Center at Fairfield

Enchanted Forest: A Hoot of a Halloween!

owl_orangeFriday, October 24

Have fun making Halloween crafts and more at the Enchanted Forest on Friday, October 19.

Have fun making Halloween crafts and more at the Enchanted Forest on Friday, October 24.

Bring your ghosts and goblins to the Enchanted Forest for a hoot of a Halloween!  An excellent nature-themed alternative or addition to the traditional Halloween celebration, the Enchanted Forest introduces fascinating, entertaining (and educational!) information about nocturnal animals in their natural habitat.

Participants will have a fun – but not scary – experience when they are escorted around the luminary trail by volunteers who light the way with flashlights.   The night also features fall-themed craft making, Halloween snacks and a chance to meet some of the Center’s creepy and crawly critters. Children are encouraged to wear costumes.  The Enchanted Forest is held rain or moonshine.

Guided walks leave approximately every fifteen minutes beginning at 5:30 and the last walk leaves at 7:30.  Pre-registration and pre-payment required at time of registration. Call 203-259-6305 ext. 109 to reserve your walk time. Program fee for Connecticut Audubon Society members $10/child, $2/adult; Non-members: $15/children, $2/adult.  Call early or you don’t stand a ghost of a chance.


Nature Store News

There is a Seed Sale on Saturday, December 13th in the Nature Store from 10 – 3.  Click here for the preorder form.  Stop buy and purchase high quality Lyric seed at a 20% discount!

We have a wonderful fall selection of new items!  Calendars, James Prosek books and bird themed treasures for your home.


Registration for Fall Programs has Begun!

We have a great line-up of fall programs. Click here to download our fall brochure.

Sponsor a Bird of Prey Today!

MiltonOur Birds of Prey are in need of sponsors to help cover the cost of their feed, shelter, and care.   You can sponsor a bird through our Bird Sponsorship Program.  You’ll be helping to provide the necessary support to care for our non-releasable birds.  Click here for sponsorship information.




General Information

Center at Fairfield

Built in 1971, the Center at Fairfield serves as the hub of environmental education programs and activities for schools, families and children, and adults throughout the year. Its many events include summer camp, after-school youth programs, programs for scout troops and other community organizations, and annual special events (Birds and Their Habitat, Adirondack Night, Enchanted Forest, Egg Hunt ).

The Center is adjacent to the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary and provides an indoor setting for the interpretation of its varied land, forest, and freshwater wetland ecosystems. The Center features a butterfly garden, the Farm Pond (great for spotting frogs, turtles, and ducks), a greenhouse featuring a ‘Fairy Garden’ and nature-related exhibits. The Center also features a “Live Birds of Prey” Compound which is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am – 3:00pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our owls, hawks, falcons and vulture up close!

Our Nature Store provides nature-related gifts, birding guides, a great selection of bird houses and feeders, a wide selection of Lyric bird seed and other bird-related supplies.

The Center welcomes many volunteers, as participants in our Citizen Science projects and Animal Care Program, and in our many events and activities. Read our News and Announcements.

 Click here for Checklist of Birds of the Larsen Sanctuary   – side one and side two.

Events at the Center at Fairfield

Tree Identification Workshop

Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. – Noon

Looking to develop or improve your Tree Identification skills?  Join Connecticut Audubon Society naturalist, Dick Worth to learn the secrets to identifying local trees. 

This 2-hour “walking workshop” field class will take place in the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Larsen Sanctuary at the Center at Fairfield.  A number of factors that affect tree life, such as available space, light, soil quality, temperature, water, susceptibility to insects and disease will be discussed.  Participants will also learn the keys to identifying native trees by the details:bark, buds, and tree form.

Class will start with an overview of identification terminologyand then move outside into the sanctuary to practice in the field.

The fee is $6 for Members and $8 for Nonmembers.  Pre-registration is requested and can be made by calling 203-259-6305 ext. 109.



Birds of Prey Meet and Greet at Southport Park

Sunday, October 26 at 1:00 PM

Connecticut Audubon Society and Friends of Southport Park are teaming up for a Birds of Prey Meet and Greet! Families are invited to come meet Milton the Barn Owl, learn about birds of prey, enjoy cider and donuts at Southport Park. Bring your friends – it’s going to be a hoot!

Southport Park is located at 130 Old Post Road in Southport.  Click here for a map.  Click here for the flyer.

Animal Election: Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Critter

Tuesday,  Nov. 4

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

While residents go to the polls, the animals at the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield are flapping wings and pressing paws hoping to win the Center’s annual animal election.  This year’s slate includes previous year’s winner, Simon the Hedgehog.  Opportunities to meet Simon and the rest of the candidates will be available throughout the day.  The polls open at 11 am and will close at 2 pm.

All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free but donations are greatly appreciated to support the Center’s Animal Care program. For more information, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Badge Bonanzas for Boy and Girl Scouts

Saturday, November 8 from 9 a.m. to noon

Attention all scouts, you won’t want to miss this great opportunity to earn a badge or two! Join Connecticut Audubon Society teacher-naturalists as they lead scouts on a hike through the beautiful Larsen Sanctuary all while satisfying badge requirements, journeys, and achievements!

