal of Stewart School.
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Peter Cohn by his parents Paul & Francie, brother Michael, sister Jenny, and friends.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Terry Hensley by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonel Aaron Chapter in Garden City.  Terry Hensley’s mother, June Fay, is a member of that chapter.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Charlie Koester by his family.
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Stephanie and Dolores Scalchunes by William Scalchunes.
  • A tree was donated in honor of Eagle Scout Paul Szenher from his family, friends and Boy Scouts of America Troop 93.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Scoutmaster Christopher P. Miller from the Eagle Scout Project of Paul Szenher.

Andy Morreale and the Will Sing for Food band performed two songs.  (Terry Hensley had been the bass player for this group.)    Minister George Bashian of the Garden City Community Church offered some reflections and provided an opportunity for friends and family members to recount their own personal memories.  To close the ceremony, Minister Bashian read a prayer and the band and attendees sang “In the Bulb There Is a Flower”, a hymn by Natalie Sleeth.

The girls of Daisy Troop 1362 recently visited the Garden City BirdSanctuary.  They filled several types of birdfeeders.  Several "standard" feeders and a squirrel-proof feeder were filled with sunflower seed; a finch feeder was filled with nyjer seed; a suet feeder was filled with a suet "cake," and a hummingbird feeder was filled with nectar.  Along with these feeders, a number of homemade feeders were also placed in trees.   The birds of the sanctuary had a feast after the girls went home

A brief bit of news - with a video link from FIOS TV on the GC Bird Sanctuary

Since you've been following the "news" on the development of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary you might like to see the video (about 5 minutes) shown on FIOS TV this month about the volunteer work we do.  
Thanks again for your interest and support!  Please remember to "rejoin!" The funds DO make a difference.

 Photo caption: Claire Werner selling items at the Bird Sanctuary Spring Yard Sale.