A member-supported, nonprofit organization, the Seatuck Environmental Association works to promote the conservation of Long Island's natural environment through research and educational programs. Members regularly gather with field experts on its 70-acre marshland preserve for scheduled hikes, photography classes, and meditation sessions. The trails and boardwalks that wind through the salt marshes and upland forests also lead to the Suffolk County Environmental Center, housed in a 1917 Normandy-style chateau. Members may tour the historic mansion while admiring features such as arched doorways and diamond-cut windows that allow sunlight to filter into the garret and onto the place where its original steam-powered Nintendo would have stood. The Seatuck Environmental Association also hosts regular fundraising events such as the End of Summer Barbecue and the Bats-N-Brews fundraiser, as well as an array of educational programs for all ages.
The Priceless Parrot Preserve sounds like a jungle. The calls and conversations of more than 100 birds from 29 species form a symphony that strengthens social bonds. Well-behaved members of the flock greet visitors and play with toys hanging from the ceiling, whereas animals with behavioral issues—often the products of abuse or neglect—hang back, working with volunteers and founders Gene and Marietta Avery to grow and recover. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Gene provides medical care to the often malnourished birds and ensures that they receive a rich diet of nuts and fruit.
Gene and Marietta Avery founded The Priceless Parrot Preserve to care for neglected and abandoned exotic birds. Their goal is twofold: to educate the public about the birds both as pets and wild creatures, and to give a permanent home to mistreated and unwanted birds. The couple originally adopted the birds out of their own pockets, but formed their own preserve when confronted with the sheer number of birds in need. Today, they specialize in taking in larger birds such as macaws and cockatoos that demand more attention and other birds that might be considered unadoptable.
No matter the class, Twisters Gymnastics Center's instructors always make sure to pack their lessons with a hearty dose of encouragement. They inspire students of all ages and skill levels in a 6,200-square-foot gymnasium outfitted with an array of tumbling and gymnastics equipment, from balance beams and pommel horses to colorful tumbling obstacles and a foam pit. Their introductory Mommy & Me and Mini-Gym classes help kiddies build strength and develop muscle control, and their more advanced sessions, including competitive gymnastics, nurture students' desires to test their skills against others. Each child's safety is equally important as their physical development; every instructor is certified in basic first aid and CPR, is USGF-safety certified, and is proficient in scaring away grizzly bears with nothing but a glare.
For more than 25 years, Drama Kids International has nurtured thousands of thespian students and kids simply searching for an engaging activity, instilling children with the ability to speak clearly and confidently. Classes focus on sharpening articulated speech and encouraging creative expression. Children are placed in classes according to their age group: the Lower Primary (ages 5–8) teaches kids how to deliver lines and hone social skills, the Upper Primary (ages 9–11) delves into improvisation and dramatic movement, and the DKI Acting Academy (ages 12–17) preps scene-stealers on how to audition for their dream role. Each class includes a variety of activities for kids to unleash their imagination, which develops their dramatic abilities in a fun, easy-going setting. Drama Kids instructors foster an open, comfortable acting environment. Call ahead to schedule the first class and start your child down the path of becoming one of the more notable Baldwin brothers.
Dr. Henry Viscardi Jr. was born with shortened limbs. Not one to let his challenges define him, though, he worked to achieve his doctorate and went on to serve as the disability adviser to eight US presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Believing in children's ability to achieve greatness despite any obstacle, he founded The Viscardi Center in 1952. For the last half-century, the center has worked to educate and empower people with disabilities by providing education from prekindergarten to high school, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, and career counseling through a network of organizations.
A member of this network, the Henry Viscardi School was founded in 1962 and today teaches 180 children who have severe physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These students learn in small groups of up to nine and study all of the state-mandated subjects, including science and math. The school maintains a host of medical supports, including communication devices, and the help of nurses and social workers, to ensure the children's safety, and it offers extended educational training in the form of postgraduate skills and summer instruction.
Cedarbrook Country Club incorporates the rustic beauty of the New York countryside with a 6,658-yard golf course lined with mature trees and vibrant landscape features. Each fairway bottlenecks through groves of timbers, requiring golfers to exhibit accuracy off the tee and keep claustrophobic golf carts from fleeing to the open driving range. Slow-starting swings can work their kinks out early in the round, as an errant shot on the first hole—a 490-yard par 5 that gently doglegs left—won't necessarily derail a chance at saving par or sneaking a quick snooze in the long grass.
Before rounds, golfers can loosen up at the multifaceted practice facility, where practice balls soar over the driving range and roll over a practice green. Class A PGA instructor Tom Herzog runs the pro shop and uses his 25 years of experience to teach private and group lessons along with his staff of professional instructors. Racket-wielding guests can slide and shuffle across the soft, Har-Tru surface of the club's 13 tennis courts or hit flush forehands off the walls of two racquetball courts. The private establishment also encompasses a 300-seat ballroom, cocktail lounge, and a swimming pool for those who prefer chlorine-rich libations.
Course at a Glance: