Molloy Professor realizes dream to open a nature retreat center
By Linda Leuzzi
They did a happy dance in the parking lot.
That would be Art & Nature Group Inc. (ANG) founder Eric Powers and ANG's president Rebecca Muellers after the Brookhaven town board voted to enter into a lease agreement with ANG, to create a sustainable environmental education center at the old Washington Lodge in Brookhaven last Thursday.
Powers was asked if he and Muellers celebrated officially.
"We went home and went to bed, we were so exhausted," laughed Powers.
They were hoping to inhabit the building by the end of 2017.
Muellers said about $500,000 would be needed for the renovations that would be addressed in three phases, although they would be looking at the numbers more closely to accurately report necessities to investors.
It's been four years since Powers began his mission: to find a building and establish a nature retreat center also offering environmental classes and trail walks. The working name is the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery.
Powers is a wildlife biologist and former park ranger who offers mobile wildlife education via Your Connection to Nature, Inc. He is also an adjunct professor at Molloy University. Muellers is affiliated with Primitive Pursuits, which partnered with the Cornell Cooperative Extension. She came on board with the concept two years ago. Read more