As SoFo prepares to celebrate 25 years of protecting our beaches and saving the local wildlife, Susan Rockefeller shares in its quest.
Environmentalist Susan Rockefeller cochairs the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center’s July 19 gala.
I’ve known Andy Sabin for almost a decade; we share interests in conservation, education, and sustainability, and I admire his love of life, his desire to protect all sentient beings, and his devotion to the health of our planet. His values are all reflected in his brainchild, South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (SoFo), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary on July 19.
At SoFo, Andy lovingly and diligently nurtures today’s youth so they may blossom in to tomorrow’s environmental stewards. With a hands-on approach and joyful philosophy, Andy seeks to engender in all of us a sensitivity to the natural world through activities such as searching for salamanders, bird-watching, identifying wildflowers, and exploring the glorious trails, to name just a few of the programs he manages. While many of these activities are aimed at educating and engaging kids, Andy also works to ignite an interest in older generations, encouraging them to reflect on and reestablish their relationship with the natural world.
I am personally drawn to SoFo because of my profound love of and deep-seated history with the Hamptons. I spent many summers of my youth on these beaches, building sand castles, watching sandpipers and seagulls skim the waves, and chasing horseshoe crabs. These days, I let the crabs be, but still adore the tingle of salt and sun against my skin, the bright smell of privet in blossom, and the first bite of fresh vegetables. Nevertheless, as rings true for all oceanfront communities, the East End faces challenges from agricultural land runoff, human waste, and water pollution. This is why, in addition to the pleasure it provides, SoFo’s work is of vital importance. It’s an insurance policy for our future.
SoFo offers local children a hands-on opportunity to learn about the marine life on the East End.
I support Andy’s vision because I, too, deeply believe in educating our youth and providing them with the tools and the drive to solve the issues our environment is facing, which will help protect our planet for generations to come. Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
Lucky for us, Andy Sabin and SoFo are around to help keep our eyes open.