Center at Fairfield

Summer Camp Register Has Begun!

marsh maddness (4)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 Audbird and thier habitat croped (2)ubon 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 nnorth@ctaudubon.org or call 203-259-6305 ext. 101. 

 

 

April Seed Sale

The April Seed Sale is Saturday, April 26.  Preorders are due by April 16.  Click here for the Seed Sale Flyer.

 

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. 

 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

Roots to Branches: Past, Present & Future of Fairfield’s Urban Forest

Saturday, April 19 from  9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join us for a community forum concerning Fairfield’s trees as Connecticut State Foresters Chris Donnelly and Rob Rocks address how our past shaped the forests of today.  Learn why it is so important to manage this resource for tomorrow.  Workshop opportunities are available following the presentation including:

  • Tree      planting – the right tree in the right place
  • Pruning
  • Tree      ID/Habitat walks
  • Invasive      tree and shrub identification

Donations of $10 are welcome.   The program is sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society and the Fairfield Forestry Committee.  For more information contact mistybeyer@optonline.net or visit fairfieldct.org/forestry.

 

 

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. 

The Pond is Alive!

 

Saturday, May 24 from 10- Noon

After a long, cold winter spent in quiet slumber, the pond at Connecticut Audubon Society’s Larsen Sanctuary is rejuvenated and once again becomes the host to a variety of organisms that play a part in making this wetland a favorite destination of nature lovers.  Join teacher-naturalist, Erika Kiley as she explores the ecology of the pond, where a variety of plants, animals and microorganism communities, together with the non-living environment, interact in a delicate, balanced system.  Learn about the habitats in and around the pond, the plant and animals within and the contributions they make. Participants will explore pond life by dip-netting into the pond to examine its creatures; back inside the nature center, participants will build their own “ecosystem in a bottle.  

 Please bring your own two-liter bottle.  All are welcome but children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. The fee is $6 for Members and $8 for Nonmembers.  To register please call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Rock of Ages

 

Saturday, May 31 from 10 – Noon

Join teacher-naturalist, Dick Worth as he tests rocks and soils in the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Larsen Sanctuary.  Learn about the geological history of the area and the importance of soil conservation.  Participants will test locally found rocks using rock test kits to determine composition and will discuss the affects this has on soils and the ecosystem.  All are welcome but children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. The fee is $6 for Members and $8 for Nonmembers.  To register please call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

 

National Trails Day Hike

June 7, 2014 from 10:00am-11:30am

Take a leisurely, guided 1.5 mile hike through the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Larsen Sanctuary and discover its temperate deciduous forest, ponds, garden marsh, meadow and swamp.  We’ll explore several bird habitats and points of ecological interest and discuss efforts to conserve, protect, and enhance their habitats.  The varied terrain is of easy-to-moderate difficulty.  Meet in the Nature Store. 

 In addition to the walk, there will be special in-store promotions in the Nature Store.  Store hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Pre-registration is recommended.  Call 203-259-6305 ext.109. Rain or shine but heavy rain cancels.  Sturdy footwear required for variable terrain.                                                                

 

Tree Identification Workshop

Saturday, July 12 from 10 – 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 on Saturday, July 12th from 10 to Noon.   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 terminology and 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.

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 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.

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! 

Check back here for the 2014/2015  Badge Bonanza dates.  

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

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.

Egg Hunt

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.

 

 

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.  “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.

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 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.

Directions

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.

Connect to MapQuest

Address

2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT 06824
203-259-6305

Center & Nature Store Hours:

Monday-Saturday
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

Get Directions

Coming Up At the Center At Fairfield

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