In 1923, the Roosevelt family donated the land beside Theodore Roosevelt’s grave to ensure it would remain a natural space. Originally named the Theodore Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary, it became the first of its kind in the United States. Now, in the Sanctuary’s 100th year, we are excited to announce that our multi-year renovation project will soon be complete! We look forward to welcoming our community—bird and human alike— to our new visitor center and the restored Sanctuary it resides in.
The first phase, completed in 2020, involved the creation of a new sanctuary entrance and a native plant demonstration garden, which has become a home for many birds throughout the seasons. With the completion of the second phase, the staff of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center will have a “home” as well—a renovated visitor center and new education center, built around (and in!) an original building at the site. This will replace the old center building, which had fallen into disrepair over the years and has been removed, the native plant demonstration gardens now standing in its place.
As of February 2023, this second phase is 75% complete, with the new extension built and the interior of both the extension and the renovated white house on their way to being visitor-ready! When finished, the new visitor center will boast ADA accessibility in its interior, including bathrooms and parking, a native plant rain garden, a rear patio for outdoor gatherings, new offices for staff, and a new interior space for exhibits, public programs, and more.
Next steps include the creation of said exhibits, which will show off the Sanctuary’s history and the Long Island conservation work that will be based out of the new building. This will also mean a new, updated home for our animal ambassadors!
“We are thrilled to be a hub for all of Audubon’s conservation and environmental education work on Long Island,” says Center Director Kathryn D’Amico, “We are so grateful to our generous donors and community that came together to make this vision a reality. Our hope is that the new and improved visitor center and sanctuary grounds will be a community asset for all.”
The new visitor center is expected to be completed in May 2023, just in time to celebrate our 100th anniversary as the first Audubon songbird sanctuary in the United States.
We look forward to sharing this incredible new space soon!