Center at Fairfield
Summer Camp Register Has Begun!
Registration for Connecticut Audubon Society’s summer camps is underway!
This page has everything you need to register for camp at the Center at Fairfield or Birdcraft.
To register online for camp at the Center at Fairfield or Birdcraft Museum, click here.
To download the Fairfield and Birdcraft camp Brochure click here. For registration information and forms for Fairfield and Birdcraft summer camps, click on the following: Registration Information, Registration Form, Medical Form, Medicine Release Form.
For Fairfield and Birdcraft Junior Counselor application, click here, and Summer Employment Application, click here.
For more information about Fairfield and Birdcraft camps, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Call for Artists: 5th Annual Birds and Their Habitat Art Exhibition and Sale
Connecticut Audubon Society announces a call to artists for the 5th Annual Birds and Their Habitat Art Exhibition and Sale, September 26 – September 28, 2014. As the title suggests, works must feature birds and/or the beauty of nature, from bird life and their habitats to the diversity of natural landscapes specific to Connecticut and the Northeast. Works must be original and current. Mediums include: ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, wood carving and fine art crafts. Click here for prospectus. Please contact Nelson North at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-259-6305 ext. 101.
We have a great line-up of Spring Programs. Click here to download the Spring Program brochure.
Nature Store News…
It’s a great time to put your nesting boxes up! Don’t forget to visit our Nature Store for all your birding needs. We have a wide selection of feeders including the latest in squirrel resistant feeders.
Click here for our Larsen Sanctuary Bird List – side one and side two.
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.
Events at the Center at Fairfield
Winter Habitat and Tree Id Walk
Saturday, March 15 from 10:30 – 11:30am
What a winter! We run inside and get warm, but what happens to the trees, animals and insects when the prolonged cold and heavy snow blankets the woods?
What birds can you still find during those winter months and are the rabbits, mice, skunks, foxes, coyotes and deer in a state of hibernation or do they spend their days forging through the snow looking for food and shelter?
Trees have their own special mechanisms for dealing with winter – you’ll learn how trees cope with winter and learn how to identify the tree by it’s twigs and bark.
Come learn about the mysteries of the forest in winter months when all seems quiet and empty in the woods. Join members of the Field Forestry Committee for their winter season habitat walk with Milan Bull, Senior Director of Science and Conservation at the Connecticut Audubon Society, and Don Parrott, owner of Connecticut Arborist Inc.
Please direct questions to: Fairfield Forestry Committee member, Misty Beyer: email@example.com 203-940-2776
Badge Bonanza for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
Saturday, March 22 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 we will address each day are:
Cub Scouts: Tiger (Let’s Go Outdoors), Bear (Sharing Your World with Wildlife), and Webelos (Naturalists)
Boy Scouts: Bird Study
Brownie Bugs and Brownie Hiker.
Junior Animal Habitats
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. For more information or to register, contact Jane Guenther, program coordinator at 203-259-6305 x 109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Peeper Walk
Friday, April 4 from 6:30-8pm
What’s teeny tiny, seldom seen, but often heard? Give up? It’s the Spring Peeper Frog!! Come join us as we listen for spring peepers in our marsh and look for more secretive animals like spotted salamanders and frogs, as well as the shy and increasingly rare woodcock. Boots, flashlights and warm attire are strongly suggested. Fee: Children must be accompanied by a participating adult. The fee is $6 for Members and $8 for Nonmembers. To register please call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Saturday, April 12 from 10 -11:30 a.m. and 1 – 2:30 p.m.
“Eggs-plore” what’s hatching at the Center at Fairfield’s 18th annual “egg-stravaganza”! Fun-filled family activities include an egg hunt (ideal for children 8 and under), spring-themed craft making, and a visit from a very special rabbit. Our morning egg hunt includes a continental breakfast while our afternoon egg hunt includes juice, cookies and healthy snacks. Bring cameras and a basket! Program held rain or shine.
For registration call 203-259-6305 Ext.109. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program fee: $10/child, $5/adult for CAS members; $15/child, $5/adult for non-members. Free for children under 2 years old.
Spring Break Nature Palooza
April 14 – 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
For children ages 4 – 8
Lunch Bunch from 12:30 —1:30 p.m.
Join us while we welcome back the animals and plants that have been hiding all winter. During Spring Break Nature Palooza, campers will spend their time exploring the world of nature. They’ll investigate the Larsen Sanctuary to look for evidence of spring’s arrival and learn about what the flora and fauna are up to at this time of year. Campers will discover the world around them and how to be stewards of the environment. This exciting and unique program includes live animals, craft-making and outdoor explorations. Four-day series: $120 CAS members; $168 Non-members. Single-day fee: $36 CAS members; $48 Non-members. Lunch bunch is $10 per day. To register or for more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Thursday Morning Bird Walks
Thursday Mornings – April 24 – May 29 from 6:30-7:30AM
The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Larsen Sanctuary contains a mix of habitats that attract diverse wildlife – particularly birds. Over 180 species of birds visit the sanctuary throughout the year, including many that stop during their long migrations. Join Milan Bull, Connecticut Audubon Society senior director of science and conservation, for an early Thursday morning guided bird walk that explores the Larsen Sanctuary’s varied habitats including wetlands, woodlands, ponds, and native grass meadows that are home to Broad-winged Hawks, Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, and many more. This walk and talk is an ideal opportunity to see an excellent variety of birds along the trails and near the water features as well as feeder species found at the Center’s feeders.
Milan Bull is a long-time expedition leader to destinations throughout the Americas, and to Australia, Antarctica, and Africa. He currently is a member of the Citizens Advisory Council to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and was founding director and past president of the Connecticut Ornithological Association. He has published numerous articles and speaks statewide on topics relating to ornithology and the environment.
The weekly Thursday morning walk normally takes about an hour. All levels of birders are welcome. Prepare ahead by downloading a Checklist of Birds for the Larsen Sanctuary which can be found at www.ctaudubon.org. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Don’t forget binoculars. Walks will be cancelled if there is rain. All walks meet in the parking lot. Stop in the Nature Store after the walk for a cup of coffee.
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 2013/2014 CANE Training Schedule click here.
PRESENTATION SCHEDULE: For the 2013/2014 Presentation Schedule, click on the appropriate Grade Level: Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade.
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!
The 2013/2014 Badge Bonanza date is: Saturday March 22. Click here for the Registration Form.
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
Have You Sponsored A Bird of Prey?
Our 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.
CAS Volunteers Make Conservation Impact
Kohls volunteers and Boy Scout Troop 90 created a 3-bin compost system
As part of a corporate volunteering initiative, employees from the Fairfield Kohl’s retail store #402 gave their time to help Boy Scout Troop 90 build a 3-bin compost system for the Center. The goal of the 3-bin compost system is to increase the conservation action education that the Center provides. As part of the new curriculum associated with Science in Nature, students will learn about the importance of composting, how composting works, how to compost, and actually engage in composting as a part of their experience at the Center. Visitors will also be invited to contribute to the composting efforts, signange and a brochure will provide some information about how composting works and how people can easily compost at home.
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 give 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. “I was inspired by a visit to a hillside Fairy Garden in Maine this summer.” states Master Gardner Anne Mele, “I thought it would be a great addition to the Connecticut Audubon Society green house.”
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.
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 11:00-1:00pm. 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. 118.
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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