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Brookhaven Town : Save the Ecology Center
  • Petitioned Town of Brookhaven NY

This petition was delivered to:

Town of Brookhaven NY
Acting Supervisor Kathleen Walsh

Brookhaven Town : Save the Ecology Center

    1. Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
    2. Petition by

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz

      Holtsville, NY

"This facility, unlike any other in the Town provides something for all ages and abilities, and is a treasure that should not be discarded." The not-for-profit provides both food and veterinary care for all the rescue animals at the site. A great deal of time and energy is spent caring for the over 100 animals who live at the Holtsville center, and we are gravely concerned as to what will happen to these animals we care so much about if this irresponsible decision is left unchanged. 

Some of the amenities at the Holtsville Park include: a triple pool complex; exercise-trail fitness course; nature preserve and ecology center, featuring animals, ecology exhibits and tours, free compost, greenhouses, and a picnic area. These valuable amenities will all be closed!

Most people are unaware that tax money does not pay for the animal care. The money for the veterinary care and the feed for the animals is solely supported by the program. 


Recent signatures


    1. Brookhaven Residents, Ecology Center Supporters Applaud Budget Resolution

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      It was a long night, at times contentious, but smiles were all around as the Town of Brookhaven voted to adopt Resolution 193, a measure that combines the Division of Traffic Safety with the Highway Department and frees up general funds to keep the Holtsville Ecology Center open.

    2. Reached 20,000 signatures
    3. Brookhaven Wildlife Center Focuses New Energy On Tonight's Board Meeting

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      We wish we had just good news to share, but we just received an unsettling update from Town Hall. Acting Supervisor/Councilwoman Kathy Walsh put a resolution forward today that included putting the ecology site back in the budget. Thank you Kathy Walsh. Unfortunately, because the resolution included a host of other items to be returned to the budget and a tax increase to pay for it, we are being told it does not have support to pass.

    4. Reached 17,500 signatures
    5. Wildlife Organization Plans Rally To Fight Ecology Center Closing

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      Amid Brookhaven Town's proposed budget plan to shutter the Holtsville Ecology Park and Zoo, the Brookhaven Wildlife Center has organized a rally to keep the site open.
      Billed as the "Rally to Save the Ecology Site," the gathering will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30 at noon at the ecology site near the playground.

      "The support the community has given so far has been tremendous, and the turnout at this rally will be crucial in continuing our efforts to keep the site open. We ask that everyone wear blue to show our solidarity," the nonprofit organization stated in its invitation.

      Wildlife Center board members and community leaders are slated to speak at the event. Although invited, elected officials will not be taking the podium. Organizers are asking everyone that plans to attend to wear blue to show support.


    6. John H. Rouse Wants The Ecology Site to Remain Open

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      “As Superintendent of Highways, I will work tirelessly to lobby the Town Board to find ways to save this beloved site. It is truly the crown jewel of all our Brookhaven facilities and is not only reflective of our past but represents the promise of our future” said Superintendent Rouse.

    7. Superintendent of Highways John H. Rouse Statement of Support

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      Superintendent of Highways John H. Rouse
      Statement on the proposed Closing of the Holtsville Ecology Site

      On September 13, 2012 in his last act as Supervisor, Mark Lesko presented his proposed 2013 budget, which included the proposed closing of the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center. Dismissing all input from Highway Department officials who oversee the site, the former supervisor and his staff developed the proposed budget claiming a savings of over one million dollars a year by closing this facility; in fact, the savings to the taxpayer will be less than $140,000.00 per year.

      The Holtsville Ecology Center provides a home to animals that are injured or can no longer survive in the wild; it includes greenhouses where all the flowers planted along the roadways by local civic organizations are grown and offers athletic trails used by residents seeking to exercise and stay healthy. It is a unique place that provides sanctuary to residents and animals alike.


      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer


      SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th, 12 - 3

      Brookhaven Wildlife Center, Inc. would like you to join us in rallying to save the Holtsville Ecology Site on Sunday, September 30th from 12 - 3 at the ecology site near the playground.

