The Nassau County-operated in Seaford is slated to reopen on a four-day a week schedule starting in mid April.
Eileen Krieb, a community service representative for Nassau County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, broke the positive news of the planned wildlife center’s reopening during a Friday afternoon rally by the newly formed Friends of Tackapausha Committee. Krieb said the county hopes to open the museum in time for Earth Day on April 22 with a special grand reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony. The museum on 2225 Washington Ave., Seaford has not been open for regular public hours since mid August of 2010 when a $300,000 renovation project commenced.
Krieb said the county is planning to have the museum open to the public on a Thursday to Sunday schedule from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said a new outdoor classroom is also planned at the museum, which was only open on a limited basis last year mainly for youth group events.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced in early November that the Tackapausha Museum starting Jan. 1 from Wednesday to Friday, but the facility instead stayed shut for the entire month. In September, Mangano had announced that wildlife museum to help close a more than $300 million budget gap.
“Nassau County is not walking away from this museum,” said Krieb, who added that final interior renovations inside the facility are nearly complete.
Krieb said the museum had a $250,000 operating budget in 2011. The building is located in front of a preserve located along the Seaford-Massapequa border.
Uncertainly of Tackapausha’s future late last year prompted the founding of the Friends of Tackapausha Committee by Lorraine Bondi-Goldsmith, an enviornmental scientist from Plainview. The group, which is registering to become a 501(c charity, has also been pressing to get a full-time person in charge of the educational center after the museum’s director Wendy Albin was one of more than 200 county workers laid off in late December.
Krieb said a newly hired director of county museums will likely oversee Tackapausha. This position would be responsible for operations of Tackapausha as well as the county-run Garvies Point Museum & Preserve in Glen Cove and Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
During the rally, which attracted residents from across Long Island, Bondi-Goldsmith emphasized the importance of Tackapusha to the surrounding area. The museum is set to celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2012.
“Places like this are so vital,” she said. “It is a very important part of the community.”
One of many speakers at Friday’s Tackapausha rally was North Bellmore resident Mary Bellissimo-DeGregorio, who grew up in Seaford and loved attending the local museum as a child.
“Tackapausha is such a gem,” she said. “It is so rich in everything it has to offer.”