The badges Connecticut Audubon Society will address each day are:

For Boys:

Cub Scouts:  Tiger (Let’s Go Outdoors), Bear (Sharing Your World with Wildlife), and Webelos (Naturalists)

Boy Scouts:  Bird Study

For Girls:

Brownie Bugs and Brownie Hiker.

Junior Animal Habitats

These programs tie into Girl Scouts taking their Journeys through, “It’s Your Planet, Love It!” and/or “It’s Your Story, Tell It!”

Space is limited, pre-registration is required. The fee is $10 per badge per scout.  Please dress for the weather and bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Click here for the Registration Form.  For more information or to register, contact Jane Guenther, program coordinator at 203-259-6305 x 109 or

Creature Feature

Wednesday, November 12 from  3:30-4:30 p.m.

Join us for a live animal program featuring some of the Center’s resident education animals. Learn fun animal facts and discover the wonderful world of several of our mammals, reptiles, amphibians and even a few creepy crawlies.  Make a simple animal craft, too.

 All ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $3 for Connecticut Audubon Society members and $5 for non-members.  For more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Creatures of the Darkness

Friday, November 14 from  7:00 – 8:30pm

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the woods after night falls? When the sun goes down, many animals are just starting their day and the nighttime is alive with activity. Become a night watcher with Connecticut Audubon Society naturalists and explore the sanctuary looking for the many wonderful animals that prefer the cover of darkness. A warm campfire and smore’s will be our reward for this evening adventure. Bats and opossums, anyone?

A great experience for the entire family. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Advance registration required. Program fee: $6 Connecticut Audubon Society Members; $8 Non-members. For more information or to register call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Education Programs

Environmental Education Programs for Pre-K through Grade 12.

Connecticut Audubon Society offers educational programs which comply with the Connecticut Science Framework standards.  All programs are coordinated with local curriculum objectives and are available for school visits at the Center at Fairfield.  Our early elementary programs are offered at the Center at Fairfield and can also be brought to your school.

Complete details are available in our School Program Guide.  For our Science and Nature brochure, click here.

For questions or to register for a visit please contact our scheduler at 203-259-6305 ext. 118.

CANE Program for Grades K-2.

The Connecticut Audubon Nature Explorers (CANE) Program is offered to students at the Fairfield Public Schools and St. Thomas Parochial School. We train Parent-Volunteers to present three science enrichment programs to their child’s class. Two units are presented in the classroom, leading up to one end-of-year field study activity. We provide some of the materials that will be needed in the classroom.

The Kindergarten fall and winter programs are puppet shows; the spring program is held on school grounds.

The Grade 1 fall program is a puppet show; the winter program is a hands-on activity about bird beak adaptations; the spring program is a trip to the Birdcraft Museum.

The Grade 2 programs include setting up a salt water tank in the classroom; a ‘Mystery in the Marsh’ activity to test students’ detective skills; and a trip to Southport Beach to investigate the variety of wildlife habitats found there.

For more information, contact the CANE Coordinator at each school; or call Colleen Noyes 203-259-6305, ext., 112.

TRAINING SCHEDULE:  For the 2014/2015 CANE  Training Schedule click here.

PRESENTATION SCHEDULE:  For the 2014/2015 Presentation Schedule, click on the appropriate Grade Level: Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade.

Scouting Programs

Badge Bonanzas!

Attention all scouts, you won’t want to miss this great opportunity to earn a badge or two!  Join CAS Teacher-Naturalists as they lead scouts on a hike through the beautiful Larsen Sanctuary all while satisfying badge requirements, journeys, and achievements!

Click here for the 2014/2015  Badge Bonanza registration form.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your child’s birthday with Connecticut Audubon Society!  We provide a fun-filled 45-minute nature-based program of your choice for your child and 15 guests.  Program offerings include; Totally Turtles, Slither & Slime, Creature Feature, Winged  Wonder and more!   Parties are available on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. -Noon or 1:00-2:30 p.m.   Weekday parties available on a limited basis by request.  Click here to view the brochure.  For more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

News and Announcements

Junior Animal Care Keeper

Junior Animal Care Keepers for students currently enrolled in Grades 6 & 7

Wednesdays: September 10 – October 22 (no class September 24)

3:30-5:00 p.m.


If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes at the Connecticut Audubon Society and meet our resident animals face to face, this program is for you!  This 6-week program provides 6th and 7th graders with the opportunity to join staff in caring for and studying the resident nonreleasable animals who call the Center at Fairfield their home.


The program provides an overview of our live animal collection including reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates.  From glamorous to gross, you’ll learn animal husbandry care, prepare and offer their food, and make sure they have a healthy living environment.  At the end of the course each participant will receive a certificate of completion.


