Written by Gary Simeone, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:00
Bailey Arboretum is a hidden gem that is located well within the confines of Lattingtown, just outside of Locust Valley.
Originally named after self-made millionaire Frank Bailey, the 42-acre property was given to Nassau County in 1967 by the Vanneck Bailey Foundation. It is maintained by the Friends of Bailey Arboretum. Located on Bayville Road, the county property is open to the public 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This is the perfect place for an event,” said Alice Matthaei, event coordinator at Bailey. “We have educational classes and programs, nature walks, wildlife programs and many other public events.”
Events include Family Day, the Pumpkin Festival in October and fundraising events such as the Summer Solstice Party, Biergarten Party and Autumn Festival Party, as well as a membership drive and annual appeal. There are plans to create a family spring egg hunt and an event in December.
Just recently the arboretum had its Family Day event on June 1, which was very well attended with more than 100 people coming down for games, fun and a scrumptious outdoor barbeque.
“People can rent the whole house for weddings, bridal showers and after-burial luncheons,” said Matthaei. “Without these type of events, Bailey’s would not be able to exist because we are a non-for-profit organization.”
Mike Maron, who is superintendent of Bailey Arboretum, helps run the educational programs and is in charge of one of the finest Girl Scouts survival challenges in the country sponsored by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.
New tweaks were added to the survival challenge this year, with the Girl Scouts participating in Bear Bags (throwing a rope over a 10-foot high branch), fire making, shelter building, the burrito hypo-wrap (to prevent against hypothermia) and the rope course.
Facilities on the property include the main house, which has three floors of rooms used for meetings, events and private functions. The educational building contains a classroom for nature studies and wildlife forums.
The children’s habitat has a natural playground for young children and there are two gardens located adjacent to the habitat. The Secret Garden was at one time Long Island’s only sensory garden and it is considered a special stop off after first arriving at Bailey. The Bog Garden has beautiful flowers and plants and is one of the main wet areas of the property.
The German castle, which was first made for Bailey’s daughter, is located within the Bog Garden and is a known favorite for children.