      The support the community has given so far has been tremendous, and the turnout at this rally will be crucial in continuing our efforts to keep the site open. We ask that everyone wear blue to show our solidarity.

      Speakers will be limited to Wildlife board members and community leaders. Elected officials have not been invited to speak, but they are more than welcome to show up in a blue shirt and support our cause!!

      We hope to see you all there!!

    9. Reached 15,000 signatures
    10. T-Shirt Fundraiser

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      For anyone that missed us today, we will be at the site again tomorrow 9-3, t-shirts, golf shirts still available to show your support at the board meetings. Youth sizes m, l, xl,
      adult t-shirts s, m, l, xl, 2x, golf shirts s, m, l, xl, 2x.
      Golf shirts $20, t-shirts $15.
      ALL proceeds go directly to the fund for the animals feed and veterinary care. Hope to see you there ! Thanks for all the support.

    11. Residents Protest Proposed Budget Cuts Before Brookhaven Town Board

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      Residents and Brookhaven Town employees protested several possible budget cuts during Thursday's Brookhaven Town Board meeting.

      The tentative 2013 budget, which includes closing down the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center, discontinuing some services in the youth bureau and adult day care, is currently set to automatically be approved on Nov. 20 unless the Town Board amends it.

      The next Brookhaven Town board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

      A budget hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.

    12. Brian Beedenbender -"I will make every attempt to keep the facility open."

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      Last night, I met with the board of the not-for-profit organization that raises money for the ecology site. In the coming weeks, I will be working with them to identify strategies to ensure the future of the ecology site. If elected, I will do whatever I can to ensure the future of the ecology site and protect our taxpayers.

      If elected, I will make every attempt to keep the facility open. I will take nothing off the table and consider every suggestion that might help the facility remain open.

      If I am not elected, I still pledge my assistance to the not-for-profit board as they attempt to keep the facility open."


    13. Statement from Brian Beedenbender on the Holtsville Ecology Site:

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      "The proposed closing of the Town of Brookhaven Holtsville Ecology Site would mean the end of a cherished asset for thousands of Brookhaven residents. Countless schoolchildren visit the facility each year, and thousands more make the trip with their parents. It is the home to great memories for many Brookhaven families.
      The fiscal times facing the country, the state, the county, and the Town of Brookhaven have forced government to make very difficult choices. The prolonged economic downturn has eroded rainy day funds and created unprecedented challenges for the Town.
      Despite these difficulties, I believe that the Holtsville Ecology Site is a tremendous asset to the Town of Brookhaven.


    14. "Ed is committed to saving the ecology center"

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      A moderator for the "Ed Romaine for Town Supervisor" Facebook page, made a reply comment stating "Ed is committed to saving the ecology center"


    15. Wildlife Center holds its monthly meeting last night

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      We want to thank both Brian Beedenbender and Ed Romaine for taking the time to sit and share their views with us. Both candidates agreed to issue statements to us that we can post on our site, so all of our supporters can see where they stand on this issue. We hope to have those statements posted by the end of the weekend.

      It is important to clear up some of the misinformation that has been put out there by town hall. They claim that closing the ecology site will save $900,000. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Town Highway employees just had a new contract ratified last week. The workers agreed to concessions that will save the town $1.8 million dollars next year alone. There is a no layoff clause in that contract. Town hall cannot claim savings on labor costs they legally cannot cut. The real amount they would "save" is closer to $200,000. We ask that Town hall be honest and stick to the facts.

    16. The Brookhaven Wildlife Center Thanks You

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      "First and foremost, thank you to all those who attended last night's Town Board meeting. Your voice and your presence there sent a clear message - LEAVE THE HOLTSVILLE ECOLOGY SITE OPEN!!!!
      All of the calls and e-mails to town hall have been having a tremendous effect. The huge numbers of people "liking" the Facebook pages out there are sending a message. KEEP IT UP!! Continue to send e-mails and continue to call. WE CANNOT LET UP UNTIL WE HAVE A BUDGET AMENDMENT THAT CALLS FOR THE FULL FUNDING OF THE ECOLOGY SITE."

