Saving our Shorelines and Growing Kinder Families

by Stacey Battat, PJ Library of Greater New Haven

Good Deeds and Dunes, taking place on Sunday, June 30 from 2:30-5 p.m. at Walnut Beach, will convey the value of taking care of the earth. PJ Library has invited the Town of Milford and Little Scientists to team up and gather families to be active participants in saving our shorelines.
Coastline dwellers know the devastating impact of storms on our shorelines, and their impact on all forms of life – from marine to birds. Our common response is to armor the seawall with jetties, but this does not promote the natural habitat of our shorelines. 
Steven Johnson of the Natural Resources Department of the Town of Milford will lead us in planting native coastal growth. Funding for the plants comes from a national PJ Library grant for volunteer engagement. “Our beautiful landscape is a web of life that we are just one part of. The plants support a healthy food web of pollinators, butterflies and birds that enrich our lives,” Steve said. “Trees speak with one another and share resources. The plants we put in the ground will adapt to the beach dunes, and enrich the wildlife habitat. Not only will this add beauty to the Long Island Sound, it will create more sustainable resilient dunes, preserving our shoreline for the foreseeable future.”
Dr. Heidi Dworkin, founder of the Little Scientist program, added: “Families with young children should encourage their children’s innate curiosity about the world around them. As a ‘little scientist,’ children learn to explore, experiment, think critically, recognize and solve problems. These are life-long skills that enable our children to understand that we only have one planet Earth and we must all protect our environment so that future generations will be able to enjoy it.”
In addition to shoreline and wildlife loss and devastation, when Hurricane Sandy hit, Milford’s 17/12 miles of shoreline residents suffered enormous losses. Three hundred people helped clean up the day after the storm – and encouraged Milford and area residents to become engaged in their community. 
Stacey Battat, PJ Library Educator of Greater New Haven, said, “As we grow our consciousness around the fragility of the shorelines and our environment, programs like this allow families to come together and do good while helping our communities. In this way we become role models for our children, teaching by showing up, reinforcing our communal responsibility and the value of taking care of the earth and repairing the world (Tikkun Olam). These value-shaping lessons teach our children and offer hope for raising kind and socially engaged young people who will be the ones to shape our world for generations to come.”
PJ Library is an international foundation whose mission is to bring Jewish stories into the home through value based education. Local Engagement and volunteer projects support this mission. Local PJ Library is supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
There is no charge for the Good Deeds and Dunes event, but participants are encouraged to give a donation of $5-10. 
Free parking and shuttles from the Silver Sands beach back parking lot entrance will be available at 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. Non-Milford residents are welcome to park at Walnut Beach street meters at $2.50/hr. You may also park in the beach parking lot for $20/day. Please arrive early as space will be limited due to a 4 p.m. concert. 
Check the PJ Library of Greater New Haven Facebook page for updates and weather related changes. Please bring water and sunscreen, and wear a hat. You’ll be a mensch while having fun exploring marine life and vegetation on the Long Island Sound. 

For more information, contact Stacey Battat pjlibrary@jewishnewhaven.orgor (203) 387 2424 ext. 317
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