###Contact: Jody DeMeyere: 631-286-0485 Fax: 631-286-4003 Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 340 Smith Road Shirley, New York 11967
You're invited to the Grand Opening of the new visitor center on May 19th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Shirley, N.Y. - The Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex and the Friends of Wertheim Refuge are thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of our new Refuge Complex Visitor Center on Saturday, May 19th (rain or shine). The new facility, located at 340 Smith Road in Shirley, includes an interactive exhibit hall featuring Long Island ecosystems, an environmental education classroom, and a nature store run by the non-profit Friends of Wertheim. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. The Grand Opening ceremony will be held at noon. Admission is free. Designed and constructed to be a "green" building, the new visitor center and headquarters was built to meet the Silver-level certification criteria of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. It has a number of "green" features including; water efficient faucets and toilets, a geothermal heating and cooling system, recycled flooring and solar photovoltaic panels. In addition to the new facility, we welcome everyone to walk the new Black Tupelo trail which adds over three additional miles of hiking trails with two new observation platforms overlooking the Carmans River. This new stretch of trail will also connect to our current White Oak trail. If you prefer to experience the refuge by water, the Long Island Paddlers will be offering canoeing opportunities specifically for this event. All equipment will be provided. (Children must be 5 years old to sit in the canoe, 10 years old to paddle and be accompanied by an adult if they are under 16 years old.) In celebration of our Grand Opening a variety of local partners will also help us recognize the 20th anniversary of International Migratory Bird Day with displays and exhibits focused on migratory birds and conservation. These partners will offer numerous exhibits and activities including kid's games and crafts, guided bird hikes, live bird programs and guided canoe trips on the wild and scenic Carmans River. For a detailed schedule of events, visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/longislandrefuges/ or call 631-286-0485. Both the guided birding hike and guided canoe program require advanced registration due to limited space. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/.