SSAS created the Michael Sperling Bird Sanctuary by converting a Nassau County Stormwater Basin into a living tribute of native plants and wildlife habitat, using donations from his Memorial Fund. The Sanctuary honors Mike and his many years of commitment to our mission by serving as an educational resource for the community, bolstering local bird populations, and restoring the environment for the benefit of people and wildlife.
To existing native oaks, cherries, and milkweed, we added Atlantic White Cedar, blight-resistant American Chestnut, and Hempstead Plains type grasses, all habitats that were once common but are now rare on Long Island.
The Sanctuary, using native plants and trees, provides habitat and food for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. It will attract an array of fruit, nectar, and insect-eating birds at different times of the year. The Sanctuary will preserve the balance and beauty of the natural ecosystem and provide a critically needed open space refuge for songbirds that migrate annually along the Atlantic flyway, while it reduces flooding in roadways, and channels precipitation back into the groundwater aquifer system.
The Sanctuary is located on North Pine Street in Massapequa, the street where Mike lived much of his life. Nassau County Stormwater Basins are gated and locked, but we will provide access for events, education, and research, and opportunities for volunteers to help with plantings and maintenance.
Donations to the Michael Sperling Memorial Fund will help us with the Sanctuary and similar projects. To make a donation, please make out your check to the South Shore Audubon Society and write Michael Sperling Memorial Fund on the memo line. Mail your check to P.O. Box 31, Freeport, N.Y. 11520-0031.
Learn more about Mike and the Sanctuary, and to see photos, videos, and a complete plant list.