News & Visitor Information at the Center at Fairfield
Fall 2019 Master Naturalists Complete Training
Graduates will serve as local environmental stewards through volunteer service.
This fall, a class of 25 nature enthusiasts undertook more than 40 hours of classroom and hands-on field investigation to complete The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Naturalist Training Program in Southwestern Connecticut.
Participants came from 19 communities throughout the state, for 10 weeks of classes taught by environmental education and conservation professionals and experts. To study the ecology, biodiversity and conservation needs of varied ecosystems, the weekly sessions took advantage of Connecticut Audubon’s diverse geography and, depending on the weekly topic, met at one of three different locations: the Center at Fairfield and Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield, and the Coastal Center in Milford. Among the course subjects covered were: plant and bird identification, geology of Connecticut, herpetology, mammalogy, marine ecosystems and climate change.
Graduates will apply their knowledge and skills in different volunteer capacities at of Connecticut Audubon’s nature sanctuaries or facilities.
Fairfield Resident Joins Connecticut Audubon Society as Director in Fairfield and Milford Point
The Connecticut Audubon Society has named Shari Greenblatt as its new Southwest Regional Director, responsible for leading two of its busiest centers in Fairfield and Milford, as well as the historic Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield.
For each center, Greenblatt will oversee operations and year-round staff, as well as seasonal naturalist educators. With their adjoining wildlife sanctuaries, the centers in Fairfield and Milford are key locations for Connecticut Audubon’s award-winning Science in Nature outdoor education programs, as well as for busy summer day camps, bird walks, lectures and other activities.
Greenblatt is a seasoned non-profit professional with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and project management. She comes to Connecticut Audubon from the Special Projects Department of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the country’s leading international environmental organizations. (more…)
The Enchanted Forest: Annual Halloween Fun For All Ages
Whooo had a good time at the Enchanted Forest? Everyone! At this year’s nature-themed event at the Center at Fairfield, many families had fun during this seasonal Halloween “treat.” Click here for more coverage, including the guided luminary walks, owl ambassadors, science experiments, campfire stories and more activities which guests enjoyed. Thank you to our volunteers and all who came to support it!
For upcoming Center at Fairfield activities, visit our Programs and Events page.
*Video and photo courtesy of Kicker Pictures/Connor Rog and Experience Fairfield.
Fall Nature Festival A Great Success!
Thank you to the community for coming out to support the Center at Fairfield’s Fall Nature Festival Weekend — celebrating over a century of conservation.
The evening reception held on Friday, October 4, was a great success thanks to the dedicated committee, Connecticut Audubon Society members, our generous sponsors and special guest James Prosek. Highlights included a notable exhibition and sale of John James Audubon Amsterdam Edition Prints, and a special tribute to Linda Morgens, honoring her years of commitment and volunteer service. Click here to read the article in the Fairfield Citizen. Many of the Audubon prints are still available for purchase and the catalog can be viewed here. For further information on availability and to arrange a private viewing, please email the Center’s Nature Store or call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Saturday’s Family Fun Day brought many new and returning visitors to Burr Street on a beautiful fall day. Enthusiastic support from the Fairfield and Redding Area Chapters of the National Charity League, and our naturalist volunteers helped make the afternoon of nature-themed events and activities entertaining and engaging for all ages! Thanks also to Alene’s Ice Cream Truck, Snappy Dawgs and East Coast Pizza Truck for joining the celebration.
Center Director Shari Greenblatt was gratified by the participation and turnout saying, “The Fall Nature Festival was a great opportunity to strengthen support and increase visibility of our conservation and environmental education programs in Fairfield.”
Fall Nature Festival Photos: Evening Reception & Family Fun Day
(Evening reception photos: Mike Lauterborn, Hamlet Hub)
The Connecticut Audubon Society is Recognized as One of the Top 20 Places in Fairfield County to Take Kids
In KidsOutAndAbout.com’s recently released annual survey, The Connecticut Audubon Society was once again selected from hundreds of choices as being one of the top 20 kid and family destinations in the Fairfield County area.
We wish to thank all those who voted and support our efforts in managing 20 wildlife sanctuaries around the state, preserving over 3,000 acres of open space in Connecticut and educating over 100,000 children and adults annually at their seven centers throughout the state.
Adirondack Night – The Fleece and Flannel Tradition Continues!
The Center at Fairfield greatly appreciates all who made this year’s Adirondack Night – Howl at the Moon, a great success on Saturday, March 2.
