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A Hidden Gem In Our Back Yard

Bailey Arboretum is ideal

for outdoor exploration

Bailey Arboretum is a hidden gem that is located well within the confines of Lattingtown, just outside of Locust Valley.

Originally named after self-made millionaire Frank Bailey, the 42-acre property was given to Nassau County in 1967 by the Vanneck Bailey Foundation. It is maintained by the Friends of Bailey Arboretum. Located on Bayville Road, the county property is open to the public 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is the perfect place for an event,” said Alice Matthaei, event coordinator at Bailey. “We have educational classes and programs, nature walks, wildlife programs and many other public events.”

Events include Family Day, the Pumpkin Festival in October and fundraising events such as the Summer Solstice Party, Biergarten Party and Autumn Festival Party, as well as a membership drive and annual appeal. There are plans to create a family spring egg hunt and an event in December.

Just recently the arboretum had its Family Day event on June 1, which was very well attended with more than 100 people coming down for games, fun and a scrumptious outdoor barbeque.  

“People can rent the whole house for weddings, bridal showers and after-burial luncheons,” said Matthaei. “Without these type of events, Bailey’s would not be able to exist because we are a non-for-profit organization.”

Mike Maron, who is superintendent of Bailey Arboretum, helps run the educational programs and is in charge of one of the finest Girl Scouts survival challenges in the country sponsored by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

New tweaks were added to the survival challenge this year, with the Girl Scouts participating in Bear Bags (throwing a rope over a 10-foot high branch), fire making, shelter building, the burrito hypo-wrap (to prevent against hypothermia) and the rope course.

Facilities on the property include the main house, which has three floors of rooms used for meetings, events and private functions. The educational building contains a classroom for nature studies and wildlife forums.  

The children’s habitat has a natural playground for young children and there are two gardens located adjacent to the habitat. The Secret Garden was at one time Long Island’s only sensory garden and it is considered a special stop off after first arriving at Bailey. The Bog Garden has beautiful flowers and plants and is one of the main wet areas of the property.

The German castle, which was first made for Bailey’s daughter, is located within the Bog Garden and is a known favorite for children.

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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