Talk Back: What Do You Like About the Holtsville Ecology Site?

Several residents have already been commenting that they would be upset regarding a possible closing of the Holtsville park.

A possible decision to close the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center has quickly led some residents to protest the possibility.

What do you like about the park? Have you visited it recently? Below are a few comments from the Patchogue Patch Facebook Page and the Medford, NY Patch Facebook Page, add your own thoughts below them in the comments section below.

Jennifer Vanderweyde This saddens me because we go to this park often as a family. We have since my daughter was 1 and now she is 14 and we still visit from time to time. It's a great place to visit with little kids.

Elena Napolitano Feldman I took all 3 of my daughters there when they were young, now I take my grandaughter there...makes me sad to see what things are coming to..and what about all those poor animals?..what becomes of them?

Darlene Patricia Giarraputo Mercurio Oh, please don't close the park, my grandkids love it there. I would be willing to pay more taxes to keep it open...

Scott Stratton They should charge a fee or sell a parking pass !! And other town residents should have to pay also and pay more just like if we went to use another town facility I have to pay the fee for not being a resident !!

Melanie Kern-Favilla The budget says they have secured $50K to move the animals. Take the $50K and pay someone to collect fees from non-residents, since the report also says that non-residents use the park more than residents. Seems pretty straight-foward to me.

