Directions to the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary

From I-95, Northbound or Southbound take Exit 19 (Playland Parkway) to Playland. If you are a member of the sanctuary, your barcoded membership card will allow you to open the yellow automatic gate in the LEFT lane at the ticket booths at Playland’s main entrance. Continue driving to the back right side of the main parking lot by the Dragon Coaster ride. You’ll see another automatic gate. Scan your card again, and continue straight down the road into the sanctuary. Manursing Lake is on the left and Long Island Sound and Kayak Launch area are on the right. There is a parking area in front of the nature center. Note: Please do not park on the grassy areas. See our google map insert for more detailed directions.

Non-members will have to pay Playland’s entrance fee, park in their lot, and walk down the road to the sanctuary when Playland is in operation.

Sanctuary Rules: for your safety and the protection of our wildlife

Thank you for joining the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary! The 179-acre sanctuary offers 3-miles of walking trails, access to 1/4-mile of the Long Island Sound shoreline, and a nature center that offers educational programming and interactive nature education exhibits. Membership dues support ongoing improvements and enhancements for visitors and wildlife.

Here are a few of the things you can enjoy and explore while visiting the sanctuary:

  1. Year-round birding. The sanctuary has been officially recognized as “An Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. During the spring and summer months, Osprey can be observed nesting on the platform near the lake. Bird feeders at the nature center area are stocked from October through April.
  2. Nature trails for easy walking through Meadows, Fields, and Forested habitats
  3. Our walk-in Pollinator Garden is a showcase of native plant species that are deer-browse resistant and will attract an abundance of bees, butterflies, and even humming birds. You can plant these species in your own backyard or even in pots on your deck and help pollinators by providing nectar and pollen food sources. Informational panels in the garden educate and encourage visitors to learn about the needs of our local pollinator species, and a list of flowers that you can plant.
  4. A view of Long Island Sound is just a short walk from the nature center parking area
  5. What do honeybees do all day? Come look at our Observation Beehive case inside the nature center and see for yourself! Watch the worker bees build the honeycomb, fill it with honey, and tend to the brood cells, and take care of collecting nectar and pollen. If you are lucky, you may spot the queen bee as she comes out to lay her eggs.
  6. Interactive educational exhibits, paid for by membership dues, are in the process of being created during the next year. Stop in and see the exhibits we have so far, which include a microscope station, interactive map of the sanctuary, and a match-up quiz exhibit.
  7. Nature education programs are offered on most Saturday’s during the year. Check the Friends website for current offerings.
  8. Take a break from your busy life and enjoy simply relaxing while being surrounded by the beauty of nature!
  9. Have a nature observation or question? Stop by and talk with the nature center staff.
  10. Nature Photographers and artists will find a great many subjects throughout the year, from the macro to micro. There are always wildlife subjects, landscapes, and the many textures of the natural world that will attract your eye and speak to your heart.

Also, there are a few rules that help keep the park a sanctuary:

Please review them since by entering the sanctuary, you are agreeing to abide by these rules. We thank you for your cooperation in keeping the sanctuary a wonderful place for both visitors and wildlife!

  1. Dogs are not allowed anywhere on sanctuary grounds (including the beach and roadway). Your dog, like its wild ancestors the wolf or coyote, is a canine, and leaves the scent of a predator. The sight or scent of your dog can disturb wildlife and alter their nesting and rearing habits. In the past, people’s dogs have destroyed or eaten the eggs of ground-nesting birds and frightened other visitors to the sanctuary.
  2. Bicycles are not permitted on trails because they accelerate erosion and can damage tree roots. It is also disturbing to hikers and walkers on the trails enjoying the peace and solitude of this natural park.
  3. Feeding wildlife is not permitted because it makes animals lose their fear of humans, and can contribute to aggressive encounters and accidents. Your food is not bird food. Although birds and squirrels may eat tossed bread it will harm them over time.
  4. Fishing is not permitted from the sanctuary beach or anywhere in the lake, including the causeway bridge near Playland.
  5. Removal of plant, animal, or mineral material is prohibited. Removing these natural resources interferes with natural processes and depletes soil nutrients. Weak or under-nourished plants lead to weak or under-nourished wildlife that feeds on them.
  6. Keep to the designated trails to avoid damage to sensitive habitats and personal injury. In the past, the land that is now the sanctuary was abused by dumping. There is still a lot of old glass and sharp or rusted metal in areas off-trail.
  7. Kayaking access to Long Island Sound is located outside of the sanctuary in the dirt and gravel parking area near Playland. No public access is permitted in the lake for any purpose.
  8. No Idling. Turn off your engine while you are sitting in your vehicle here at the sanctuary.
  9. Do not drive or park your vehicle on any grassy area. Parking is permitted in the asphalt parking area by the nature center building. No parking or stopping on the road.
  10. Help us keep this park a place of sanctuary. If you see anything suspicious or if you have need of the police, call the Westchester County police at (914) 864-7700.
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