Friday, 29 October 2010 00:00
The Oyster Bay Hamlet is the recipient of a $70,000 grant through the Preserve America program. Oyster Bay is the only community in New York State and one of 22 nationally to receive funding through this program. The “Finding Your Way in Oyster Bay Service Learning Project” will provide the resources that are needed to promote Oyster Bay Hamlet as a viable destination of historic interest.
The Oyster Bay Main Street Association has taken a leading role in attracting these grant funds to Oyster Bay and will also take the lead in administering the project. Main Street President John Bonifacio, said: “We believe this grant will reinforce positive improvements that have already been made including preservation of several landmark buildings, and help to attract the right kind of visitors to our historic downtown. This in turn will lay the groundwork for future prosperity and success for residents and businesses in our community.”
The Preserve America grant was announced to the community at the Harvest Regatta Celebration joint fundraiser held by the MSA and the Oakcliff Sailing Center held on Friday, Oct. 8.
The MSA is in discussions but has not identified which schools, besides the Oyster Bay High School are participating as yet. “We are happy to have discussions with any teachers and administrators with an interest in participating,” said Isaac Kremer, MSA executive director.
One element of the project will involve an active partnership with students in local schools. Details of this partnership are still being worked out. One goal expressed by the Department of the Interior and the Preserve America program nationally is to engage youth in service learning opportunities. The idea behind this is to instill in young people a life-long appreciation for places of natural beauty and historical significance.
For this project youth will be asked to provide their own interpretation in the form of a few sentences about a historic building or site in Oyster Bay from a list provided. The results will then be incorporated into interpretive signs placed throughout Oyster Bay and in a website that is created.
Another goal of this project is to serve as a model nationally for how small and medium-sized communities can go about celebrating and promoting their heritage.
Those with any questions are welcome to contact the Oyster Bay Main Street Association at 922-6982 or www.oysterbaymainstreet.org.