Third grade students from Central Boulevard School in the Bethpage School District recently learned about owl conservation during a special visit from environmental staff at Bethpage State Park. 

Melissa Sokolowski and Kate Wright’s third grade classes visited the Bethpage Green Course earlier this fall as part of First Green, a Golf Course Superintendents Association of America STEM education program.  Taught by Director of Agronomy Andrew Wilson and Park Ecologist Yael Weiss, students learned how the golf course provides an important habitat for plants, mammals, amphibians and birds.   

As a follow-up to the visit, Weiss organized a second event for the students in Central Boulevard’s STEM lab. This time accompanied by naturalist Jim Jones, they discussed types of owls and how to encourage great horned owl nesting on Long Island. After the lesson, students constructed nests for this species from vines and evergreen needles.

The nests will be placed in specific trees on the Bethpage Golf Course to encourage mating pairs to stay and raise their young in the protected space. If owls take up residency in the nests, students will receive photos of the parents, eggs and eventually young owlets!