Students from Sandy Creek Middle School joined with other students from the nearby Belleville-Henderson School District at Southwick Beach State Park to take part in “Dune Fest.”
The dune fest educated students about the area including the dunes, animals and ecosystems and was put on through a combined effort through the New York Sea Grant, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York’s State Park System.
Eight stations were set up throughout the state park and included a beach walk dune ecology, boating and water safety, fish of the area, reptiles and amphibians, a woodland walk, aquatic food web, birds of the area, and wetlands.
The students moved in small groups from station to station in twenty-five minute sessions to learn about the various topics with a hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.
One of the purposes of the dune fest event is to educate young people on the importance of the area and the importance of the ecosystem, especially the fragile dune system. It is hoped that by reaching the young people they’ll work to protect the fragile environment in the future.