Schools and Libraries
June 17, 2014
Among the many casualties of Superstorm Sandy was the Lido Habitat. This courtyard garden in the Long Beach School District's Lido Elementary School which has served since the late 1990s as an outdoor classroom to study nature and ecology was largely destroyed by flooding in the wake of the storm. Encouraged by Principal Brenda Young, a group of parents and children led by Joseph Lattanzi worked for months to clean and restore the Lido Habitat, replacing the pond liner and pump, planting flowers and trees, creating raised garden beds and recreating of the iconic brick letters that spelled out the word "Lido." The volunteers received assistance from Director of Facilities Steve Lahey and his buildings and grounds staff. Donations were gratefully accepted from High Mowing Organic Seeds Patriot Recycling, Pat's Farms, Michigan Bulb, Pet Supplies Plus, Petland Discount and Whitbreads's Sons Lumber Company.
To mark the restoration of the Habitat, the school hosted a special celebration on June 12, with guests of honor Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford. One by one, each grade visited the Habitat, toured the beautifully restored gardens and participated in a ceremonial release of fish and frogs into the pond.
The Lido Habitat was created in the late 1990s, under the leadership of then PTA President Andrea Tannenbaum. The area started out as an empty courtyard with a sinkhole, broken asphalt and diseased trees. With much hard work and vision, coupled with creative fundraising and grant money obtained through Assemblyman Weisenberg, the Lido Habitat was born.
The National Wildlife Federation has named the Lido Habitat a certified wildlife habitat, based on its ability to invite and support wildlife and learning. Over the years, the 10,000-square-foot space has been home to various species of wildlife including birds, frogs, fish and pond plants, making it the ideal venue to support science and other learning activities. Over the years, students have visited the habitat to plant vegetables, trees and shrubs and to release butterflies. The space has also been utilized for school functions such as the fall festival and winter and spring celebrations.
With the continued support of Ms. Young, the Lido PTA and the community, the future of the Lido Habitat once again looks bright. Lido Habitat Committee members Judy Beck, Jaclyn Borneman, Cindy Del Rio, Debra Green, Tina Hummel, Lattanzi and Tori Peichochiski will work to make sure the space receives the required seasonal maintenance to continue its valuable role as a viable outdoor learning environment.