Mount Sinai, NY - July 26, 2017 - On Friday, July 21, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker hosted the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the Suffolk County Educational Native Pollinator Garden at the North Shore Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. The garden, a pilot program of the Educational Agriculture Support Initiative (EASI), includes a variety of native pollinator plants, which demonstrate the aesthetic diversity of Long Island plants while providing a habitat for pollinator species. The Grand Opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony, unveiling of the new sign and kiosk, and an informational display by the Long Island Native Plant Initiative (LINPI).
“The Educational Native Pollinator Garden at Heritage Park will help to educate the community about native plants and the necessity of pollinator species. Our butterflies and bees are vital to our farming community in Suffolk County. Once we lose these pollinators, we lose our agricultural and environmental sustainability,” said Legislator Anker. “I would like to thank that Mount Sinai Heritage Trust for providing the space for the garden and the Long Island Native Plant Initiative for donating the plants.”
Visitors will utilize the garden at Heritage Park to learn about the many types of Long Island native plants that are needed for environmentally and agricultural sustainability. The garden was designed by the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District with plants donated by LINPI, an all-volunteer organization with the goal of preserving the genetic heritage of Long Island’s native plant population. The kiosk was constructed by James DiPersio, an Eagle Scout from Miller Place, who also installed the garden sign donated by Newby Neon Signs.
"Pollinator gardens are a great addition to parks, government properties, and of course the home landscape. Small changes have big rewards for vulnerable species and it gives us humans the opportunity to delight in the presence of butterflies, bees, and songbirds," said Brian Smith, Executive Board member for the Long Island Native Plant Initiative.
In 2015, Legislator Anker created the EASI program through legislation after she was made aware that over 90% of the Monarch Butterfly population has been decimated and that many farmers in Suffolk County must import bees to pollinate their farms. One of the main objectives of the EASI program is to provide educational material about native plants and pollinators to Suffolk County residents to encourage them to create their own pollinator habitats. For more information about the EASI program or to receive educational material about native plants and pollinators, please call Legislator Anker’s office at 631-854-1600.