Fire Island's Special Programs for March 2012 celebrate history, welcome spring
Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759
Fire Island National Seashore is offering a variety of special programs this March to help people enjoy America's Great Outdoors. From the Fire Island Lighthouse to the Fire Island Wilderness and the William Floyd Estate, people of all ages can experience the arrival of spring, learn more about local history, or just get outside for a stroll during one of the ranger- or volunteer-guided tours this month.
The Light Keepers Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the Fire Island Lighthouse on Saturday, March 10, provides a bottom-to-top glimpse into the maintenance and operation of the historic light station from the 1860s to present. The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society charges a program fee for this tour, which helps this nonprofit group support the operation of the lighthouse and its museum. Reservations are required (631-661-4876).
During a special Junior Ranger Night Explorer program at the Fire Island Lighthouse on Saturday evening, March 10, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., children ages 8 - 12 can use telescopes and complete activities to explore the night sky, learning about the moon, solar system and star constellations. This program is free, but reservations are required. Call 631-281-3010 for more information about this workshop.
Celebrate National Women's History Month by joining the Cultural Landscape Walking Tour at the William Floyd Estate on Sunday, March 11, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. (Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time begins that day!) Many of the historic trees and cultural landscape plantings we enjoy on the grounds of the 613-acre estate today were planted or tended to by Floyd family women more than 150 years ago. The large European linden tree or basswood (Tilia sp.) that now towers beside the Old Mastic House is believed to have been planted by William Floyd's granddaughter Catherine by 1850. Other Floyd family women have left their legacies through their gardening, painting and writing.
This month's Lighthouse Lecture Series inside the new Fire Island Lighthouse Fresnel Lens Building includes a presentation and book signing by Jack Whitehouse, author of 13 Legends of Fire Island and Fire Island Heroes, on Sunday, March 11, at 2:00 p.m. The second lecture this month is a presentation on Sunday, March 25, "A Master Mariner Remembers Pre-GPS Navigation," also at 2:00 p.m., by retired ship captain Harold Stumme who recounts his experiences of passing the lighthouse by sea.
Also during the month of March, sunrise and sunset tower tours are offered at the Fire Island Lighthouse. The Early Morning Lighthouse Tower Tour will be held at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 17 ($25/person includes a light breakfast), and the Vernal Equinox Evening Lighthouse Tower Tour will be held at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 ($20/person). The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society is taking reservations for both of these programs at 631-661-4876.
A Vernal Equinox Wilderness Sunset Walk meets at the Fire Island Wilderness Visitor Center at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. On Sunday, March 25, an Early Spring Wilderness Bird Walk starts at 9:00 a.m. Both programs start at the Wilderness Visitor Center and are excellent ways to study nature, and to learn more about the value of the federally designated Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness in Fire Island National Seashore.
A Volunteer Recruitment Day program is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal multipurpose room, located at 150 West Avenue in the Village of Patchogue.