1,500 square-foot center includes laboratory, classrooms and state-of-the-art research facilities
Teatown Preserve, a leader in local environmental education, has reached another milestone with the opening of a new Environmental Science Center on the 1,000-plus- acre preserve in the lower Hudson Valley.
The new center will provide state of the art facilities for environmental education programs that serve more than 20,000 people a year, including its award-winning Teatown Environmental Science Academy (TESA). In partnership with schools and universities, natural science day camps and programs for under-resourced communities, Teatown has served as a living laboratory for the scientific research.
The $500,000 renovation includes fully-equipped laboratory, classroom space and videoconferencing, smartboard technology and offices for interns, guest lecturers and researchers.
“Teatown Preserve has long been a place of scientific research. It was the site of Westchester County’s first natural science summer camp, and the county’s first community supported agriculture program,” said Teatown Executive Director Kevin Carter at a May 15 ribbon cutting ceremony for the new center. “Our 1,000 acres of diverse habitat make us an ideal living laboratory. All our programs have always emphasized hands-on, experiential learning so it followed that our science programs would as well. We are proud to be able to unveil this newly renovated center with improved facilities. We thank all our donors and partners who have made today possible.”
The center is home to the Teatown Environmental Science Academy, an award-winning environmental research program founded in 2012 for high school sophomores and juniors from around Westchester studying invasive plants and animals, watershed pollutants, pollinators and other wildlife.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “One of the most important parts of Teatown’s mission is to provide recreational opportunities for visitors to explore, study and interact with nature. The new Science Center will broaden the scope of environmental programs available to our local schools and universities, summer camps and visiting families, allowing visitors to escape to a world that might seem far away, while staying in our own backyard. I thank all of our community partners who helped to create this new facility.”
Pace University has had a long partnership with Teatown which was formalized in 2015. Classes at TESA are taught by Pace University Clinical Associate Professor Michael Rubbo and Teatown and Pace University have co-hosted field courses and public forums on sustainability working with more than 20 Pace interns in Environmental Science and Studies, Environmental Policy and Media Arts. A new internship program with Pace Law School will help Teatown to become an accredited land trust.
Pace University President Marvin Krislov said he valued the partnership and appreciated the important resource Teatown has provided for Pace students and faculty.
“At Pace University we give our students a hands-on, real-world education that’s grounded in liberal arts,” said Krislov. “Teatown Preserve has been an invaluable partner for our Environmental Studies and Science program and our Elizabeth Haub School of Law, home to the top-ranked environmental law program in the country. We’re excited about this new environmental science center and many more years of educating environmental conservationists together.”
For over half a century, Teatown has protected open space for public use and enjoyment. The 15 miles of trails it manages make it the largest Community Supported Nature Preserve in Westchester County.