Latino Conservation Week
The barrier island off the coast of New York’s Long Island offers many ways for locals and out-of-town visitors to enjoy its miles of sandy beaches and waters. Live demonstrations were provided in English and Spanish.

Courtesy Photos

Latino Conservation Week

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
8/1/2019


More than 100 people gathered at Fire Island National Seashore for the park’s Latino Conservation Week Celebration Day on July 20. Open to everyone, the National Park Service at Fire Island National Seashore and the Friends of Fire Island teamed up for this day of play on the beach to celebrate the area’s Latino communities and invite them to explore the park.

Families were treated to free ferry rides from Patchogue to Watch Hill, where they were greeted by rangers and volunteers to lead them in a day of hikes, demonstrations, and arts and crafts. “The first time someone experiences a national park can inspire them to keep coming back for more, especially when they realize these special places are in their own neighborhood,” said Fire Island National Seashore superintendent Alex Romero.

The NPS and Friends of Fire Island began the tradition three years ago of hosting multicultural days to encourage the many diverse groups of Long Island and the greater New York City area to experience the park. More than 30 percent of the residents of Patchogue are Latinos, yet many have never visited Fire Island. The Friends group continues to work with local communities on ways to build connections with the many diverse neighborhoods in the area, including an upcoming library pass program for free ferry rides to the island.