Friday, 09 November 2012 00:00
The Tanners Pond Environmental Center, (also known as the Garden City Bird Sanctuary), sponsored a Member Appreciation Party on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the home of Robert & Suzie Alvey. The theme was “Green is Good!”
Over 60 guests were treated to Long Island wines, beer, hors d’oeuvres and desserts as Robert Alvey presented the 2012 Garden City Bird Sanctuary Environmental Stewardship Award to Mike Lutz of Lutz Landscaping for his long term support of the community nature and wildlife area. Mike and his wife Linda raised their family in Garden City South and he is the owner of Lutz Landscaping, a full service landscape design and maintenance company serving Garden City, New Hyde Park and surrounding areas for over 25 years. Mike has “environmental stewardship” in his genes, and his two sons have earned their Boy Scout Eagle rank through environmental projects. He has also called the sanctuary several times to offer special shrubs or trees he’s come across that he knows would be good additions to the site...and has even donated his truck to help deliver. Previous GCBS Environmental Stewardship Awards have been presented to New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, Garden City accountant Andrew L. Hult, Chaminade High School, and the Harder family of Harder Tree Services.
Special guest, New York State Assemblyman Ed Ra, attended and met with the GCBS volunteers. Ra came to the site as a guest during the April 2012 Earth Day Earth Run benefit and was impressed with both the volunteer effort and the remarkable transformation that has taken place at the nine- acre site. A representative of Councilman Edward A. Ambrosino of Hempstead also came to present TPEC president, John Cronin and Rob Alvey with a certificate of recognition from the Town of Hempstead for the Tanners Pond Environmental Center as well as the GC Bird Sanctuary. Ambrosino and Town of Hempstead Supervisor, Kate Murray are longtime supporters of the GCBS and Murray is also a personal member.
Another distinguished guest was Diana O’Neill, executive director of the Long Island Volunteer Center who presented special awards to outstanding members. Directly from the White House, and signed by President Barack Obama, the President’s Volunteer Service Awards were presented to:
1. New Hyde Park’s Joe D’Amico for his Eagle Boy Scout project to design and extend the new arboretum at the site.
2. Garden City’s Suzie Alvey, a long- term multi-faceted volunteer. She was the initial person who prodded Rob Alvey to volunteer back in 1992. Alvey is an artist and former director of the GCBS, and is currently on the board of directors with The Garden City Historical Society. She is the Western Property Owner’s representative on the village beautification committee, and is currently active on the membership life and development board with the Garden City Community Church. She was named “2009 Woman of Distinction” by New York State.
3. Garden City’s Liz Bailey is vice-president of the Tanners Pond Environmental Center. She received the award for her volunteer service contributions to the community including the bird sanctuary, and as representative on the Village of Garden City’s Environmental Advisory Board.
4. Garden City’s June Fay is a former director of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary and was recognized for her exceptional and long- term volunteer commitment. Fay has over a decade on the GCBS Board, and has coordinated BOCES and AHRC programs, in addition to volunteer counseling work with Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital.
5. Queens resident Lee Girardi was recognized for her extensive volunteer services at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary, working with local Queens legislators, and extensive environmental advocacy.
Diana O’Neill also provided a surprise volunteer recognition to Rob Alvey, and noted that his letter asking for recognition to the other individuals specifically stated he was not asking for one himself. But because he had heard O’Neill say that New York State ranked last among all states in volunteer service, he wanted to let everyone know that many New Yorkers provide extensive volunteer service and these nominees are an example. Diana noted that Rob was an inductee in the Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame and continues efforts every day on behalf of the community and environment.
The awards were accompanied by a letter from President Obama, which read in part: “...Thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community and our country...We will only renew America if we all work together.”
During the evening, there was a raffle of the New York Historical Society Audubon print, professionally framed by Barnes Gallery. Raffles for this $400 value print were sold at the Oct. 20 homecoming street fair and will be sold at the Nov. 15 photographer‘s reception at the Garden City Public Library for the Long Island Wildlife photography show. Winners will be announced at the reception, and they do not have to be present to win.
For more information about the Tanners Pond Environmental Center/ Garden City Bird Sanctuary, please visit www.GC BirdSanctuary.org, join them on Facebook (Garden City Bird Sanctuary) or call 516-326-1720.