New York, New York. (Conference Countdown)

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Has the cold weather got you down? Are you experiencing the winter doldrums? Cheer yourself up by thinking about the wonderful sunny weather we'll have in June during the 2003 Annual Conference in New York City! Here are a few outdoor activities you can look forward to while you're waiting out the winter months.

Wide Open Spaces

Were you aware that New York City is the greenest city in America? NYC has approximately 53,000 acres of park/open space. There are more than 750 native species of animals and plants throughout the five boroughs, including the endangered peregrine falcon, the sharp-shinned hawk, and white-tailed deer. The city has more than 1,700 parks and playgrounds to enjoy!

Central Park--the first public park in America--is the most famous of New York's parks. While you are attending SLA 2003, take some time to enjoy a free, guided walking tour of the Park, where you can learn about its history and design and enjoy its beauty. For more information on Central Park walking tours, go to www.centralparknyc.org.

Looking to experience other New York parks? Try wandering through the Bronx New York Botanical Garden on a guided bird walk. Or experience the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which attracts thousands of migrating shore birds to its 10,000 acres. For more information on New York parks, go to www.nps.gov/nycparks.

Beaches

Did you know you could surf in New York City? The city is home to several beaches that will help you have fun in the sun!

Coney Island

In addition to a beach, Coney Island has a famous boardwalk with rides and games of chance. Ride the Cyclone roller coaster or visit a sideshow, museum, flea market, or the fantastic New York Aquarium.

Gateway National Recreation Area

Fantastic beaches, old military forts, and wildlife are the big draws to this unexpectedly diverse park with an assortment of activities from beach-combing to aviation history. Take a ferry from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, or try the swimming beach at Great Kills Park.

Orchard and Rockaway Beaches

Interested in the traditional beach experience? Check out the elegant mile-long Orchard Beach crescent- the "Bronx Riviera." Rockaway Beach is America's longest municipal beach, with almost 10 miles for sun worshippers and sand castle builders. …