This March, along with 15 other students, I participated in Adelphi’s first Green and Local Alternative Spring Break. The small group encompassed students from a variety of majors, including social work, anthropology and computer science. While we didn’t get to wear shorts or flip flops, our vacation did include a trip to the beach where we helped build a fence for the Piping Plover, a native bird that begins nesting on New York’s Fire Island in the spring.
During a hike at the grounds of Seatuck Environmental Association, we saw the South Shore marshes and learned why they are one of the most important and vastly underappreciated ecosystems on Long Island. Located on an estate in Islip, New York, dating back to the early 20th century, Seatuck is a non-for-profit dedicated to wildlife and environmental conservation.
Other destinations included the American Museum of Natural History, where we visited The Butterfly Conservatory, and The New York Botanical Garden, where we saw the beautiful orchids, including those that produce vanilla beans, at the garden’s annual Orchid Show.
In Malverne, New York, just a few minutes from Adelphi, we volunteered at Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s, a five-acre certified organic vegetable farm. The farm also has chickens, ducks, goats and bunnies. A farm stand is open on the weekends and, beginning this June, the site will host a weekly farmer’s market. At Hunt’s Point Produce Market in the Bronx, we got a tour of the largest produce market in the world and learned about how it operates.
Camille Pajor ’10, Chapman residence hall director, who led the program, said she was inspired by the participants’ “tangible love and respect for the environment.”
While each of us had a favorite day or experience, our sense of community was strong. We all participated in a meaningful spring break that heightened our interest and investment in environmental sustainability.