The Trailside Museum has been very supportive of the Leatherman’s Loop over the past 25 years. It is a key part of the landscape and experience of the park.
The 2012 Westchester County budget as it stands now will close the Trailside Museum and 5 other Westchester County Park museums and visitor centers. The entire county conservation department budget will be eliminated. If you want to speak out, contact County Executive Rob Astorino and Majority Leader Peter Harckham or your local county representative.
Also, sign this online petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-pound-ridge-reservation-trailside-museum/ to lend your voice.
We can make a difference for the museum, the department of conservation, and the parks. The budget that closes it is not yet final. Do your part if you want to keep this from happening!
Below is a note circulating from concerned friends of the parks and museums:
The Westchester County Board of Legislators will be conducting a series of public hearings on the budget, with a final vote due December 27th. All of you have expressed an interest in seeing the Museum stay open, and how that can best be achieved. There is unfortunately no simple answer. Concerned residents and groups can certainly appeal to the Board of Legislators through emails, letters, phone calls, and the public hearings (or all of the above) to let them know how important the Museum is to each of you. The series of three (3) public hearings are as follows:
Upcoming BOL Budget Hearings – all at 7 PM
- November 22nd, New Rochelle High School, 265 Clove Rd, New Rochelle
- November 30th, Somers High School, 120 Primrose St, Lincolndale
- December 6th, BOL Chambers, 8th Floor, MOB1
While it would be great for the Legislators to hear from you in person either at the meetings or via phone calls, we understand that this may not be possible. Letter campaigns can have just as great an impact. Letters can be written to any and all of the following:
o Correspondence to any Legislators is as follows
§ 800 Michaelian Office Building, 148 Martine Ave, 8th Floor, White Plains, NY 10601
§ Also, emails can be sent via the auto emailer at http://westchesterlegislators.com/contact-us.html
o Ken Jenkins (Westchester County BOL Chair)
o Peter Harckham (Majority Leader)
o Michael Kaplowitz (Chair of Environment and Energy Committee)
o County Executive Robert Astorino
o Kathleen O’Connor (Parks and Recreation Commissioner)
§ 25 Moore Ave, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
There are many things that could be said to help sway favor towards our nature centers, most importantly heartfelt appeals to the legislators on why the Museum is so important to you as a concerned citizen. How has the Museum played a role in your life, and why do you feel that keeping it open is so important? Other talking points could include:
- The 2000+ school children who visit our park annually for field trips
- The thousands of citizens who visit the nature center to learn about the Reservation
- The weekend public programs that so many of you have enjoyed
- How the summer camp has helped thousands of kids feel a closer tie to nature
- And of course, why you believe the Museum is important
UPDATE (Dec 2011): The Westchester Board of Legislators has restored the funding to the 2012 budget and the Trailside Museum and other county nature centers will remain open! Thank you for your support, calls, letters, and petitions. You were heard loud and clear!