Governor Hochul announces the opening of an Environmental Education and Resilience Center at Hempstead Lake State Park


The facility advances understanding of the impacts of climate change.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the opening of an $ 8.3 million Environmental Education and Resilience Center at Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County. The 8,000 square foot center offers hands-on learning on the topics of storm resilience and environmental management; provides space for community outreach; and serves as an emergency coordination center during disaster response. The center is part of a $ 35 million park-wide project to reduce flood risk, improve water quality and improve access to recreation along the River Corridor. Mill River as part of Rebuild by Design — Living with the Bay, funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Hempstead Environmental Education and Resiliency Center is an example of New York State’s innovative work to protect the environment in this era of climate change and expand access to healthy outdoor recreation,” said the governor Hochul. “The people of Long Island know firsthand how the devastating effects of extreme weather conditions impact our communities. This center will provide visitors with the knowledge they need to join the fight against climate change, protect our environment for future generations, and encourage people to get out and enjoy this beautiful park. “

Each year during Climate Week, New York State raises awareness of the impacts of climate change in collaboration with local, national and international partners. Climate Week offers the State the opportunity to continue its leadership in actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of infrastructure to extreme weather conditions.

The Environmental Education and Resilience Center is located near the western entrance to Hempstead Lake State Park, close to Lakeview and the Village of Hempstead, two historically underserved and ethnically diverse communities. The center will serve as a focal point for the park’s improved waterfront connections, as well as direct access to the lake and ponds with kayak ramps and fishing docks. The center features exhibits and information explaining the impacts of climate change, community resilience processes and environmental stewardship, and includes a terrace overlooking Lake Hempstead. Additional education programs throughout the year will improve the community’s understanding and relationship with the Mill River watershed.

The Center includes a community space for environmental education, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and community organizations. The Nassau County Law Enforcement Exploration Program, run by the Nassau County Police Department, plans to use the center to educate the local community, tackle gang violence by positively engaging them. youth through mentorship and education.

The facility can also serve as a storm response “command post” for local coordination of disaster response for first responders, as well as an area where utility companies coordinate the setup. equipment, improving their emergency response to restore critical utilities.

The Center was built to reduce environmental impacts with the following key features:

  • High performance building envelope and HVAC system.
  • Photovoltaic roof panels, LED lighting with occupancy detection and daylight recovery to compensate for electricity consumption.
  • High efficiency plumbing fixtures, little or no water. Window and door glazing suitable for birds.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The center will provide insightful education on our changing climate and help visitors be active, stewards of the environment, while serving as a gateway for the community to explore. the park. I am extremely grateful to Governor Hochul and all of our partners for helping to bring a much needed modern educational facility to the community. “

RuthAnne Visnauskas, New York State Commissioner for Homes and Community Renewal, said: “As we fight the effects of climate change, the deeper our knowledge of the challenges we face, the better we can. raise in a safe, reasonable and efficient manner. million euros Living with the Bay, the state-of-the-art center for environmental education and resilience, is an important investment in disaster response, but also an investment in promoting personal resilience, safety and awareness.Governor Hochul and our partners in states and local government has once again demonstrated that as we strengthen our physical infrastructure to keep communities like Hempstead safe, we can also focus on improving the quality of people’s lives. “

The deputy executive director of the governor’s office for storm recovery for housing, buyouts and acquisitions, Paul Lozito, said :, and all of Nassau County. We look forward to continuing our partnership with New York State Parks as we work together to enhance this vital community resource for years to come and implement Living with the Bay’s goals of improving the resilience, environment and community. “

The project is part of the Governor’s Office’s $ 125 million Living with the Bay initiative for storm recovery aimed at increasing the resilience of communities along the Mill River and around the South Shore bays by mitigating storms. storm surge damage; stormwater management to mitigate damage from running rains; improvement of habitat and water quality; and increasing access to the Mill River through increased educational and recreational opportunities. Other improvements currently underway at Lake Hempstead Park include: upgrading Long Island’s only high-risk dam, the Lake Hempstead Dam; repair of the Northwest Pond spillway; installing floating sensors in northern ponds to manage floating debris and waste entering the system from surrounding heavily urbanized areas; installing stormwater and water quality improvements in northern ponds; habitat restoration; the development of Greenway trails with pedestrian bridges to improve public access to the water’s edge; improving the network of trails through the park for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Tennis court complex improvements

The opening of the Center coincides with the completion of a multi-phased project to renovate and modernize the park’s tennis court complex. The $ 1 million project rebuilt deteriorated clay and all-season asphalt tennis courts, created six new pickle ball courts, renovated basketball courts and redeveloped halls. bath.

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