Nature is calling…calling us back outside and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn is excited for residents to once again discover, explore and enjoy the thousands of acres of parkland across our region. Throughout the month of May, parks lovers are being encouraged to celebrate our public lands through anyone of several events intended to promote these federal, state and locally protected sites.
Standing at the entrance of Frank Melville Memorial Park, Legislator Hahn kicked-off her fourth “A Park a Day in May” challenge. The Setauket location is the first of thirty-one parks to be to be featured in the annual social media event. Throughout the month, participants of the challenge will be provided with photos and a description of a different park every day through Facebook. For each location visited, participants are to take and post a photo of him or herself at the park with the hashtags #APADIM and #aparkaday. Daily “A Park a Day in May” posts will be added to: https://www.facebook.com/KaraHahnLD5/.
“The May sun has always been a beacon, drawing me back out after the biting cold of winter. With life returning to nature, my intention was to find a way to return life back into our parks,” said Hahn who serves as the Legislature’s Parks and Recreation Committee Chairwoman. “Now, in my fourth year of posting locations, photos and things to do at each of the sites, my ‘A Park a Day in May’ challenge has developed a growing following with participants finding new things to do on Long Island, and more and more families using the challenge as a guide to their summer recreation.”
“I grew up visiting parks, beaches and open spaces in my youth in Southern California. My family’s trips and times together spent outside in nature are some of my fondest memories,” said Linda L. Sanders, Trustee of Frank Melville Memorial Foundation. “I hope you and your families get outside to enjoy ‘A Park a Day in May’ and thank Legislator Hahn for featuring Frank Melville Memorial Park as part of the series.”
In addition to Legislator Hahn’s challenge, New York State is also encouraging residents to enjoy and take both pride and ownership of the local parks through its “I Love My Park Day” scheduled for Saturday, May 4th. The event is organized by Parks & Trails New York in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and local Friends groups, to celebrate and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs. This annual event attracts thousands of volunteers to participate in cleanups, improvement, and beautification events at park and historic sites throughout the state. Last year over 8,000 volunteers took part in more than 250 projects at 125 state parks, historic sites and public lands. This year the number of participation parks has grown to over 135 including twenty-one on Long Island. To find “I Love My Park” events and sign-up, please visit: https://www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day/find-event.
And while May is only 31 days long, the experiences local parks provide to residents last a lifetime. This is why Suffolk County and Legislator Hahn are once again challenging children to be become “Parks Explorers” this spring, and collect badges, by traveling to each of 24 local parks contained in a passport booklet that Legislator Hahn’s office began issuing two summers ago. At each park, the participant is tasked with finding a hidden sign and checking-in by either scanning a QR code or entering the web address listed on the sign which then loads a printable logo page that the child cuts and pastes into his or her passport. The program was created by Legislator Hahn to encourage children not only to discover all that our parks have to offer, but also to get them outside and active. Parks Passport booklets are available from Legislator Hahn’s office or by calling (631) 854-1650.
For Legislator Hahn, “there is so much to explore and natural beauty to see within our parks,” so let’s not waste a moment longer and get out there and explore.