Robert Dono September 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Its a great park for the kids
Christina Bernstein September 19, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It's a huge part of my family's life. I went as a child with my family, and I now take my children. It's something that can be done on a whim and a meager budget. Something this island lacks now a days.
john isernia September 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
the park employee's do a tremendous job keeping the park clean and beautiful. everyday you can see the girls attending the beautiful flowers.there are many areas in the park where you can sit and relax which is great for senior citizens ...this place is a place for people of all age's..
Laura P September 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM
The site is our go-to place when looking for something to do. The walking trails, park, and of course, the animals make it a great place to spend time. When I was a kid I used the park, and the pool and have made some great memories with my daughters there too.... In these difficult economic times it is vital to the community to have a place for families to spend time together!!
Sherri Schoenemann September 19, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I've been visiting the park since I can remember. So many great memories there, camping with my grandparents, going on school trips, jumping off the high dive. Now I take my daughter there, she loves the animals and the park. This place holds a piece of my heart, it just cannot close. There must be a resolution!
Sybil Kenney September 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
There are countless reasons for this place to remain open. With recent news of obesity on the rise and all of the opportunity for all ages to spend a day being active, why would the town do this to our community? My experiences at the site started over 20 years ago. I used to work for the Town of Brookhaven Regeneration program and we would bring the kids to the pool and park weekly. Never did they tire of the routine. Never did they complain. Those weekly trips were the highlight of the Summer. We all had a blast. Fast forward to now and my children love the site, as well as my other family members. We could go everyday time permitting and every time we go our experience is a bit different but never a negative. I must say though I'm always saddened, when standing there feeding the goats with my children, by how many people walk in and out and do not put a single cent in the donation box. Just because there isn't a mandatory charge, doesn't mean you shouldn't contribute something. Even if it is just some pocket change. It will be a sad day for the community if the park closes. Recreation on Long Island needs to stay alive. It brings so much more than just fun for local families, people come from all over the globe to enjoy LI life.
lauren bochicchio September 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I wonder how many of the people who love this place actually donate money when they go... The donation box is always empty, even when the park is packed! "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til its gone... Pave paradise, put up a parking lot"
michael herbst September 19, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I Have been going since i was a child, i still look at my hand for the pool stamp, the location is a untapped gold minded its a hidden jewel, the location needs our protection, they say common sense prevails, so why not charge those that are from out of town and out of state, there already unused toll booths there.
Dawn Martins September 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Its possibly the best place on Long Island...the walking track, the beautiful playground, the RESUCED animals, not to mention the gazillion chances a kid has to learn very important lessons...horticulture, recycling, animal rescue....
Jeanette H September 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I love the peaceful feeling that I get every time I walk through the petting zoo. And the flowers in the hot house are wonderful too. I've been comming here every year since you opened and will miss the park if you close it.
jennifer stallone September 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I love this ecology site. I love how I can bring my daughter to this site and have an open dialogue about conservation and the importance of respecting animals in the wild. Several weekends a year, a trip to the ecology site provides our family with a fun, enriching and inexpensive outing. My daughter gets some fresh air, a chance to feed the goats, time on the playground and some ice cream to finish out the trip. This park gives many people the opportunity to visit with animals they wouldn't ordinarily see on Long Island and it gives a deeper perspective on nature and our environment. To think of such a wonderful and happy place being closed because of money is heartbreaking.
Jeanette H September 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Lauren, I've always put what ever I could afford to at the time in the donation box. No matter if it was my last dollar or a twenty, this is a very calming place for me. Hope that you can afford to throw a few coins in the box too, but if you can't it's okay that box will be there the next time you go :)
Danielle Laurenti September 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I love this park and have loved it ever since I was a kid. I love the animals that are there that have been rescued, please don't close this park.
dcmmk593 September 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I totally agree with the idea to charge a fee to enter the park or sell a park pass - do what they did down in Patchogue to park down by the ferries, etc. - it's better than closing the park! We always took my daughter there as a young child and she still goes there occasionally in the summer with friends (and she's 18).
Veronica Mejia September 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM
My husband and three kids go to this park a couple of times a year. The kids enjoy watching the animals there. It will be a shame if this park closes down. Totally agree with the comments of other people about charging a fee to get in, and an additional fee for non-residents
Ecologyeconomy September 20, 2012 at 01:16 AM
This place is the heart and soul of my community. It is a timeless and nostalgic place that every person young and old can enjoy! It is a detrimental part of our future as the importance and popularity of "green living" rises, and a vital tool in a sustainable long island. Aside from the simple and obvious solutions suggested above, like small parking fees for non Brookhaven residents -who apparently are already responsible for it's current successes- I truly believe the ES has not reached its peak and holds the most special potential to get creative with the sort of programs and events it can host! The possibilities are endless for this site and property AS the ecology center and in its future success, can deliver more JOBS AND BETTER EDUCATION FOR LONG ISLANDERS. If it's closed we as Holtsville neighbors, Brookhaven residents, and Long-Islanders alike will sadly never see the great future opportunities it will continue to offer to our community. Please keep our park OPEN .
L_b.berg September 20, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I have visited this park since I was a child. Now as an adult I visit the park weekly for walks and visits with the animals. It is comforting to know that in this day and age I am able to do this. Upon hearing the news that the site may be closing I was both saddened and angered. Sad to know that this park could be shut and myself and others would no longer have the joy of visiting. Angered due to the ease it seems that politicians have to shut down community parks and recreation sites. I find it refreshing that myself and others are voicing our frustrations with the possible closing and won't let this happen without a fight. Save the site. Save the animals. Save the memories.
betsy smith September 20, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Easy enought to supply a $5 seasonal car sticker for Brookhaven residents, or a 50¢ hand stamp for day visitors. It's too valuable a resource for the community to lose.
skcosytrid September 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I have spent my entire summer there with my 2 yr old son! We love going several times a week. It saddens me that when my next son is born in a few days that there is a great possibility I will not be able to take him to learn, also. Too many people lose the beauty of simple pleasures when they get lost in the technology of today- this place has given my family & I so many fun memories & we have learned so much. The staff is always friendly & do a tremendous job keeping the place clean & beautiful. I have paid to get into zoos that don't keep the animals & park as nice as the Ecology Center! The closing of this place would be detrimental to my whole family.
Eric Bodon September 20, 2012 at 04:41 AM
The track is vital for runners and people in general. Athletes that want to train and families that want to spend quality time with their children in an outside environment – rather than the consistent household activities. When that’s completed you can see the animals at the zoo – that are usually rescued animals and grab an ice cream as well. Then there’s always the pool for fun in the sun – and picnic time with friends and family. If we lose the Holtsville Ecology center - it will only promote child obesity and will damage the community significantly.
Christy Pehanic September 20, 2012 at 05:04 AM
The park is a clean and safe place to spend time with your family outdoors. It's a great place to go to get away from the television and computer and teach your children about animals and nature they can actually touch. It's also a great place to go for walks and teach children about staying active and healthy. The closure of the park would take away all of these things and take away the homes of the animals that live there.
Christopher September 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM
The Holtsville Park and Zoo is the best thing Holtsville has to offer. Possibly Suffolk County's best kept secret. The Zoo is clean and the animals are always well kept (puts LI Game Farm to shame). When the kids were younger we would take them to the park for an afternoon of fun. We still visit the park weekly with our bikes and to walk the trail. Shameful that these quality of life issues are put on the chopping block. I just drove to work today up Wireless Avenue between Nichols and Nesconset Hwy. Last year the town put a center island on Wireless (for what reason I do not know). This week there have been workers mowing the center island and sides of the street. ALL WEEK. Did I say THREE DAYS of mowing the lawn so far this week on one road. This is one example of wasting money. This center island does NOTHING for quality of life or safety. It looks horrible. It was not landscaped (unless you count the weeds that grew), and now it needs maintenance. I would like to know who in Setauket knew somebody in Town Hall that wanted this pile of garbage. This is just ONE example of nonsense spending. And now they want to close the Holtsville Park. GET YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER BROOKHAVEN.
margaret September 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I loved the bee exhibit. Please keep this place. Patchogue has so few places for children!
madeline gallo September 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Lynn September 20, 2012 at 03:39 PM
My grandsons go there alot and it is important for children to have someplace like this to go where they can see the animals locally!
Scotty September 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@lauren--it has zero to do with donating into the donation boxes. We support the site with our tax dollars. Trying to save some money (which will evaporate overnight)by closing this very needed and wanted site (how many places ARE there on Long Island to have fun anyway?) is an exercise in absolute stupidity. The idea should be shelved immediately and taken off the table. A dumb idea from the second it was thought up. All it takes is for Lesko to say: "No--the people of Brookhaven want and need this place where so many love and enjoy spending time. Let's move on and find other ways to cut costs". There--isn't that easy? WHY are we allowing this current Board to MAKE this kind of decision in the first place? They weren't elected to destroy our way of life. The park shouldn't be on the chopping block in the first place. DUMB, dumb, dumb idea!!
mary m. fox September 20, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I love the Ecology Site and have many fond memories of times spent there with my daughter, nieces, and granddaughters. I tiis always a request and favorite with relatives visiting. If money is a problem charge residents$5 for a seasonal pass and out- of- towners $5 to park each visit. This way children can swim, see the animals and appreciate nature and ecology. This Siste is a treasure- do not be "a pound foolish- to save pennies"!! mary fox, now in MA
kevin leahy September 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Kevin Leahy I run the track take the kids to ride their bikes see the animals swim have picinics we've been to various parties simply put it's a big part of alot of our lives and this should never happen because of some politician thats resigned and won't be held accountable
Patchogue September 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I am so upset words can't describe it. Our family goes to the zoo, goes to the pool and walks on the track. My kids love it. Is this for real?
JILL LONG September 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM
The Holtsville zoo, park and pool add so much to the community. People complain about our society being over weight, if they close the park, it will leave families who take their children to the park out of a place to take them. CHARGE A FEE OF $5.00 TO ENTER THE PARK, EVERYONE WOULD PAY THE FEE AND YOU CAN USE THE FEE FOR ALL THINGS REQUIRED!!!!


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