Mount Sinai, NY - May 15, 2015 - At the May 12 General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, IR 1272-2015, Creating an Educational Agriculture Support Initiative (EASI) Pilot Program, sponsored by Legislator Sarah Anker, was unanimously passed. The program will provide support for Long Island’s agricultural communities by promoting the propagation of pollinating native species.
“Many farms are suffering because they don’t have enough pollinators to support their agricultural crops. In addition, butterflies and other insect species have decreased in population by 90% since 2000 due to degradation of our open space. The EASI program will provide insight on what our residents can do to support our pollinators, which in turn will support our farm economy,” said Legislator Sarah Anker.
“I am also working with our county Parks Department and County Department of Public Works to locate areas for native pollinating plantings on county land.”
Long Island’s farming communities are a vital component of Suffolk County’s local economy, bringing in more than $150 million annually for farm products and contributing to Suffolk County’s $5.6 billion tourism industry. Pollinating species support the county’s agricultural communities by improving harvests and helping maintain a sustainable agricultural industry.
The EASI program will include the Mount Sinai Heritage Trust, who will provide the garden plot; Long Island Native Plant Initiative, who will donate native plant material through their local grant program; and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, who will provide their expertise and guidance.
“The Mt. Sinai Heritage Trust is proud to be a pioneer in this pilot project to demonstrate the farming heritage of Suffolk County,” said Heritage President Lori Baldassare. “I encourage our residents to stop by and visit our display on our farming heritage located in the Heritage Center.”
The EASI program will facilitate resources and materials dedicated to educate residents and school-aged children on beneficial environmental propagation, invasive planet species and farmland sustainability.
Pictured: Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, Heritage Facilities Manager Andrew Gebbia, and Heritage President Lori Baldassare visit the garden site for the EASI pilot program at the Mt. Sinai Heritage Park.