Predicting the future is never easy, and predicting the future for a mission-driven, donor-dependent nonprofit organization is more challenging yet. But all of us at CEED are really excited about the possibilities for 2023.

I predict it’s going to be a great year!

Just to hit some highlights, we’re at the point where we can really ramp up our program offerings for all ages. This will be our first full year of public use of the Washington Lodge. We have one large room, which we call Woodlands Hall, now in frequent use for meetings, workshops, programs for kids, etc. We hope to have the other main room, to be named Marine Hall, renovated in the next couple of months.

I predict that having the Lodge open to the public will be a game-changer!

For example, we’re working to increase the number of local children we connect to nature through school programs and field trips this year. Having the Washington Lodge available will make a big difference.

Our Spring and Summer Nature Experiences are about to begin registration, so be ready for that. We’re thinking about before- and after-care for families who need that. Let us know if you’re interested (info@ceedli.org).

For adults, we’ve begun an intro to birding course, and hope to continue to offer programs like that throughout the year. If there is something about nature you’d like to learn (trees, wildflowers, beach creatures … ), let us know. We’ll also be offering additional nature arts and crafts throughout the year. Again, if you have ideas, we’re open to suggestions. (info@ceedli.org)

This month also signals the start of Natural Wonders Series with Ranger Eric, a monthly walk with Ranger Eric Powers. I predict it will be a fun and fascinating chance to get into nature and share Eric’s passion for the plants and creatures that thrive on Long Island.

We also recently secured a large grant to begin planning a new future for the Washington Lodge that helps fulfills CEED’s mission: “… to connect our community to nature and science with creative use of discovery, art and education.” We need to secure matching funds (email sally@ceedli.org if you can help), but once we do, we hope to begin investigating the Lodge as a demonstration site for state-of-the-art solar power and waste disposal systems, to give just two examples.

If you aren’t already on our email list, be sure to join (ceedli.org/subscribe) so you’ll know about all our programs, festivals, and other events. We’re already planning for a repeat of our critically acclaimed Sculpture on the Trail event. We’re also working on an ongoing series of nature and science related lectures, discussions, and workshops, starting with Landscaping with Native Trees and Shrubs to Attract Pollinators and Birds with Vincent Simeone on Jan. 22.

If you want to be a part of CEED’s 2023, remember that we need and love volunteers, whether it’s for one-time projects, or regular hours. Possibilities include planting gardens, doing Social Media, taking photos, caring for our animals, building and painting projects, and a hundred other opportunities large and small.

I also encourage you to continue to support CEED with your generous donations whenever you can. Your support helps us create and offer new programs, offer more programs free of charge, increase accessibility of our programs to all, and restore the Washington Lodge.

I predict that however you get involved in CEED – as a participant, as a volunteer, or as a donor – you won’t be disappointed. Thank you!

Tom Pelletier, Chair of the Board

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