Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

It All Started With a Sign

It All Started With a Sign

It All Started With a Sign

Many thought we were crazy.  The building is over 7,000 square feet, was ransacked including all the copper pipes, had broken windows, torn ceilings, and walls.  In addition, there were several raccoons plus other wild animals living in the lodge.  But we knew there was something special about the Washington Lodge and as big as the job is to restore and renovate, those of us at CEED knew the task had to be done.

We know a bit of the history… The Unkechaugs were the first people to reside on the land. In 1655, there was an agreement which began the unequal transfer of the land to the colonists.  After that, not much is known until the late 1800’s when the Fairchild’s built the second empire portion of the building.  In the early 1900’s George Constant Washington bought the property to bring his instant coffee enterprise to the area, but the factory did not materialize.  The property went through many transformations after that, including a restaurant.  In the 1960’s the Marist Brothers purchased the property and owned it until it was sold in 2004.

From 2004 until 2018, no one resided in the Washington Lodge.  The original purchasers in 2004, were planning on subdividing the property, but were eventually bought out by the Post Morrow Foundation, South Country Farms, L.L.C., the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County.  After many discussions of possibilities, many decided that the best decision might be to raise the building.  As one can imagine, a building being vacant for over ten years had much damage and would cost millions of dollars to restore and renovate.  That is when CEED came in.  In 2017, the founders of CEED approached the Post Morrow Foundation and Town of Brookhaven with a dream but not much money.  The consensus from these discussions were that CEED would be a great fit for the location but must procure much of the funding needed for restoration and renovation of the lodge.  Here we are just a few years later, on the path for amazing transformation of the Lodge.

In order to restore, we must know the past.  Over the years, with local research already established, we did learn a bit about the history.  This past summer, we were approached with an offer to sell us a Washington Lodge sign.  Although the sign does look like it may have been a part of the history of the lodge, we were not completely sure.  The colors match some of the colors on the lodge in earlier years, but there are silhouettes of George Washington, the first president, and his wife, Martha, on the filigree in the sign.  This initiated a renewed quest for information regarding the history.  We started looking for a photograph of the Washington Lodge with the sign.  We have learned new bits, including the possibility of the well-known architect, Isaac Green, designing a renovation or addition on the lodge.

If you have any information or photos of the Washington Lodge and surrounding grounds, we would love to hear from you. Please email Sally Wellinger at sally@ceedli.org with your stories, history information or copies of photos. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Family Astronomy and Owl Prowl Evening

Family Astronomy and Owl Prowl Evening

Family Astronomy and Owl Prowl Evening

Did you know that generally clearer skies make the cooler months the best times to view the night sky?  Join CEED on December 10th for a Family Owl Prowl Astronomy Night to see our view of the Universe from Earth.  We are fortunate to have our friends and experts from Vanderbilt Planetarium travel down to the South Shore for these amazing opportunities.

The fall is the perfect month to view Saturn and Jupiter, two of our large unique gaseous planets.  We might also have the opportunity to observe the Pleiades star cluster and some of the Leoinids meteor shower, along with several constellations.

We have double packed the night by adding our popular Owl Prowl led by our own Eric Powers.  He is the best of the best with owl calls and last prowl was able to call an Eastern Screech Owl.  We also have a family of Great Horned owls on the CEED property.  If the native wild owls choose to hide, that is okay, because Aria, a Eurasian Eagle owl and Jim MacDougal will be joining us as well.

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Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Did you know that 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles spend summers in our Long Island waters? Two are listed as endangered and two are listed as threatened according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Since turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they are unable to survive in our offshore waters during the colder months.  November and December are important months for helping out with sea turtle sightings.

Please join us for a talk on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:30 p.m. to find out what cold stun means and how that affects sea turtles.  Our friends from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society will also show you how to spot these turtles on our shores and what to do if you find one.

Join us to learn more and hopefully be a part of the team to help protect these turtles. It’s super easy, all you have to do is walk the shores periodically.

This event is free to attend, but both CEED and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society are nonprofit organizations and rely on donations to continue our work and welcome any donations at the event.

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Forest Bathing and Sound Healing Retreat

Forest Bathing and Sound Healing Retreat

Forest Bathing and Sound Healing Retreat

Forest Bathing is a practice developed in Japan to alleviate tech-burnout. Called Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese, it was developed in the 1980’s as a way of embracing our natural world to improve human health.  In forest bathing, participants follow a structured method of using all five senses to experience nature.

Forest Therapy Guide Linda Lombardo will lead participants on a peaceful journey in nature, taking the time to feel the energy in the forest and connect the body with the natural energy.

