Town Awarded $27,347 NYSDEC “Trees for Tribs Grant” to Reforest Former Smith Farm in Center Moriches 132

Town Awarded $27,347 NYSDEC “Trees for Tribs Grant” to Reforest Former Smith Farm in Center Moriches

Farmingville, NY – Supervisor Ed Romaine announced today that the Town of Brookhaven has been awarded a $27,347 “Trees for Tribs” grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The grant is 100% funded, therefore it is a “no match” grant. The reasoning of the grant is to reforest old farm fields where tributaries (tribs) run through. The trees slow down erosion and help take up pollutants, as well as create habitat for local fauna.

The reforestation will be conducted on Town property, formerly known as the Smith Farm It was purchased with Open Space funds and is located at the corner of Bay Avenue and Montauk Highway in East Moriches. The tributary that runs through the farm is called the Terrel River and it starts at Mill Pond, north of Montauk Highway and flows south through the property into Moriches Bay.

While preparing for the grant, the Town’s Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) reached out to the local Moriches Bay Civic Association, which has representatives from the Ketcham Inn, Audubon Society and the Farm Land Committee. Meetings occurred, and with the civics’ input, DEP presented a draft landscaping plan and received approval from the local DEC forester. The Town will use the funds for ground prep and invasive plant removal and community volunteers will plant the trees.

Supervisor Romaine said, “The Terrel River is an environmentally sensitive waterway that needs to be protected and preserved. I thank the DEC for awarding the grant to the Town, the Moriches Bay Civic Association for their input on this project and our own Division of Environmental Protection for the work they did to secure this grant.”

Councilman Dan Panico said, “The entire eco-system of our South Shore wetlands needs to be protected and reforesting is a big part of our plans at this location and others. I will continue to work with our Town environmental staff to identify other areas in my district that need to be addressed.”

Press Release provided by Town of Brookhaven
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Coding and Makerspace at South Country School 76

Coding and Makerspace at the Verne W. Critz Library

 South Country Central School District libraries are no longer a place to just hear a story and select a book. The district’s librarians have been teaching crucial technology skills that will help prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Verne W. Critz librarian Lynn Cullen explained that in addition to lessons in research, students are now learning basic coding skills and are inventing and creating in Makerspace labs.

At Verne W. Critz Elementary School, students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on activities that require critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaborative team work. Ms. Cullen, along with the support of Principal Mandy Mazziotti, have furnished the library with engaging products such as PowerClix, Brix, K’nex, Keva, Squigz and IO blocks. The library will soon introduce modular robotics called Cubelets.

During a recent trip to the library, second grade students collaborated to design an incline plane with Keva wood planks, which allowed a ball to travel without falling off-course. Not only did the students use teamwork to design their course, they utilized science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics principles to acquire their results.

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students worked in the school library with Keva wood planks and used STEAM principles


Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

Town Receives Tree City Growth Award 46

Brookhaven Town Receives Tree City Growth Award from Arbor Day Foundation

Town has earned Tree City Designation for Four Consecutive Years

Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town has for the fourth consecutive year been designated a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and in recognition of its ongoing successful tree programs, the Town has this year also earned the “Tree City Growth Award.” Brookhaven spends over $1.4 million per year on community forestry programs. Pictured left to right are New York State DEC Supervising Forester John D. Wernet; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Neil Foley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and Town Clerk Donna Lent.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am proud to have the Town recognized as a Tree City USA. We have given away and planted thousands of trees and strictly controlled the clearing of trees across Brookhaven to help protect and preserve the environment. I thank the Arbor Day Foundation for honoring the Town and all the residents who have followed our lead to make Brookhaven a greener place to live.”

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said, “The preservation of healthy trees is a priority of the Brookhaven Highway Department. In instances when trees were planted too close to the Town Right-Of-Way (ROW) and roots were growing into the roadway, we remove the trees and replace them with street-friendly trees, planted the appropriate distance from the road.”

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, benefits of a Tree City USA program include:

  • Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control
  • Cut energy consumption by up to 25%
  • Boost property values across your community
  • Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community

Growth Award

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. More information about the Arbor Day Foundation can be found at

Growth Awards are given to communities that have earned the Tree City designation for at least two consecutive years and:

  • Engage in education and public relations programs on the importance of planting trees in their community, and
  • Create partnerships with utilities, Green Industry Partners or other organizations
 Photo Courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

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