County Planning Tackapausha Museum Reopening in Time for Earth Day

Newly renovated Seaford wildlife center set to operate on a four-day a week schedule after planned April ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Nassau County-operated in Seaford is slated to reopen on a four-day a week schedule starting in mid April.

Eileen Krieb, a community service representative for Nassau County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, broke the positive news of the planned wildlife center’s reopening during a Friday afternoon rally by the newly formed Friends of Tackapausha Committee. Krieb said the county hopes to open the museum in time for Earth Day on April 22 with a special grand reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony. The museum on 2225 Washington Ave., Seaford has not been open for regular public hours since mid August of 2010 when a $300,000 renovation project commenced.

Krieb said the county is planning to have the museum open to the public on a Thursday to Sunday schedule from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said a new outdoor classroom is also planned at the museum, which was only open on a limited basis last year mainly for youth group events.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced in early November that the Tackapausha Museum  starting Jan. 1 from Wednesday to Friday, but the facility instead stayed shut for the entire month. In September, Mangano had announced that wildlife museum  to help close a more than $300 million budget gap.

“Nassau County is not walking away from this museum,” said Krieb, who added that final interior renovations inside the facility are nearly complete.

Krieb said the museum had a $250,000 operating budget in 2011. The building is located in front of a preserve located along the Seaford-Massapequa border. 

Uncertainly of Tackapausha’s future late last year prompted the founding of the Friends of Tackapausha Committee by Lorraine Bondi-Goldsmith, an enviornmental scientist from Plainview. The group, which is registering to become a 501(c charity, has also been pressing to get a full-time person in charge of the educational center after the museum’s director Wendy Albin was one of more than 200 county workers laid off in late December.   

Krieb said a newly hired director of county museums will likely oversee Tackapausha. This position would be responsible for operations of Tackapausha as well as the county-run Garvies Point Museum & Preserve in Glen Cove and Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

During the rally, which attracted residents from across Long Island, Bondi-Goldsmith emphasized the importance of Tackapusha to the surrounding area. The museum is set to celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2012. 

“Places like this are so vital,” she said. “It is a very important part of the community.”

One of many speakers at Friday’s Tackapausha rally was North Bellmore resident Mary Bellissimo-DeGregorio, who grew up in Seaford and loved attending the local museum as a child.

“Tackapausha is such a gem,” she said. “It is so rich in everything it has to offer.”

Roberta Grogan February 24, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Hey there, not to put a damper on “good news” but there are a couple of questions which remain unanswered or require clarification for me. I am hoping maybe some of you “in the know” can help provide (I still have not received a call back from Nassau County Department of Recreation Parks and Museums (3 weeks and three calls unanswered)). What is the fate of Wendy who has been such an important part of the museum and a fixture for our community and kids? The new Director of several of the museums here in Nassau is whom and what affiliation or experience does he/she come with? That $250,000 operating budget for 2011; that included renovations completed within 2011 because any of us who has ever utilized the museum and preserve is well aware that nothing even close to that amount of money has been spent there, unless maybe for renovations (in which case I do not believe it would be an “operating budget” line figure). Lastly, I could not help but notice while attending the rally and taking a peek in through the locked doors that the “renovations” that supposedly have been completed…did not look too finished. What is the real deal here? I am hopeful some clarification can be had. Thanks.
MTR March 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Close the museum it is a waste of tax dollars, make it a public for profit company. Tax payers should not be paying for this nonsense.
Lucy March 14, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Teaching residents and children about their local environment is not NONSENSE to everyone!!! The museum and it's staff are a wonderful local treasure and captures some of the beauty of Long Island. The museum is informative and provides hands on learning. We cannot let our local educational resources disappear because some people are ignorant and CHEAP! There are numerous ways Nassau County can garner and raise money for the collective coffers. Cutting cultural programs and disenfranchising our children is not an acceptable alternative!
Lucy March 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM
So the operating budget is $250,000 and as of the last census (between 2006-2010) there are approximately 442,833 households. So the average Nassau County resident is spending less than $1.00 a year for this. Hmm, I would gladly and happily pay $1.00 or more to maintain our island's beautiful preserves!!! http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/36059.html
Mickey April 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Is there any word of the "reopening on a 4 day weekend in April" as previously stated in a new release? Got some very anxious grandkids who can't wait to come back to the "Bat Museum"!


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