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Letter: Another Earth Run

Dear Community,

I would like to extend my personal thank you and deep gratitude to everyone who came to the Earthfest and Earth Run at the Tanners Pond Environmental Center on Sunday, April 21 to celebrate not just Earth Day and the start of National Volunteer Week, but to join everyone in recognition of the value volunteers have made to the community and environment. By far, this was the most successful, professional, fun, and inspiring event since starting a small grassroots program in 1995. Over the next few weeks, there will be articles on the individual activities, but the 9-acre nature area in Garden City is no longer a hidden secret. It is a valuable asset for Garden City and Long Island’s people and wildlife.  Yes, the site wound up damaged by Hurricane Sandy. But the spirit of volunteerism that blossomed in the community during that tough time of downed trees and power outages led to an awareness of the importance of volunteering as neighbors and as a community. 

A small memorial to Superstorm Sandy was dedicated as part of this Earthfest. It is a simple wooden slab of a downed red oak tree with information signage reminding us of that storm and the thanks for professional and volunteer efforts to get the village back on its feet. That message is a critical reminder that should give us all a moment to reflect on how each of us felt in the aftermath of that storm and whether there was someone who helped that you might have forgotten to recognize. The memorial looks good and serves its purpose. We hope people are interested in raising funds to have the slab professionally preserved and polished for use both as a memorial and tree education program for a re-dedication on October 29, the first anniversary of that storm.  

More importantly, the success of Earthfest Earth Run was the start of a new annual event spotlighting Garden City much like the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. The runners appreciated the quiet and lovely route in the western part of the village, through Nassau Haven Playground, and the community’s Bird Sanctuary. Many were families and local residents. Earthfest Earth Run will be held annually on the Sunday of Earth Day and National Volunteer Week. Book your calendar now for Sunday April 20, 2014 for Earthfest/Earth Run III.  More to follow. Thanks to you.

Rob Alvey

Garden City Bird Sanctuary