Searching for live crabs, museum educator Dimitria Patrikis shows Anderson,...

Searching for live crabs, museum educator Dimitria Patrikis shows Anderson, 5 and Alexavier Polvorosa, 8, where to look under stones on the beach for the shy creatures at Nassau County Parks' Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove, NY. Credit: Newsday/David Trotman-Wilkins

After a two-year hiatus, Garvies Point Museum Day is back on Aug. 6, promising a jam-packed day of fun, flora and fauna. The museum and preserve will host different family-friendly programs, including a papermaking craft for adults and kids, notes director Veronica Natale. 

“What we do is we recycle old paper and then they get to make it into new paper,” explains Natale.

An expert from Seaford’s Tackapausha Museum will also do a live presentation of native animals, such as screech owls and snakes.

Nassau County Parks' Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen...

Nassau County Parks' Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove offers weekly and daily programs, talks and lectures about the geological and ecological developement of Long Island. Credit: Newsday/David Trotman-Wilkins

Visitors can go on guided nature walks along the 62-acre preserve, enjoy bird-watching and explore the beach on Hempstead Harbor.


Tours of the gardens will feature native plants that attract birds, butterflies, insects and pollinators, says Natale, adding that bee balm, goldenrod, mountain mint, ironweed and asters are among the many flowers in bloom.

“The public will have the opportunity to learn about what can be done in your own garden to encourage native pollinators and birds and what they need to survive,” says Natale. “They will also have the chance to observe some butterflies and pollinators in action.” 

Kids can take part in an insect study, where they’ll spy all the different insects in the meadow and gardens. “They’ll find caterpillars, butterflies, beetles — many of which you can also find in your own backyard,” says Natale.

Museum Educator Dimitria Patrikis, leads a family group, Albert Polvorosa,...

Museum Educator Dimitria Patrikis, leads a family group, Albert Polvorosa, 42, of Garden City Park, Cheryl-Ann, 43, sons Alexavier, 8, Anderson, 5, and daughter Charlotte-Ann, 2, on a seashell learning session. Credit: Newsday/David Trotman-Wilkins

On hand to lead nature or “biotic” walks along the five miles of trails, John Carbone, an educator at Garvies, will point out “producers, consumers, and decomposers.”

“We’re basically talking about everything that we see: plants, animals and fungus, and what their role is in the cycle of the environment and the food chain and how they relate to each other and the symbiotic relationships between the plants and animals,” Carbone explains.
Bird watchers: BYOB (bring your own binoculars) or borrow from the museum, and you might spot a variety of feathered friends, from blue jays to cardinals, robins, orioles, sparrows, warblers, and finches.

“Some of the bigger things we have are red tailed hawks, great horned owls,” says Carbone, adding that there are abundant ospreys, who primarily dine on fish and nest on the shoreline.

Since it’s not migratory season, only resident birds will be around, says Natale.

“It’s also learning more about common birds that people might see and for kids, they don’t always know how to identify a bird, the types of areas they live in, habitats and behaviors of common birds,” Natale says.

On the beach walk, visitors can explore snails, clams, mussels, and crabs, as well as shore birds: ospreys, sea gulls, plovers, and the occasional egret or heron.

“Another cool thing about the beach is that there’s clay: This is one of the reasons we’re a geology museum,” says Carbone. “It’s one of two spots on Long Island where there’s Cretaceous-period clay exposed to the surface.” The other spot you’ll find it on Long Island: Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve in Lloyd Harbor.

Running along a bluff, the multicolored clay derives if variegated pigment from different minerals.


For anyone interested in spending some time indoors, there’s an interactive woodland village in the museum’s exhibit hall, which depicts indigenous life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

“The kids can go in a wigwam and we have a dugout canoe,” says Natale, adding that a three sisters garden of the Native American staples of corn, beans and squash is also on display.

Other exhibits to see are on seashells, Native American archaeology, geology, rocks, fossils, gems and minerals, the formation of Long Island, and North American and Long Island archaeology.

Garvies Point Museum Day

WHEN|WHERE 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Aug. 6 at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, 50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove

INFO 516-571-8010,

ADMISSION $5 ages 5 and older (free ages 4 and younger)