Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Thursday, April 19, 2018

Media Advisory - DEC Celebrates Earth Day with Trail Dedication at Kings Park Unique Area

As part of New York State's weeklong Earth Day celebrations, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will dedicate a 0.3-mile accessible trail and interpretive kiosk to long-time Huntington resident Sgt. Clarence Hylan Beavers.

Sgt. Beavers was the last surviving member of the first class of all African-American paratroopers from the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, known as Triple Nickles. During World War II, Triple Nickle paratroopers worked with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service on Operation Firefly, a joint military and Forest Service mission designed to prevent Japanese incendiary bomb attacks from ravaging the nation's western forests.

What:

DEC Region 1 Director Carrie Meek Gallagher, local elected officials, surviving members of 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, USDA Forest Service officials, and members Sgt. Beavers' family and elected officials will unveil an interpretive kiosk dedicating the trail to the late Sgt. Beavers who passed away on December 4, 2017, at the age of 96.

Where:

Kings Park Unique Area is located at the southwest corner of Meadow and Lawrence roads in Kings Park. The property is located south of Route 25A and east of the Sunken Meadow Parkway in the town of Smithtown, just south of Kings Park High School.

Meadow Road parking area (40.880173°N, 73.245497°W).

When:

Friday, April 20 at 1 p.m.

This event is designed to raise awareness about the groundbreaking role played by Sgt. Beavers and his fellow paratroopers in developing the nation's smokejumper program and how that success contributed to the integration of the U.S. military in 1948.

DEC Contact: Bill Fonda or Aphrodite Montalvo at (631) 444-0350. Day of Event - (516) 808-2731.

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