Center at Fairfield
Register for Summer Camp
Connecticut Audubon Society camps provide outdoor adventure and hands-on nature activities that encourage children ages 4- 14 to develop a respect for the natural world. Kids at our camps have the kind of fun that can come only from exploring the woods and ponds, visiting marshes and brooks, or meeting an owl or a turtle up close and personal.
To register online for summer camp at the Center at Fairfield or Birdcraft Sanctuary, click here.
To download the camp Brochure click here.
Interested in registering? Download these forms and return to the Center at Fairfield or Birdcraft.
Registration Information Registration Form Medical Form
Authorization to Administer Medication Form.
Interested in becoming a Junior Counselor? Click here for the Application Form.
CALL FOR ARTISTS
The Connecticut Audubon Society announces a call to artists for the 4th Annual Birds and their Habitat Art Exhibition and Sale, September 27 – September 29, 2013 at the Center at Fairfield. 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, current and crafted in 2011, 2012, or 2013. Mediums include: painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, wood carving and fine art crafts.
The juried exhibition draws art patrons and visitors throughout New England with excellent opportunities for sales. According to Nelson North, Director of Fairfield Operations, “We are extremely fortunate to have two of the Fairfield regional board members John Brett and Jeffrey Earls who will be co chairing the event.”
The deadline for submission is June 28, 2013. Click here for the prospectus. Please contact Nelson North at email@example.com or call 203-259-6305 ext. 407
Join us for our Thursday Morning Bird Walks from 6:30 – 7:30AM. View our list of birds sighted thus far.
We have a great line up of programs, classes and events. Click here for the May Brochure.
The Larsen Sanctuary Bird List is Here! Click here to download side one and here for side two.
The May 11th Bird Talk has been cancelled.
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 ‘Sensory 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
Feeding Frenzy: Red-eared Slider
Tuesday, May 30 from 4 – 4:30 p.m.
Gulp, crunch, slurp, chomp! It’s meal time for the turtles at the Center atFairfield. Come see what’s on the menu for the Center’s resident red-eared slider. The “dime-store” red-eared slide is an invasive nonnative species inConnecticut. Learn important facts about invasive species and how they compete with native species for food and habitat. All ages are welcome; children must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested family donation is $5. To register and for more information, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
National Trails Day Hike
June 1, 2013 from 10:00am-11:30am
Join us for a nature walk in celebration of American Hiking Society’s 19th annual National Trails Day.® 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 10:00am-3:00pm. Pre-registration is recommended. 203-259-6305 ext.109. Rain or shine but heavy rain cancels. Sturdy footwear required for variable terrain.
Connecticut Trails Day is part of National Trail Day. It is part of National Trails Day, a nationwide hiking initiative established by the American Hiking Society in 1993.
Environmental Education Programs for Pre-K through Grade 12.
Connecticut Audubon Society offers 14 different 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. Nearly all of our programs can be brought to your school. All programs include an outdoor component which can be adapted to your schoolyard.
Complete details are available in our School Program Guide.
For questions or to register for a visit please contact our scheduler at 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
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 2012/2013 CANE Training Schedule click here.
PRESENTATION SCHEDULE: For the 2012/2012 Presentation Schedule, click on the appropriate Grade Level: Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade.
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, Feeding Frenzy, Signs of the Season 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
Live Birds of Prey
Saturday, May 18 from 1:00 – 1:45pm
Sleek, strong, silent … birds of prey are magnificent yet, how often do you get to see one up close? Join teacher/naturalists Caitlin Holmberg as she introduces you to the Connecticut Audubon Society’s resident Birds of Prey. These birds cannot be released back into the wild, but now serve as bird ambassadors who help us tell the story of their status in Connecticut and what each of us can do to help them. Learn about their characteristic features, discover their adaptations and natural history, and explore the conservation issues that affect them.
With a close up view, you’ll learn how to identify their field markings and their characteristic features. You’ll also learn about the impressive adaptations and behaviors of these remarkable birds, how a peregrine falcon hunts its prey, why some birds of prey don’t migrate in the winter and discover an owl’s fascinating adaptation for night life. Fee: $5 per person. To register or for more information, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Thursday Morning Bird Walks with Milan Bull
Thursday Mornings – May through June 6 from 6:30-7:30AM
Join Milan Bull for an early Thursday morning guided bird walk that explores the varied habitats of the Larsen Sanctuary including wetlands, woodlands, ponds, and native grass meadows that are home to Broad-winged Hawks, Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, and many more species. 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 is senior director of science and conservation for the Connecticut Audubon Society. He 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 to participate. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. 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. For reservations call 203-259-6305 ext. 109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creature Feature: Peregrine Falcon
Thursday, May 16 from 4-4:30 p.m.
Once a month a Connecticut Audubon Society animal ambassador ventures from its cage, pen or perch to greet Center visitors up close. This month, come meet the Center’s resident Peregrine Falcon closer than you ever have before. This interactive program is full of fun and interesting facts about what makes the Peregrine Falcon unique. All ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested family donation is $5. For more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
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 compo0sting eforts, signange and a brochure will provide some information about how composting works and how people can easily compost at home.
Looking Back at 2012
2012 will be a year to remember at the Connecticut Audubon Society for many successes despite the unbelievable disruption and loss brought by storms. Last year we enthusiastically experienced record high numbers of campers in our hands-on, inquiry and science based summer camp. We effectively launched our new Science in Nature program and embraced our 3rd annual Birds in their Habitat Art Exhibit with tremendous volunteer and community wide support. And progress continued to be made on restoring our historical Birdcraft Museum. Two other things will also stand out as highlights in 2012: the generosity of our donors and the support we received from so many residents and organizations throughout the region. Read more>>>
Science In Nature: The First Reviews Are In!
Students get ready to take soil samples as part of our Science In Nature program. Photo copyright Connecticut Audubon Society.
We could tell you how good our new Science In Nature education program is but you might not believe us.
So we thought we’d let the teachers of the students who participated in the first sessions tell you instead. Here are excerpts from their written evaluations of the program:
What was the most valuable aspect of this program?
“The most valuable aspect of this program is the common core relationship to the sixth grade curriculum.”
“The students being able to be hands-on with nature, guided by someone with knowledgeable experience to keep the students engaged.”
“The Connecticut Audubon Center is a fantastic place to learn about the outdoors while actually investigating the outdoors.”
What is the least valuable aspect of this program?
“The least valuable aspect is nothing because visiting a wooded area is extremely needed and often unavailable to city students.”
What can we do to further meet your needs as a teacher, or for the needs of your students?
“Just continue the program and make it continuously available to us.”
“Continue to promote the program because more inner city children need to be able to have these kinds of programs.”
Science In Nature is the most innovative outdoor environmental education program in Connecticut. Learn more about it here, or contact Michelle Eckman, our director of education: email@example.com. 203-259-6305, ext. 107
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.
Storage Pods: We are looking for 2 Storage Pods (8′ x 8′ x 16′). They must be weather resistant and lockable. Please contact Nelson North at 203-259-6305 ext. 407.
Visit our Fairy Garden!
I see one! A little visitor points to the fairy she found in the 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 Tuesday-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. 407.
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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