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Wildlife Organization Plans Rally To Fight Holtsville Ecology Center Closing

Brookhaven Wildlife Center asks community to wear blue as a sign of solidarity.

Amid Brookhaven Town's proposed budget plan to shutter the Holtsville Ecology Park and Zoo, the Brookhaven Wildlife Center has organized a rally to keep the site open.

Billed as the "Rally to Save the Ecology Site," the gathering will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30 at noon at the ecology site near the playground.

"The support the community has given so far has been tremendous, and the turnout at this rally will be crucial in continuing our efforts to keep the site open. We ask that everyone wear blue to show our solidarity," the nonprofit organization stated in its invitation.

Wildlife Center board members and community leaders are slated to speak at the event. Although invited, elected officials will not be taking the podium. Organizers are asking everyone that plans to attend to wear blue to show support.

Last week the Brookhaven Wildlife Center launched an online petition and Facebook campaign to save the Holtsville Ecology Center after it was revealed that the town board is entertaining the possibility of closing the site to save what it claims is $900,000 in annual expenses to operate it.

Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk September 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I'll be there!
Pazi Steklo September 26, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I wonder what the town plans to do with the property when they close it down? Don't get me wrong, I love that park and it's a shame that Brookhaven doesn't want to pay for it anymore. But let's be realistic here folks, we're in an economic disaster with the lack of jobs and the prospect of any new jobs coming our way, the town is out of money and by closing this park, they save almost a million dollars a year. I see the dilemma and I understand. Just wondering what they will do with all that land, that's going to be sitting around, growing weeds and looking like crap. Fence it up? Put do not trespassing signs on and hope for the economy to get better? Either way, its a loose loose situation.
Rhea Virginia Angell September 26, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I'll be there, and I will mention it tonight at my Co-Op Town Hall Meeting. I wrote an article Newsday published in the "In My Humble Opinion" Column on Monday. I also e-mailed Kathleen Walsh...no response.....Let us save this beautiful, educational site. Save the wild mustangs at the Kaeli Kramer Humane Education Center at the Ecology Center. Rhea Virginia Angell
JB September 26, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Please sign the petition to save the Ecology Center. Thanks! http://www.change.org/petitions/brookhaven-town-save-the-ecology-center
john isernia September 26, 2012 at 07:10 PM
kudo's to colleen for her efforts getting petitions signed and helping to organize sunday;s rally..it's people like her who know the important place this park has in the hearts of all parents who take theirchildren and grandchildren here..lets hope the committee members have the same heart as we do and do the right thing for all of us who enjoy this beautiful place
Cheryl sinisi September 26, 2012 at 08:34 PM
This would. Be a terrible misjustic to all who live this center and all the beautiful animals they care for. The town should save money in other ways .... For ex: employee town cars, fancy dinners n weekends outta state, just a few would equal more $ than what it cost to save the center. Stop taking from the people who support these towns start taking from yourselves and leave the few nice things of Suffolk County aline
annette kattau September 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM
this site will not close down!!!!
Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk September 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM
If we are going to face it than let's really face it... some big wig will make money on it sometime, somehow.
Joseph Adriano September 27, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Probably let someone build 291 apartments like they are doing on Main Street in Patchogue! There will be no more green space or clean water left in the TOB if these developers have their way. Look at what Lesko tried to do with Carmen's River and now Pontieri is letting Tritec dump water into that lake in Patchogue. It's all about housing developments and money in this corrupt town.
Dog daze... September 27, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I don't want to see the Ecology Center close either, I go there frequently with my son... but I also understand that the town is trying to save money. I wouldn't be opposed to paying an admission fee and having a higher fee for non-residents. But it has to be done with the understanding that all the $$ raised stays at the Ecology Center and doesn't get stolen to pay other town debts.
maryann September 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I signed it, and also made a reccomendation on paying a small fee for residents and a little higher for non residence. The donation box is clearly not working. We pay to park at the town beaches why not here.
Scotty September 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The 'Town' trying to save money is one thing--but suddenly deciding to put the Ecology Center on the chopping block without so much as a HINT to the residents of Brookhaven who have loved this center for 3 decades is a pathetic under-handed power play--and a distinct slap at the Highway Department. WE the people of Brookhaven love this beautiful place enough to share it with other areas--in fact what fun would it be if the rest of Suffolk or folks from Nassau did NOT come out to enjoy this jewel we have right here? Wasn't that the whole idea--to encourage visitors? Now this particularly short-sighted group have the temerity to use this as a reason against its staying open? Talk about convoluted reasoning! IF there is to be an established fee paid --and it should be very small not to discourage visitors/perhaps no more than $4.00 per vehicle? -- otherwise you'll sound the death knell of this wonderful place, the funds MUST go for the upkeep of the animals, vet care and onsite improvements. Absolutely agree with Debbie K on this: the Town cannot have ANY hand in or control of the monies collected. the independence of Holtsville Ecology FROM the Town should be paramount. To Pazi--it's a blatant lie --the 'almost a million dollars'. The realistic figure is somewhere between $140,000 - $200,000 per annum. That's EASILY made up with charging a nominal fee to visitors/site users. Fundraisers can make up the short-fall, but get it out of the hands of this town board pronto!
Arlene Lamberti September 27, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Yes yes yes I certainly agree there ... Make no mistake we the people will fight for this all the way... Be there in blue on the 30th
Scotty September 28, 2012 at 03:31 AM
@Arlene--I sure hope to be, and thanks for the reminder. :) Don't get around all that easily anymore, depends on the weather and a few other factors --but if ~I~ can't actually be there physically I might send my husband on his own to take photos/videos. I'm spreading the news far and wide--hoping you get a great turn-out. I'm still appalled and upset by the way they tried to simply do away with the Ecology site without any of us really finding out about it--the animals would have been spirited away without any publicity. I'm SO glad we now have an on-line source such as Patchogue Patch to keep us apprised of the developments.
Dagny Gallo September 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I agree with everyone's statements. This is absolute b.s. The up keep and maintenance of this park is already paid for with our taxes!!! Leave the park and it's animals alone.
nmfd72 October 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Think real hard about your question. What do you think the town will do with the property? Remember it was the original town DUMP before they turned it into a park!

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