TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The former home of a brick factory has morphed into an extension of the Tarrytown Union Free School District’s campus with the official opening of the Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom, Wednesday, Oct. 22.
Families, students, organizers and community and political leaders joined to cut the ribbon on the 40-acre learning center, which is along Route 9 opposite the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Schools Superintendent Chris Clouet was the masters of the ceremonies for the program that included remarks from PPOC’s co-founders Tracy Brown, Katie Scully and Sonia Cawley, who were at the forefront of making the parcel of mostly unused land into a unique, living laboratory for students of the village. ‘The Peabody Preserve was born out of a need,” Brown said. “In 2011, there was a heated debate about what to do with this property, specifically about the intact wetland at the Western end. It struck me that this whole property needs a steward. It needs a group of people who really know it and love it and can speak on its behalf.” That group was the Board of Education, the school district and its citizens, which owned the property and could protect and develop the local treasure. Motivated by the co-founders and supporters, the property has been transformed. Guest speakers included Board of Education President Mimi Godwin, State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, state Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti and Teatown Executive Director Kevin Carter, and student representatives senior Javiera Morales, eighth-grader Max Cover and freshmen Jayne Knight, who shared their visions for the habitat/classroom.
Partners included – the Tarrytown Schools Board of Education, Teatown Lake Preserve and Scenic Hudson as well as private funding from the Kathryn Davis Family, Alida Livingston Davis and IBM.
PPOC boasts a new trail system accessing points of interest, wooded areas, the ruins of the brick factory, a pond, fresh-and salt-water wetlands and views of the Hudson River.
Supporting groups include Trailblazers, Pioneers and the Friends of PPOC Board.
Those interested in supporting Peabody Preserve may log on for more information at PPOC.firstname.lastname@example.org
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