Space is limited. Advance registration required. Program fee: $60/person for CAS members; $80/person for non-members. All proceeds support Connecticut Audubon Society environmental education programs. Register in advance by calling 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Nature Nursery – Fall Harvest

Tuesdays — September 23rd-November 18th (No class Nov 11) from 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Children ages 3-5 years accompanied by an actively participating adult.

What do all the animals do in the fall?  How do they prepare for winter?  Where do the leaves go?  Each week we will discover the answers to these very questions.  Come join us as we discover fun facts, create cool crafts and meet exciting animals.  Please wear appropriate outdoor attire and footwear.  Advance registration required.

Single program fee: $12/session for Connecticut Audubon Society Members; $16/session for non-members.  8-program series fee: $88 for Connecticut Audubon Society Members and $120 for Non-members.

Call for reservations 203-259-6305 ext. 109.


Join Our Chair Campaign

We’d like to replace our well used chairs that are currently being used for all of our programs.  

The National Charity League  Easton/Redding Area Chapter kicked off our Chair Campagin with the donation of  our first row of new chairs.   If you’d like to donate a chair or two, please call 203-259-6305.ext. 109.

Have You Sponsored A Bird of Prey?

MiltonOur Birds of Prey are in need of sponsors to help cover the cost of their feed, shelter, and care.   You can sponsor a bird through our Bird Sponsorship Program.  You’ll be helping to provide the necessary support to care for our non-releasable birds.  Click here for sponsorship information.

Donations Needed

Scrub Brushes and Garden Gloves:  We also need scrub brushes and garden gloves (new or gently used).  You may drop these items off  in the Nature Store  anytime between 10:00am – 3:00pm, Monday – Saturday.

Refrigerator:  We are looking for refrigerator with dimensions no larger than 66 inches high and 32 inches wide .    Please contact Nelson North at 203-259-6305 ext. 101.

Visit our Fairy Garden!

There’s a lot of activity in the green house… little voices chattering with delight as they search for fairies, and tiny pigs and ponies in the new Fairy Garden exhibit.  This teeny tiny garden of whimsy is a miniature landscape.  Small-scale plants, whimsical foliage that looks like mini forest trees and teensy accessories gIMG_1366ive the illusion of tiny creatures living in the garden. 

This special garden was designed and created by Master Gardeners: Anne Mele, Mary Hogue and Kristine Scerbo with the assistance of green house volunteer Jessie Linderoth.  Fairy gardens are often located in small secluded areas in the garden, giving visitors the impression that they just happen to fall upon this magical place.  So come, stumble upon our Fairy Garden, you’re sure to find magic here!  The Fairy Garden is open Monday-Saturday 10:00am- 3:00pm.

Join our Volunteer Team!


Fairfield Center Volunteer

At the Connecticut Audubon Society, we believe that every person can make a positive difference in protecting and preserving our environment.  By volunteering at our Center at Fairfield, you can help promote understanding, appreciation and stewardship of our natural world.  We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people of all interests and experience levels, including working in the Nature Store, visitor center or outdoors.

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer, please contact the Director of Fairfield Operations,Nelson North at 203-259-6305 ext. 101.

Garden Volunteer

Are you interested in learning about plants and all apsects of gradening?  We offer a variety of volunteer opporutnnities, including garden maintenance in our green-house fairy garden; outdoor herb, perennial, and large butterfly gardens!  You can be involved in planting, weeding, edging, and sprucing up the Connecticut Audubon Society  Gardens .  We welcome all levels of experience.  Our graden team typically works on Friday mornings at 2325 Burr Street. 

Animal Care Team

Our Animal Care Program provides a unique opportunity for teenagers, ages 13-18 years old, to experience animal husbandry first hand.  Animal Care volunteers assist with daily feeding, habitat cleaning, and general animal care housekeeping, as well as handling animals under direct supervision.

Our live animal collection includes permanently injured or otherwise human-dependent reptiles, birds and mammals which are all an integral part of our educational programming.

The time commitment is one day per week during the school year from 3:00-5:00pm or on Saturdays from 10:00-noon.  Animal Care hours in the summer are from 2:00-4:00pm during the week.

For more information about Animal Care volunteer opportunities call 203-259-6305 ext. 116 or email  Click here to download the Animal Care volunteer application.


From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road. Go north on Mill Plain Road for 4.5 miles (Mill Plain Road becomes Burr Street). The Center is on the left.

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44 Route 58. Northbound: Turn right onto Congress Street at the end of the ramp. Proceed to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Burr Street. The Center is approximately 1 mile along on the left. Southbound: Turn left at the light at the bottom of the ramp, and turn left at the next light onto Route 58. Go under the bridge, and turn right at the light onto Congress Street. Proceed to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Burr Street. The Center is approximately 1 mile along on the left.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions, above.

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2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT 06824

Center & Nature Store Hours:

10 a.m.-3 p.m.
(Closed Sunday)

Articles of Interest: Birding, Wildlife, etc.

Our adjoining 155-acre Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary is open dawn to dusk year-round.
Sanctuary Map

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Coming Up At the Center At Fairfield