Friends of Rogers to Operate Rogers Environmental Education Center
Initial Event Scheduled for May 7, 2011
Friends of Rogers (FOR), a not-for-profit group affiliated with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC’s) Rogers Environmental Education Center, has reached an agreement with the DEC to operate the Rogers Center in Sherburne. Under the agreement, Friends of Rogers will continue to offer educational activities and public programs at the Center.
The state closed the Rogers Visitor Center on December 31, 2010, and funding for five education staff positions was eliminated. “Like all state agencies, we are being required to make hard choices. Laying off these state employees was not something that we wanted to do, but given the tough economic times, it is something we needed to do,” said Acting Director of Communications Michael Bopp. The property remains open to the public, from dawn to dusk. The state continues to maintain the buildings, plow, and provide security.
Friends of Rogers is expanding its role at the Center in order to continue to offer education programs, community events, and manage some agricultural activities. The first event by FOR has already been scheduled. Rogers Earth Fest will be held on May 7, 2011, from 12 noon to 4 pm at the Rogers Center. Participants who attend will learn about sustainability and how to protect the earth’s precious resources through exhibits on alternative energy, climate change, green building design and green living. There will be hands-on activities, canoe and kayak try-outs, and nature crafts for children. Visitors can take home a tree or shrub for their yard and learn more about local environmental organizations.
DEC recognizes the importance of Rogers Center to the residents of central New York and is grateful that Friends of Rogers has agreed to continue providing as many school and public programs as possible with volunteers and interns. DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch praised the collaborative effort. “We appreciate that we have a willing partner like the Friends of Rogers to step up and assist with continuing this valuable environmental education,” he said.
FOR plans to hold traditional annual events at the Center including the aforementioned Earth Fest, Animals of Halloween and the Winter Living Celebration. Monthly programs for members and the general public are being planned as well.
“We are looking forward to reopening the Rogers Center and invite the community to join us in celebrating our new venture,” said Laurie Trotta, Friends of Rogers President. “We would like to hear your ideas for programs and events you would like to see at the Center.” Anyone interested in helping support Friends of Rogers efforts, either through monetary donations, becoming a member or volunteering, should contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To register to receive updates and announcements from FOR, visit www.friendsofrogers.org