    17. Residents fighting to keep Holtsville Ecology Center open

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      (09/20/12) FARMINGVILLE - Residents are expected to pack Brookhaven Town Hall tonight to try and stop the planned closure of the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center.

      The center is slated to close under the Town of Brookhaven's planned budget cuts. It's estimated the closure would save the town about $900,000 a year.

      Residents say they do not want to see the facility that has been open for three decades close.

      Many say they would be willing to see an admission fee charged to make up for the cost instead of just closing the facility.


    18. Reached 12,500 signatures
    19. Proposed Holtsville Ecology Site Closure Details

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      The proposed details regarding a possible closure of the Holtsville Ecology Center are posted on Brookhaven Town's website as part of the 2013 Tentative Budget.
      -Closure of the complex includes the swimming pool, the zoo, the ecology center the greenhouse and Safety Town.
      -The Town reports that the complex was heavily used by non-Town residents, resulting in local taxpayer money subsidizing that use.
      -The Town recommends immediately planning for the safe transfer of the animals at the zoo with a budget of $50,000.
      -The Town recommends attempting to sell the complex or issuing a request for proposals for an alternate private use for the site.
      -Other proposed cuts, which are listed under "Discontinuation or Modification of Certain Non-Core Services," include the discontinuation of the adult day care program, the respite program, the Women's, Veteran's and Mobility Services, and many other program.


    20. Talk Back: Closing of Ecology Center Prompts Protest

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      Brookhaven Town's move to close the popular park isn't sitting well with residents.

      In a budget cutting move Brookhaven Town officials are seriously considering shuttering the very popular Holtsville Ecology Park which has long been a fun and free place to bring kids to see animals and how good ecology efforts can pay off.

      The proposal isn't sitting well with town and local residents with readers expressing their dismay and anger on Sayville-Bayport's Facebook page. Some residents have even started a change.org online petition protest.

      As Kerri Miller Ahern notes in her feedback the facility "unlike any other in the town provides something for all ages and abilities and is a treasure that should not be discarded."


    21. Reached 10,000 signatures
    22. Town Board Meeting 9/20/2012

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      We will not allow Holtsville Ecology Site to be closed down as per the 2013 budget proposal!

      Town Board meeting this Thursday, Septemeber 20th.

      The meeting begins at 5:00pm and will be located at;
      One Independence Hill
      Farmingville, NY 11738

      Additionally, there is a hearing on November 8th...more information to come!!! We need all the votes we can get to prevent this proposal from being passed. Thank you all for your support!!!

    23. Reached 7,000 signatures
    24. Residents Fuming Over Possible Closure of Holtsville Ecology Site

      Jennie Eckhaus-Katz
      Petition Organizer

      A grassroots movement from Sachem-area residents in protest of Brookhaven Town's possible decision to close the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center has gone viral with the help of Facebook and an online petition.

      Last Friday concerned residents launched the Facebook page entitled: "Save the Holtsville Wildlife & Ecology Center," and began posting news, developments, and links for visitors to contact elected officials on the Town Board.

      To date, in three days time, the page has gone from three likes, to 4,367, with residents from all over splashing the page with comments and questions.

      The full article link is below-



    Reasons for signing

    • Samee Rafiuddin FARMINGVILLE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      This is a unique place that offers SO much to so many families! My family has been visiting the site since we were very little and still continue to bring our friends and families. It is a shame to even consider closing such a valuable commodity of our neighborhood!! Please reconsider and divert your attention elsewhere (where funds should be accounted for properly).

    • David Tirado SELDEN, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      We need to keep these parks. That is what makes the island special.

    • chridtine dosvher PATCHOGUE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      It's a place to wind down enjoy the animals take a walk, see the seasons naturally.

    • Edward Markey FARMINGVILLE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      As a kid, my grandmother and mother would take me there to the petting zoo and to bike ride around the track. As a high school student at Sachem High School, I would go there to frequently exercise for sports and to stay fit to join the Navy. Now my nephews go there with their parents to the petting zoo and to ride their bikes around the track. It would be a shame to see the ecology center closed down.

    • patrick malkmes PORT JEFFERSON STATION, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      My Grandfather built that place


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