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Campers Can Now Make Last-Minute Reservations At DEC Campgrounds

DEC Enables Campers to Make Last-Minute Reservations for 2019 Camping Season

For the first time, visitors to DEC campgrounds are now able to make reservations as late as one day in advance of their desired stay.

This change affords last-minute campers the security and convenience of reserving a campsite at any of DEC’s campgrounds, including our newest facility, Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in the Adirondacks. The change also brings DEC’s Forest Preserve Campgrounds in line with reservations at facilities operated by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

DEC operates 52 campgrounds and five day-use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves. The summer camping season runs through Labor Day, with some facilities remaining open during fall foliage and hunting season. For more information on DEC-operated campgrounds, including a list of campgrounds (PDF) and schedules, visit DEC’s website or call DEC’s Bureau of Recreation at 518-457-2500. To make reservations at any of these facilities, call ReserveAmerica at 1800-456-CAMP (2267) or visit the registration website


Make Wishes Come True at Benefit Concert for Long Island Child


Make Wishes Come True at Benefit Concert for Long Island Child

Northport, NY (April 9, 2019) — Grace Music School has teamed up with Make-A-Wish®, a 501 non-profit organization that helps makes wishes come true for children diagnosed with critical illnesses, to present a special fundraising event, “Concert for a Wish,” at John W. Engeman Theater in Northport Village on April 9 at 7:30PM. General admission is $60; VIP tickets (food and bar) are $85. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Engeman Theater at (631) 261-2900, Grace Music School at (631) 239-6169, or by visiting GraceMusicSchool.com. 100 percent of the net proceeds from the event will benefit “Christian,” a five-year-old boy from North Babylon who is suffering from a brain tumor. His “wish” is to go to Walt Disney World. 

Concert performers will include some of the school’s talented faculty performing a variety of musical selections ranging from Broadway and Pop favorites to well-known Classical and Jazz pieces. There will also be performances by ensembles from Northport and Kings Park High Schools. Concert pianist, Eduardus Halim, former student of American classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz, will play the concert finale. 

“We are hoping that the community will come out to support this great cause,” stated John Heaphy, owner, Grace Music School. Since they opened their doors, the owners have always been committed to giving back to the community, participating in fundraising events benefitting Long Island Harvest, among other charitable organizations. This year, they were looking to take on a bigger fundraising event and Make-A-Wish was the perfect charity to do this with. 

Knowing exactly where the fundraiser proceeds will go toward will make the fundraising event even more dear to concert participants, as well as the audience. “There is a face to attach to it,” said Mr. Heaphy, noting that Christian’s family will also be attending the concert. “It just makes it more personal. We know that Christian will be going to Disney World as a result of the concert, which is only made possible by our teacher and local high school’s participation and community attendance,” he said. “We are hoping to raise even more money required for his wish,” he added. 

To accomplish Christian’s trip, a minimum of $7,500 needs to be raised; anything above that will be given to Make-A-Wish to help grant the wish of another child. 

In addition to receiving a trip to Walt Disney World, Christian, his family and the local community will receive what the Heaphy family deems a wondrous treasure for all — music. “We believe music is a gift that should be shared; and a lot of great music will be shared at this concert” Mr. Heaphy said.


Grace Music School is Long Island’s premier music school and trains nearly 700 students each week at two convenient locations in Western Suffolk County. The school is family owned and operated and is dedicated to providing students with high quality music instruction and numerous performance opportunities including concerts at Carnegie Hall. Their first location is in Fort Salonga and was opened in 2011.  Their second location, opened in 2016, is at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Melville.  This school has the distinction of being the first-ever music school integrated into a Steinway & Sons owned showroom.  This school features a beautiful performance space where students can showcase their talent.  It houses nine lesson studios and a café styled waiting room with bottled water, WIFI and other amenities.   


Today Is Equal Pay Day 

Equal Pay Day: April 2, 2019 

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, “The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 2, 2019. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

“Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.

“Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

“Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.”





NYS DEC Invites Public To Visit Birder Paradise Montezuma Wetlands

Watchable Wildlife: Montezuma Wildlife Refuge Spring Waterfowl Migration

Seneca Falls, Seneca County

Wildlife abounds at Montezuma Wetlands Complex, where thousands of acres are spread across three cooperatively managed parcels: Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area, and Montezuma Audubon Center. These expansive wetlands in the middle of New York State are a birder’s paradise of mudflats, marshes, open water, forest, shrubland, and grassland. Montezuma is one of the busiest stops for migrating birds on the Atlantic Flyway, particularly waterfowl.


Dozens of miles of trails and roads take you on foot or by car around the complex. Bring binoculars and cameras to capture Canada geese and snow geese filling the sky, while below, tundra swans feed on vegetation. Endless flocks of other waterfowl from familiar mallards to spectacularly marked wood ducks dive and dabble in the open water. More than 20 shorebird species forage in the mudflats, sometimes under the watchful gaze of a hungry peregrine falcon or merlin. Lucky visitors might witness the stirring sight of a bald eagle on the wing or perched in a tree.


Measles Can Cause Serious Health Complications Get Vaccinated


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken today urged Suffolk County residents make sure they are immunized against the measles.  While there is no immediate public health concern involving measles to Suffolk County, residents should check with their healthcare providers to be sure they are up to date on all immunizations.

“In light of recent reports, residents should make sure to receive their measles shots to protect themselves,” said County Executive Bellone. “While there is no immediate public health concern in Suffolk County, this should serve as a reminder to do what is necessary out of an abundance of caution.”

Dr. James Tomarken, Commissioner of Suffolk County Department of Health Services, said: “Given the recent measles outbreak in Rockland and that county’s action to ban unimmunized children from public places, it is imperative that we in Suffolk County emphasize the need for residents to make sure they and their families are protected. For most people that will mean that they and their children received the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization.”

Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than five years of age. While there is no way to determine in advance the severity of the symptoms one will experience, some of the more common measles symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose and red eyes.  The best protection against measles is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. A child needs two doses of MMR vaccine for best protection: the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age; the second dose 4 through 6 years of age.

Measles is contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Nine out of ten people around an individual who has measles can become infected if they are not protected.  A child can contract measles just by being in the same room with someone who has contracted the illness, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can also spread measles to others even before knowing he or she has the disease—from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed cases of measles in 15 states. Additionally, measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people, mostly children, die from the disease each year. Every year, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers – including Americans or foreign visitors – who contract measles while they are in other countries.

For families traveling overseas, a baby between the ages of 6 through 11 months old should receive one dose of MMR vaccine before leaving.  If a child is 12 months of age or older, he or she will need two doses of MMR vaccine – separated by at least 28 days – before departure.