The New State-of-the-Art Environmental Science Center at Teatown Preserve

Student-targeted environmental science center opens in Ossining.

Ossining’s Teatown Preserve cut the ribbon on a new Environmental Science Center back in May, investing in the next generation of conservation leaders. The Teatown Environmental Science Center was made possible by a $500,000 renovation funded by a small group of committed individual donors and foundations.

With a wet lab that is specifically designed for the use of chemicals and other liquid hazards, a classroom, and a computer lab, the center is a state-of-the-art, 1,500 sq. ft. facility. Students can attend lectures, collect data, and process samples all on the preserve grounds, using the laboratory equipped with a fume hood (ventilation control system used for toxic fumes) and drying oven and the ADA-compliant upstairs classroom.

Teatown’s communications manager, Austin Schatz, adds, “There is nowhere else in Westchester where you have a lab space adjacent to a living laboratory.”

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In these days of concern about climate change, biodiversity, and the many other threats to our environment, the need for young scientists has never been greater. That’s why we are delighted to share the opening of our new Environmental Science Center. The center will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our environmental education and research programs, including our own award-winning Teatown Environmental Science Academy, an intensive and challenging field-based environmental science research program for high school students. This building – itself a wonderful example of environmentally responsible adaptive reuse – is our students’ point of entry into the “living laboratory” that is the Science Center’s backyard: our 1,000-acre preserve. We all share a responsibility to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards who will make a tangible difference in our world. Thank you to all who have helped make this day possible.

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Open year-round, Teatown provides invaluable educational opportunities for upwards of 20,000 students and researchers annually, including through the Teatown Environmental Science Academy (TESA), an award-winning science-research program founded in 2012 for high school students interested in pursuing environmental research. Director of Environmental Stewardship Dr. Danielle Begley-Miller, who oversees TESA and other science programs run out of the center, will co-teach the TESA program with Pace University Clinical Associate Professor Michael Rubbo, PhD, marking the third year of partnership between Teatown Preserve and Pace.

“It’s a fantastic facility: You have the classroom component; you have the lab component, and you have the field component,” says Ruddo, “so you really can create a very well-rounded experience for students.”

The preserve’s 1,000 acres of land and 15 miles of hiking trails have been used for education, recreation, and research since 1963.

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