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Earthfest III & 5K Run at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary

posted Jun 12, 2014, 8:27 PM by Bird Sanctuary   [ updated Nov 5, 2015, 9:22 PM ]
Photos by Suzie & Rob Alvey

Runners at EarthFest.
Earth Run III on trails at Garden City Bird Sanctuary. Spring has come and the Earthfest III celebration at the GCBS was a wonderful success. The 5 kilometer on/off road run through the GCBS, Nassau Haven Park and local streets went well. Crowds enjoyed the music by both Acoustic Dave Kotliar and the Garden City High School Jazz Ensemble, led by Brandon Psenicka.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray started the 5K race from the TOH Show Mobile and Garden City Mayor John Watras gave the signal that started the 1 1/2k fun obstacle run portion. Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaefer not only helped present the awards to the race winners, but also personally ran the 5K competition event. The winners and race times are available on line and through the Greater Long Island Runners Club at
The top three winners in the Male Division Overall were: First- Arquiemedes DelaCruz, Second- Alberto Gomez and third- Edward Ward.

Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray with Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes, Donald X. Clavin, Jr. and daughter signal the start of the race. Top three winners in the Female Division Overall were: First- Margaret Saselu, Second- Jeannette Deluca and third- Victoria Ernst.
In addition to the above, the Top Male Runner Under 30 was Christopher McElwaine and the Top Male Runner Over 30 was Scott Muller. The Top Female Under 30 was Samantha Zimmer and the Top Female Runner Over 30 was Diana Conelli.
The Obstacle Race was won by Kevin O'Neill.
The Earthfest III event marked another positive milestone for the community's nature center. The day was shared with representatives from several non-profit organizations who had displays and speakers available to talk about the volunteer efforts done to support the community and the environment. Betsy Gulotta with Friends of the Hempstead Plains remarked about the many vast improvements made to the Garden City site since she first worked with GCBS founder, Rob Alvey in the 1990's.

Obstacle Run winner, Kevin O'Neill is presented prize by Rob Alvey of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary. Adelphi University's Dean Della Hudson, recipient of the 2013 Garden City Bird Sanctuary Environmental Stewardship Award, was on hand to say hello to the crowd and provide the 2014 award to Garden City High School's HOPE Environmental Club co-president Daniel McElroy, a senior. Dean Hudson has coordinated numerous volunteer programs at the site with Adelphi students through their innovative Freshmen Community Action Program involving hundreds of Adelphi students over the years.
Garden City's Joseph Monaco with Boy Scout Troop 55 also showed his newly completed Eagle Project, the first of two Chimney Swift nesting towers to be built in Nassau County. The bird species has been in serious decline during the last few decades, and these "artificial chimneys" provide much needed homes for this special species. (Another Eagle project is planned to install a nest box for the Great Horned Owl for the owls at the site).

Betsy Gulotta, Conservation Project Manager of the Friends of the Hempstead Plains. Some of the participating organizations at Earthfest III included Operation Splash, the Long Island Volunteer Center, Crossroads Farm, Friends of the Hempstead Plains, Citizen's Climate Lobby, Sierra Club, Your Connection to Nature, Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Garden City Community Coalition, Garden City Water Distric, Garden City High School's HOPE Environmental Club, Garden City High School's Key Club and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Garden City High School Jazz Ensemble, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, Adelphi University's Newman Club, and Adelphi University's Pi Lamda Phi service fraternity. Eric Powers with "Your Connection to Nature" wowed the crowds with his live animals.

Garden City High School Jazz Band performed with music teacher, Brandon Psenicka. Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors who include the McElroy Family, Long Island Volunteer Center, H2M Environmental Consultants, EarthSoft, Lutz Landscaping and People's United Bank, sufficient funds were raised to purchase two shelters for the site. Over $5,000 in donated labor is also being provided through the Liberty Mutual employees with "Serve With Liberty" program and the construction is scheduled for early May. The main shelter is to be used as a resting spot for site supervisors, volunteers and for the Nature Camp summer educational programs conducted in cooperation with the Garden City Recreation Department.

Ava and Sophia Sethi sell recycled toys. A special thanks goes to little Sophia and Ava Sethi for their contribution of $36 from selling their "recycled" toys at the Earthfest III!
Additional volunteers are always welcomed at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary. There is always "sump-thing" happening at the site, and if you would like to become involved, simply send an email to Garden City Bird Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 organization that is located opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road in Garden City.

#3 Top Female, Victoria Ernst with speedy brother, Harry and mom, Kirsten.

Dean Della Hudson from Adelphi University (and 2013 recipient of the ESA) presents the 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award to Daniel McElroy, a senior at Garden City High School with Rob Alvey of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary.

Diana O'Neill, Executive Director of the Long Island Volunteer Center and runner, Alberto Cassidy.

Lucille Stemkowski and friends with the Woodmen of the World signed in runners.

Your Connection to Nature: Eric Powers holding "Gangsta" and Adam Peretzman. 

Operation Splash: Ellen and Daniel Lee, Peter Suchmann and Stephanie Scherner.

#2 Top Male Runner, Alberto Gomez.
Funds raised from EarthFest are needed to be able to erect a shelter at the 9 acre sanctuary for use as a protected area during our summer children's Nature Camps and other educational programs. The cost of the materials is about $12,000 and the labor is being donated through a Liberty Serves program by employees of Liberty Mutual Insurance.  Sponsors will have their names added to a plaque on the facility.

Owl See You at Earthfest! Bobby Horvath, wildlife rehabilitator and Dan McElroy, HOPE club volunteer.

Angry birds inviting people to participate in EarthFest.