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Halloween Fest and Haunted Hikes at Tanners Pond Environmental Center

GCBS/TPEC founder, Rob Alvey leads the Halloween Fest Costume Parade.
GCBS/TPEC founder, Rob Alvey leads the Halloween Fest Costume Parade.
The sixth annual Halloween Fest and Haunted Hikes at Tanners Pond Environmental Center/Garden City Bird Sanctuary was exciting for all ages.  The annual event features great games, crafts and prizes with the Halloween Fest and scary and not so scary Haunted Hikes at night.  “The impending 'Frankenstorm' was a worry but we got the Friday and Saturday hikes and Halloween Fest accomplished, much to everyone's delight. I want to thank the following group of volunteers who made it so successful:  Garden City High School’s HOPE Environmental Club, Nassau Community College students, Garden City Middle School, York College- CUNY students,  Adelphi University students, Sacred Heart Academy students, Woodmen of the World, and our own GCBS Directors.  They include: GCBS/TPEC president, John Cronin; vice president, Liz Bailey; new director, Annette Seltzer; and directors Laura DiLallo and Joe DiLallo," said Robert Alvey, Founder of the TPEC/GCBS. At the Halloween Fest there were many games to play. Arts and crafts were enjoyed by many children. A new item this year was the "Killer Tomato" that was a big hit, more for jumping on by the little ones during the Fest. At night, KT was rolled down the hill into the visitors as part of the new "genetically modified food" environmental horror theme. Boy Scout, Joseph Lo Re was also at the Fest with a bulletin board and flyers describing his upcoming Eagle Project to design and build a series of exercise stations and expand the trails system at the Bird Sanctuary.  The Costume Parade, led by "Boy Scout," Alvey gave parents an opportunity to see all the cute costumes and take photos.  Prizes were given out for the top great costumes. Victoria Ernst, one of the Halloween Fest costume parade winners, returned Saturday evening and joined the "Boo Brigade" at the Haunted Hikes that featured a hike through the basin area of the Bird Sanctuary as the night time approached. The hikers learned about nature and environmental science with a spooky flavor. The Haunted Hikes at the TPEC/GCBS always have a unique environmental twist. Themes include a popular toxic hazardous waste spill with police and cleanup crews warning hikers of danger. A "Plastic Bag Monster", perhaps too scary for some of the younger hikers, roams the trails warning people not to use disposable plastic bags. There are also exotic invasive species that "strangle" walkers, global warming threats, contaminated water witches, and this year's new attraction, along with "Killer Tomato" is "Killer Corn" with the dangers of genetically- modified organisms. There were lots of traditional zombies and ghosts on the fun hikes. The lineup for the hikes was well- behaved and the popular snack bar and hot dog stand did a good business. For more information on the upcoming events, including the November photo exhibit at the Garden City Public Library by the Nature and Wildlife Photographers of Long Island, please call 516.326.1720 (Rob and Suzie Alvey), go to Garden City Bird Sanctuary on Facebook.com or visit www.GCBirdSanctuary.org.

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