Sound healing uses sound and vibrations to initiate relaxation and wellness.  Often, interchanged or used in conjunction with vibration therapy, sound therapy is an ancient method using natural vibrations either in proximity or on the body to initiate a mind and body healing process.

Sound Vibrational Practioner Erika Haberkorn uses sounds and vibrations to provide a meditational experience to refresh and renew the body and connect back with the natural vibrations in nature.

This power-packed combo will leave you refreshed and relaxed and ready to take on life’s challenges.

Join us on Sunday, December 11th at 2:00 p.m. for this incredible experience.

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Creating Change at the Source

Creating Change at the Source

Creating Change at the Source

CEED is a not-for-profit nature center that inspires connection to the joys of nature through education and experience that restores our balance for a healthier community.

This is our mission statement, but what does that mean?

  • The Earth and the Universe are always evolving, always changing.
  • There is an interdependence with everything on Earth.
  • There are patterns everywhere in nature.

These are three facts, I shared every year with my classroom as a classroom teacher, whether biology or elementary classes.  These are true facts that cannot be denied, but they can be looked at in at least two different ways.  We, as humans, can be included in these facts or we can forget that we are a part of these three statements.  To me, our mission is to ensure we include ourselves in those three.

  • We are part of this ever-evolving Earth and universe.
  • We are part of this interdependence with everything on Earth.
  • We are part of the patterns in nature.

Ensuring we include ourselves in these three facts is crucial for a healthy planet.  Even those of us who think of ourselves as eco-conscious, we sometimes forget. We look at nature as, “Here, I will help you from the outside,” or “I will clean up my mess I made during my visit.”  I just finished reading a book where the author believes we have created our own parallel “ecosystem” separate from the biosphere or all the natural ecosystems on this planet. In our artificial ecosystem, we have created our own fruits, vegetables, and domesticated animals to a point where they are unable to survive in nature.  When these agricultural animals and plants do survive in nature, they sometimes create harmful effects on the natural ecosystem, because they knock out or shift the natural balance.  If you think of our existence today on Earth this way, our struggle with solving all the damage we have created on Earth is a struggle for us to connect our artificially created human ecosystems with the natural ecosystems to restore a balance.

 Our goal at CEED is to help to create these bridges of connection, through experience, education, and discovery. These bridges can be created through all different types of disciplines because people prefer to travel on a route they enjoy.  This is why we offer experiences and learning through art, science, and seeing through the eyes of animals.

This does not mean I believe we need to change everything in our way of life as we know it.  That would be unreasonable and virtually impossible.  As a species, we have truly created a plethora of incredible technology, inventions, and tools that allow people to do marvelous things and live in large numbers, all over the world. Making the connection with our lives back to nature is more thinking about how all these amazing things are affecting the natural world, creating ways that reduce and repair our negative effects, and moving forward with ways that proactively create less damage and might be beneficial for a healthy planet. This thinking is not easy and sometimes we do not see, from all angles, how our ideas disrupt nature until it is too late.  For example, cesspools did not sound like a bad idea long ago when not nearly as many people lived on Long Island.  We were no longer pouring our wastes directly into our waterways.   Little did we know, or maybe people ignored, that the toxins would seep into the soils, which would eventually make their way into the aquifer and waterways. Now that there are many more people and cesspools on Long Island, this has created a huge problem. This is a problem not only harming the natural ecosystem, but also affecting the health of people and communities. This is just one example.

Cleaning our beaches and land, removing invasive species, and vocalizing about our concerns for nature are a start.  Buying less plastic and packaging, buying products with less harmful chemicals, choosing native plants for landscaping and reducing, reusing, and recycling are doing even more to help the environment.  Creating major changes in our energy use, manufacturing, waste removal, food sources, landscaping, transportation, and more is when real change can happen. This is not easy, these changes need to occur on a global level, with solid support from all.

Desmond Tutu once said, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

Rev. Tutu was talking about saving people from suffering and inequity, but this metaphor could be used for Earth.  At CEED, we want to keep “pulling people out of the river,” by cleaning our beaches, removing invasive species, using more environmentally products and methods.  We also want to “go upstream and find out why they’re falling in,” by finding out how we can reduce this plastic pollution, clean our soils and water, and create a healthier Long Island.  Reducing plastic trash on the beach can only be achieved by producing less plastic, which can only be achieved by requiring products to be produced with less plastic, which can only be achieved if people are willing to buy products made or packaged in less plastic.

I hope you join us in not only “pulling people out of the river” but also finding out “why they’re falling in.”

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