To kick off the month of July, I had the honor of assisting in the coordination of the first of the summer season’s pollinator gardening volunteer event on the first Saturday of July. Sixteen scouts from troop 74 (Baldwin) and troop 824 (Mineola) dug into the Seashore’s monarch way-station pollinator garden. At the end of the day the scouts contributed over 50 hours to helping nature and pollinator conservation. The garden was cleared of invasive non-native plants and baby milkweeds were planted for monarch butterflies and other beneficial insects. After, a long day of weeding and planting in the sun, we all enjoyed pizza together!

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In addition, on July 14th, the Latino heritage intern, Kaileigh Mendoza and I, along with Fire Island National Seashore Park Planer, Kaetlyn Jackson, attended Alive After Five, a free summer street festival which takes place on Main street in Patchogue. This even hosts vendors, musical artists, organizations and businesses from 5-9:30pm. As you can probably imagine, the turnout for this event was huge! Who doesn’t love gaining information about upcoming summer events, free music, inexpensive vendor food and drinks?

In the days prior to the event, we brain stormed and gathered all of the pamphlets, activities, and equipment needed for our Fire Island National Seashore table. Our goal for participating in the Alive Our goals at the Alive After Five festivities are to present fun and interactive activities to draw people in and get them interested in learning more about Fire Island and to get the public to sign volunteer opportunity sheet. Activities selected were the following, National Park Service Jeopardy, National Park Service coloring pages, a sand activity, a butterfly decorating activity and a selfie picture frame station! The National Park Service jeopardy was and continues to be a major hit with the public! People love having the chance to guess the answers to facts about the National Park Service, Fire Island Dynamics, fun facts, and more! Not to mention, we reward participants with either a beautiful post card of various scenic views on Fire Island, or a short book on the Fire Island lifesaving service!

Since this public outreach event was the first of many for the summer, we were able to figure out which activities worked and which didn’t, so we can improve the success rate of our public outreach!

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