Murray Celebrates Earth Day with Local Students, Group Plants Six Trees at Levy Park and Preserve

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, with the help of 30 environmentally savvy students from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Bellmore, today planted six new trees in observance of Earth Day and Arbor Day at the Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve in Merrick. The ceremonial tree planting was the feature of an Earth Day educational program for the fifth-grade class, which concluded with a tour of the beautiful 52-acre park and preserve.

"There is no better place to celebrate Earth Day in Hempstead Town than Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve," Murray said. "The park’s transformation from a landfill -- an ecological liability -- into a true environmental masterpiece symbolizes what this day is all about."

The fifth-graders from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton also had a chance to meet the town’s Nigerian Dwarf goats, which help eradicate the overgrowth of brush and grass at the preserve. The town’s Guinea Hens, on hand to help combat tick infestations at the preserve, also made an appearance at the Earth Day program. In keeping with the ecological theme, each student in attendance also received a bag of educational materials focused on environmental issues.

Levy Park and Preserve, located off of Merrick Road, is not just any plot of open space . . . it is considered a jewel of the town’s wide system of nature preserves. The park is bordered by a tidal creek, Meadowbrook and Meadowbrook Parkway to the west, Merrick Bay to the south, a golf course to the east and the Department of Sanitation to the immediate north.

Standing out prominently to onlookers, the park features a functional windmill at a scenic 115-foot summit that includes views of the Jones Beach Tower, New York City Skyline and numerous coastal treasures. The park’s three miles of nature trails are a popular stop for hikers, walkers and joggers who can take advantage of 18 exercise stations along the paths. Visitors can enjoy the various species of birds and other wildlife, as well as plants, trees and other wonders of nature. Group nature tours are available for children and adult groups. Eco-kayak tours and a 500-foot fishing pier are also popular choices for the marine enthusiasts. For more information on Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, or to arrange a group tour, call (516) 804-2000.