Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

Talking with – and about – Animals with Ranger Eric Powers

Talking with – and about – Animals with Ranger Eric Powers

Talking with – and about – Animals with Ranger Eric Powers

We share Long Island with many species – raccoons, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and even an occasional fox. With the ocean and sound close by, we are acquainted with local sea life. But to appreciate and understand a wider group of animals, it helps to know someone like Ranger Eric Powers, at the Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED).  Ranger Eric works with more than a dozen Animal Ambassadors that he introduces to visitors up close and personal.  Ranger Eric’s knowledge and connection with his animal friends helps children and adults learn more by actually meeting and interacting with animals from insects to mammals, and amphibians to reptiles!

CEED’s mission is to reconnect people to the joys of nature for restoring balance and harmony in our lives, so that we all become stewards for the earth.  With over 30 years’ experience as a wildlife biologist, Ranger Eric’s programs are dedicated to conservation, sustainability, inspiring people to engage with nature, and teaching visitors about environmentally responsible behavior. He believes that when we take care of our planet, we are caring for ourselves as well. Humans and our environment have a permanent, unbreakable bond.  

These days, we can learn about animals by searching pictures and videos on our phones and computers, but that doesn’t compare to meeting these creatures in person or being able to ask questions of someone caring and knowledgeable like Ranger Eric. His eyes light up when helping children and adults understand the creatures who share our world.

Ranger Eric can be contacted at the Center or at eric@ceedli.org, and he is available for events, school and library programs, field trips, conservation projects, and workshops – both in person and through virtual platforms – to share his knowledge. He inspires others to get outside and develop a personal relationship with the natural world, to protect and respect our precious and fragile resources and the animals who share them with us. Learn more and see some of Ranger Eric’s animal friends at ceedli.org.

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50th Earth Day Free Nature Books for Young Explorers

50th Earth Day Free Nature Books for Young Explorers

50th Earth Day Free Nature Books for Young Explorers

In our ongoing commemoration of the 50th Earth Day, we wanted to offer our friends two wonderful nature books to reach with children.  These books, written by friends of CEED Board members, are being offered free for young Nature Explorers. 

Click here for free download of a packet of bi-lingual books featuring The Adventures of Pili in New York (Las Aventuras de Pili en Nueva York), by Kike Calvo. Includes Pili’s adventures, and an activity book and coloring book about birds of Columbia. 

Click here for free download of Albatross of Kaua’i, The Story of Kaloakulua, a wonderful story by Susan Dierker about an albatross chick in Hawaii. 

The Adventures of Pili in New York (Las Aventuras de Pili en Nueva York) includes a foreword from our friend, Long Island based author, Carl Safina:

“A little girl travels the world. Her Dad is a photographer. So though she is small – her life is big, encompassing everything from New York City to Colombia’s wild rainforest. 

“By observing and listening, by thinking and by feeling – and probably because she has inherited a bit of her father’s special ability to really see things – little Pili comes to care about nature, about people who speak other languages, and about peace.

“Pili imagines a peaceful place in the world for children. Her plan: it will be a forest reserve, and it will be in Colombia. This is not an easy goal for a little girl to accomplish. But Pili is determined; somehow, she will get this done!

“Now, the thing is, this book isn’t too far from the real truth. Pili is a real girl, and her Dad is the author of this book. And the forest – they’re making progress.” 

“The children of the world – and little girls in particular – can use a few positive messages that will inspire them to aspire. This book has many messages, tucked into a sweet, beautifully illustrated near-to-life narrative like little folded love-notes.”  ~ Carl Safina, Author, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. Founder of The Safina Center

The author, Kike Calvo, is a Safina Center Fellow and National Geographic Explorer. Kike has been distributing hard copies of The Adventures of Pili in New York free to children in Latin America, Africa, and as far away as Mongolia. Now, in response to the current COVID-19 situation, he has made digital copies available to all. The download package also includes an activity book and a coloring book that will entertain young explorers while introducing them to the beautiful birds of Colombia. 

– Patricia Paladines
CEED Board Member

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Meet Lil’ Stevie

Meet Lil’ Stevie

Meet Lil’ Stevie

​One of our Animal Ambassadors here at CEED is none other than the friendly and lovable Bearded Dragon, a type of lizard native to the deserts of Australia. Bearded dragons are named after their “beards”, a baggy throat patch covered in overlapping scales they expand to threaten other dragons out of their territories. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat a varied diet of plant and animal matter, such a insects, fruit, leaves, and even other lizards.

Lil’ Stevie was adopted by Ranger Eric Powers from a family in the midst of divorce. Even though the child taking care of Lil’ Stevie was splitting time between both parents, neither parent had the space for the tank. They made the hard decision to surrender him. Although Bearded Dragons come in lots of colors, Lil’ Stevie is particularly orange and quite a beautiful boy! Ranger Eric estimates that Lil’ Stevie is just about five years old, making him a teenager in dragon years.

Ranger Eric has owned Bearded Dragons in the past, saying he really likes them because they naturally enjoy perching on something high and sit for long periods of time. They are so chill and relaxed! It’s a natural behavior that makes them agreeable to programs and teaching opportunities. In the wild, Bearded Dragons, like other cold-blooded reptiles, will perch on branches and rocks to catch the sun rays and raise their body temperatures.

We hope you look forward to meeting Lil’ Stevie and the other Animal Ambassadors real soon!

~Amanda Dauman

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Rely on Nature…and Support CEED if you can.

Rely on Nature…and Support CEED if you can.

Rely on Nature…and Support CEED if you can.

CEED was founded on the belief that we all benefit from time spent in nature. That is more true now than ever. We encourage you to get outside whenever and wherever you can do so with safe physical distancing.

At CEED, we want to continue to offer the values of nature as we all cope with COVID-19. Though our building is closed, our trails are open. We have already begun offering high-quality virtual programming for schools and libraries, and continue to develop alternative programming for families and the general community as rapidly as we can.

We’re also hoping you’ll keep up your support of CEED. We have been forced to cancel our annual fundraising dinner, nearly all our school and library programs and other events. And because springtime school programs and fundraising events represent nearly half of CEED’s annual funding budget, CEED is in need of help. We have been approved for a federal loan, but it’s not nearly enough, and the arrival of the funds is uncertain. Newsday recently featured CEED in an article about non-profit organizations coping with COVID-19 related funding losses.  You can read it here.

Some of CEED’s Board members have committed to sharing all or a portion of their federal stimulus payment to help CEED get through the next few months. If your financial situation allows, maybe you could do the same. Please click here to make a gift.  Thank you for your ongoing support.

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Meet Quill.I.am

Meet Quill.I.am

Meet Quill.I.am

Let’s talk about one of CEED’s animal ambassadors – the hedgehog!

Although they share some similarities with the equally spiky porcupine, make no mistake that the hedgehog is not a rodent like the porcupine. Instead, hedgehogs are most closely related to shrews, a group of very small mammals distantly related to carnivores, bats, and deer. Like other small mammals, hedgehogs have adapted to a nocturnal lifestyle and some defensive measures.

The eye-catching spines on a hedgehog’s back are its most notable feature. These spines are made out of hair and made stiff by keratin. They are not barbed or venomous and do not easily detach from the hedgehog’s body. They are used as a defensive mechanism to ward off predators, as the animal curls into a ball to hide its soft underside.

 

There are 17 species of hedgehog worldwide, none of which are native to North America. Enjoy this picture of our new baby hedgehog at CEED…meet:  Quill.I.am!

Amanda Dauman

 

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