2018 Lindenhurst Environmental Field Trips (L.E.F.T)

Students going along the Walking Dunes Trail in Montauk.

Jenna Johnson, Editor

Lindenhurst Environmental Field Trips (abbreviated as L.E.F.T), have become an integral part of the Lindy community, connecting various demographics in learning about the environment. In a series of field trips during and after the school day, AP Bio students taught by Mr. Polichak and Ms. Botticiari respectively, learned about the various ecosystems throughout Fire Island and Long Island, by way of hands on activities and lessons of history, math, earth science, and naturally, biology, during each trip. Student Jarred Navarro had this to say about his overall experience during these trips. “I enjoyed the L.E.F.T trips because they taught us more about our community and where we’re from and gave us a great introduction to the world of biology.”

The school year kicked off with a series of trips to Fire Island, in which the students familiarized themselves with the flora and fauna of the swale, beach and sunken forest. Student Leanna Birsner described the lessons she received during the Fire Island trip by saying, “It really reinforced what we learned in class and I enjoyed the hands on outdoors learning experience.” This knowledge was then utilized in teaching the fourth graders of the six elementary schools of Lindenhurst. Through informing the children about the environment and the landscape of Fire Island, the L.E.F.T program hopes to nurture a new generation of environmentally aware individuals.  The L E.F.T program allow for students to learn about the island, and this sentiment is captured in a quote from AP US History teacher, Mr. Henderson who said, “ The first time that I ever had an opportunity to go to Fire Island and see the Sunken Forest was during the annual LEFT trips,  when I was here as a student enrolled in the AP Bio course.    These trips provide students with an eye opening experience that allows them to get out of this building and venture out into the world.  I believe the LEFT program does a tremendous job at introducing students to parts of Long Island that many are not previously aware of, therefore providing them with a greater understanding of their environment and the significance of the places that we visit.”  

It is important to give these kids an opportunity to get out of this building and see what’s in the world around them.

— Mr. Henderson

The response has been overwhelmingly positive from both teachers and students of the elementary schools who are grateful to been given such a unique experience. The trips were unlike any lesson that could be given in a classroom, and provided these students with an unforgettable experience.  Along with trips to Fire Island, AP Bio also took field trips to Montauk and Sunken Meadow Park, where they learned about the starkly contrasting ecosystems existing on the North Shore and South Shore of the island. Earth science teacher, Mr. Mcguire, felt the L.E.F.T trips would have a very strong impact on students during the age of social media and technology. He said “Our LEFT trip gets students who are growing up in the age of technology to get in touch with nature and appreciate the unique parks and landmarks here on Long Island.”  During a time in which social media and phones often fill up the itinerary of the average teenager’s day, the L.E.F.T trips provide a break from this lifestyle, and open ones’ eyes to the beauty of the environment and community surrounding them.