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A Great Staycation for Families

Holtsville Ecology SiteHoltsville Ecology SiteCapture

By Tim Jahn, M.ED

School’s nearly out and families with young and school-age children will be looking for things to do. How about spending a day at Brookhaven’s Ecology Site, Park and Zoo?

The Town of Brookhaven Ecology Site, Park and Zoo is located on a landfill that was closed in 1974. Now the site at 249 Buckley Road in Holtsville includes a playground and picnic area, outdoor pool, a fitness trail, greenhouses and a zoo.

The 1.2 mile fitness trail is a paved path that takes you through wooded areas and open spaces. Walkers, joggers and bicyclists all use the trail. It is mostly flat with a few inclines. Exercise equipment such as pull-up bars and balance beams are scattered along the trail. Through a partnership between Brookhaven’s Recreation Department and Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play initiative, a fitness pavilion has been added to the exercise trail. The pavilion features six pieces of equipment for exercising and strengthening legs, arms and core.

Families with children can also stroll through the zoo which features bald eagles, bobcats, black bears and more. Farm animals such as horses and cows can be found at the end of the zoo walk. Children can feed the goats at the very beginning of the walk, but all of the other animals are on special diets. After the zoo, head to the playground for more active play or to the pool for a refreshing swim during the summer hours. Picnic tables are available. Parking fees apply May 1 – October 15 and there is an admission fee for the pool.

To see scenes from the fitness trail, zoo and park, double click the link above.

For more information and photos, visit

Tim Jahn is a Human Ecology Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. He can be reached at 631-727-7850 ext. 331 or at


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