Hempstead Lake State Park Education Center

2022 COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award Winner - Community Development

West Hempstead, NY (4th Congressional District)

The Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State Park is a $8.7 million 8,000 square foot center constructed in collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the New York State Office Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. Construction began in August of 2020 and was opened during Climate Week in September of 2021. The center is part of a $35 million investment by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Hempstead Lake State Park and included in the larger $125 million Rebuild by Design – Living with the Bay Project that aims to reduce flood risk, improve water quality, and enhance recreational access along the Mill River corridor in Long Island.

The Environmental Education and Resiliency Center is located near the western entrance of Hempstead Lake State Park, close to Lakeview and the Village of Hempstead, two historically underserved and ethnically diverse communities. The Center will serve a central focal point of the park’s improved trail connections to the waterfront, as well as direct access to the lake and ponds with kayak launches and fishing piers. The Center features exhibits and information explaining climate change impacts, community resiliency processes, and environmental stewardship, and includes a deck overlooking Hempstead Lake. Additional year-round education programming will enhance the community’s understanding of and relationship to the Mill River Watershed. The Education and Resiliency Center will also serve as a storm response “Command Post” for local disaster response coordination for first responders, as well as an area for utility companies coordinate equipment staging, enhancing their emergency response to restore critical utilities.

The Center was constructed to reduce environmental impacts with the following key features:
• High performance building envelope and HVAC system.
• Photovoltaic roof panels, LED lighting with occupancy sensing and daylight harvesting to offset electrical usage.
• High-efficiency, low/no water plumbing fixtures.
• Bird friendly window and door glazing.

Kim Hettinger
NYS Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery 
[email protected]

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