Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk staff and volunteers are joined by government leaders and National Grid officials in front of the new Suffolk County Farm Visitor Center and interactive walkway. (Photo: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk)
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Suffolk County Farm debuts new walkway and visitor center

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk just unveiled a new interactive walkway and visitor center at its 272-acre Suffolk County Farm and Educational Center in Yaphank.

The walkway, funded by National Grid, has multiple life-size elements designed for visitor engagement, featuring a series of stations that highlight CCE Suffolk’s wide range of program areas that include agriculture, marine science, gardening and horticulture, camping, life skills education, and family wellness.

“Thanks to National Grid, the Suffolk County Farm now features a dynamic, new walkway providing an immersive experience that captures the essence of CCE’s multifaceted programs,” Vanessa Lockel, executive director of CCE Suffolk, said in a written statement. “The visitor center and walkway will together help the farm carry on its tradition of community learning that dates back more than a century.”

The Suffolk County Farm is a working farm that offers hands-on, research-based learning within a year-round, educational environment. It hosts 100,000 visitors each year, 20,000 of whom are schoolchildren. The farm is also home to unique educational programs for children ranging from pre-K to 12th grade, summer day camps, a nature-based preschool, and special events, among many other offerings. Its 1871 Haybarn is listed on the National Historic Registry.

“We’re proud to partner with CCE Suffolk to create an interactive walkway that’s designed to educate and inspire visitors to the Suffolk County Farm,” Kathy Wisnewski, director of Customer and Community Engagement at National Grid, said in the statement. “Community learning is deeply aligned with National Grid’s values, and we’re delighted to contribute to an initiative that broadens public understanding of such critical subjects as sustainability, history, and science.”

Suffolk County ranked fourth among the state’s 62 counties in agricultural sales, with the county’s 560 farms generating $225.6 million in sales, according to a 2019 report by the state comptroller’s office.

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