(Hauppauge, NY- April 22, 2013) – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone marked the forty third anniversary of Earth Day today, unveiling an exhibit honoring one of Suffolk County’s most environmentally sensitive and significant areas, the Long Island Pine Barrens. The Suffolk County Historical Society has installed an exhibit, “Barren and Waste Land: Long Islanders and the Pine Barrens” in the lobby of the H. Lee Dennison county office building in Hauppauge.
“Although first created in 1997, this exhibition remains relevant today to the environment and culture of our region,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “The Long Island Pine Barrens is a rich eco-system that Suffolk County is working hard to protect. This exhibit will help visitors to understand and appreciate the Pine Barren region more fully.”
The exhibit focuses on one of the great natural resources of Long Island shown in its historic context. On display are historic interpretations and images of the Pine Barrens region, including Camp Upton and the once booming cranberry industry of years gone by.
Throughout history, the Long Island Pine Barrens has meant different thing to different cultures and segments of the community. To Native Americans, the Pine Barrens was an ecosystem rich in resources, to be used in meeting daily living needs. European settlers used these resources too, although often in a manner that had destructive impacts.
“The purpose of this exhibition is to provide an interpretation of the relationship between various human cultures and the resources and landscapes that collectively comprise the Long Island Pine Barrens,” said Suffolk County Historian Peter Fox Cohalan.
The exhibit runs through June 2013.