The enthusiastic event committee outdid itself in capturing the spirit of the evening while increasing awareness of, and garnering vital community support for, the Center’s conservation and environmental education programs (click here for more photos by Mike Lauterborn).
A hearty “thank you” to our Adirondack Night sponsors and contributors including:
J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C.
Rocco & Associates Wealth Management, Inc.
Bonnie and Michael Hirschfeld
Ned and Linda Morgens
Debbie and Ted Portnay
|Black Rock Galleries |
Two Roads Brewing Company
Garelick & Herbs
Outdoor Design and Living
Mike Lauterborn, Fairfield HamletHub
Horizon Foundation Funds 30 Classrooms of Science in Nature Education Program for Bridgeport Students
Seven hundred fifty elementary students from Discovery Magnet School and Park City Magnet School, both in Bridgeport, will participate in the Connecticut Audubon Society’s award-winning Science in Nature Education Program, thanks to a generous $15,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation.
The program will include hands-on, outdoor learning for students and teachers at our 155 acre Larsen Sanctuary in Fairfield to support classroom science lessons. Students will receive a tailored program specific to their teachers’ needs and challenge level, focusing more inclusively on the ecosystems that are dominant and typical of southern Connecticut. Each outdoor session will be guided by a trained Connecticut Audubon Society teacher-naturalist, with students using the latest education and field technologies to support their learning.
Housatonic Community College Students Present the Results of Their Turtle Study at a Local Scientific Conference.
Housatonic Community College students have been studying the painted turtle population of the Connecticut Audubon Society Larsen Farm Pond since 2010. This year students presented their results at the 50th annual conference of the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists, a meeting of biology faculty and students from the New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey tri-state area.
Our research group collects painted turtles using hoop nets. Captured turtles are treated humanely, data are collected and the turtles released back into the Farm Pond. Each turtle is weighed, measured, has its gender determined and is checked for leeches. When all the information is collected the turtle is marked using a system that assigns each turtle a unique code so that individuals can be recognized if recaptured.
To date we have collected and marked 101 individuals, many of which have been collected several times during our study. As we collect the same individuals over again we can chart the growth of the turtles. Additionally we develop data on sex ratios and the distribution of parasites on the turtle’s body.
We hope to continue our studies over the next several summers as we develop a picture of this turtle population.
I am pleased to announce that this year our student presentation, Distribution of Leeches on the Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) was judged best community college poster presentation in the areas of ecology and environmental science. Students Ana De Sousa, Arielle Hincapie and Nichols Zelaya were presented with certificates of excellence at the meeting.
I would like to thank the staff and administration of The Connecticut Audubon Society for encouraging this study and welcoming us to the Larsen Sanctuary.
— Dr. Tony Pappantoniou, PhD
Professor of Biology
Housatonic Community College – Bridgeport
To view the winning poster click here.
D.G. Warner, Winner of the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award
The Connecticut Audubon Society presented longtime Board member D.G. Warner of Southport with its Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award, at its annual meeting on Sunday, Oct. 15 in Sherman.
He was one of four honorees this year.
D.G. joined Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors in 2007 and continued through this year, serving as vice chairman, treasurer, and chairman of the investment and finance committees. He also served for more than a decade on the organization’s Fairfield Board of Governors.
Read more here.
The Center at Fairfield is a hub of environmental education activities and events throughout the year. It adjoins the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary, offering visitors seven miles of walking trails, including a 1-mile wheelchair accessible trail.
The grounds also feature a butterfly garden and live birds of prey compound. The Center has live education animals, exhibit areas and a Nature Store with a wide variety of birding and nature-related merchandise.
Trails are open year-round, seven days a week from dawn to dusk. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dishwasher – gently used no larger than 23 wide by 24 deep.
If you would like to donate a dishwasher, please all 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Animal Care requests (please call 203-259-6305 ext. 116):
- 75 gallon aquarium stand
- 100 foot garden hose
- Pump style hand sprayer
- Water dechlorinator 32 ounce
- Timothy hay
- Guinea Pig food (Supreme Selective diet)
- Carefresh paper small animal bedding
- Used bath towels
- Raptor rig – call for details
Visit Our Fairy Garden!
There’s a lot of activity in the green house… little voices chattering with delight as they search for fairies, tiny pigs and ponies in the Fairy Garden exhibit. This teeny garden of whimsy is a miniature landscape. Small-scale plants, foliage that looks like mini forest trees and teensy accessories give the illusion of tiny creatures living in the garden.
This charming garden was 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 located in the greenhouse at Center at Fairfield and is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
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.