R to L: Honorable Jonathan Kornreich, Councilman, Town of Brookhaven; Jane Taylor, Executive Director, Three Village Chamber of Commerce; Hope Kinney, Branch Manager, East Setauket Investors Bank; Charles Napoli, Trustee, WMHO; Kathleen Mich, WMHO Trustee; Bill Faulk, Regional Public Affairs Manager, PSEG Long Island; John Keating, Manager of Economic and Community Development, PSEG Long Island; Dr. Richard Rugen, Chairman, WMHO; Gloria Rocchio, President, WMHO; Kenneth Kronke, Board Member, Three Village Chamber of Commerce; The Frisenda Family; Carmine Inserra, Board Member, Three Village Chamber of Commerce; Mary Van Tuyl, Trustee, WMHO; David Seyfert.

STONY BROOK, NY – September 26, 2022; The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) is pleased to announce that the newly restored Sensory Garden at the T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park has officially been planted, thanks to a sponsorship of $3,500 from PSEG Long Island.

The Sensory Garden was original created as a place where those who are sensory-impaired could enhance their independence and interact with nature in a special way, over ten years ago. David Seyfort, a Stony Brook resident, visual teacher and mobility instructor assisted in the selection of plants and suggested wind chimes to ensure all visitors could enjoy the park. Among the many plants incorporated into the sensory garden are lambs ear and wooly thyme for its texture, lavender, hydrangea and dogwood for its smell, and pink muhly grass, Japanese maple and hen and chicks collection for sound.

Dr. Richard Rugen, Chairman of the WMHO said, “Originally, the sensory garden began small – a residential visually impaired woman would come here to smell the flowers, listen to the birds, and sit in peace. Over the years, especially the last few during the pandemic, this park and garden have given that same peace of mind to all of its visitors. Thanks to PSEG-LI and the PSEG Foundation, our newly enhanced Sensory Garden can continue to be a place where everyone come to relax, enjoy and find peace. Tropical Storm Isaias caused incredible damage throughout the park in August of 2020. The first phase of restoration was completed in October of 2021.  This marks the completion of phase two of the park’s restoration.”

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1939 by businessman and philanthropist Ward Melville. Inspired by his legacy to preserve historic and environmentally sensitive properties, the WMHO continues to protect and interpret these Long Island treasures. The organization creates interdisciplinary educational and cultural experiences that integrate history, art, theater, music, science, and technology for all ages. The organization owns and manages properties deeded to it by Ward Melville, including the Brewster House (c. 1665), the Thompson House (c. 1709), the Stony Brook Grist Mill (c.1751), which are listed on the state and national register for historic places, the Dr. Erwin Ernst Marine Conservation Center, the pristine 88-acre wetlands preserve at West Meadow, the 11-acre T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond and adjacent park, two-acre Upper Pond, and the two-acre Jennie Melville Village Green. To learn more about the WMHO, visit www.wmho.org or call (631) 751-2244. 

PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.