News & Visitor Information at the Center at Glastonbury
Letter from the Executive Director About the Closing of the Center at Glastonbury
March 20, 2020
The Connecticut Audubon Society has made the difficult decision to close the Center at Glastonbury permanently starting July 1, 2020.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, the Glastonbury Center building is closed to visitors until April 15. Staff may be reached at 860-633-8402.
Most scheduled programs have been canceled, but
you can still observe our raptors in their aviary or explore Earle Park.
Connecticut Audubon sanctuaries will also remain open for hiking,
but please observe the 6-foot social distancing guideline!
This is a dynamic situation. Please click here for updates from our state headquarters.
Explore our centers and sanctuaries on your mobile device
Soar through our centers and sanctuaries with this free app, which highlights unique and interesting features at each stop. Take one of our tours while you’re onsite or plan ahead with detailed directions and maps to your nearest Connecticut Audubon location.
- Tours of our Centers and Sanctuaries
- Bird IDs with photos and descriptions
- Tips on how to create a native garden for birds and pollinators
- Interactive maps
For Android and other non-Apple devices, visit the web-based app. Software platform © Cuseum, Inc.
This App was made possible by Planet Fuel Charitable Fund.
Located near the Connecticut River, the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury has taken full advantage of its unique location since its opening in 1982 as the Holland Brook Nature Center, promoting awareness of the Connecticut River ecosystem and the birds and habitats it supports, and fostering their preservation through education and related activities.
The Center’s 4,000 square-foot facility offers environmental education programs and events throughout the year for children and adults.
Visitors will find hands-on exhibits, wildlife mounts, interpretive natural history exhibits, a bird-watching station, small live animals, a reference library and a nature store. The grounds surrounding the Center contain the Four Seasons Wildlife Garden, an aviary housing our non-releasable raptors, bird feeders and a picnic area.
The Center is adjacent to the 49.7-acre town-owned Earle Park, with its forest trails and scenic vistas of Tom’s Pond, meadows, and bluffs overlooking Holland Brook, and culminating at the Connecticut River. The park is home to a maturing forest of beech, tulip, and red oak trees and contains the state champion bitternut hickory tree. There are trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding; scroll down for more info, maps & guide.
Glastonbury’s Outdoor Aviary Is Home to these Raptors
Cookie, a Barred Owl who was hit by a car and has blurred vision.
Barred Owls measure about 17-24 inches, weigh just under two pounds, eat small mammals and live in suburban neighborhoods and dense woods in the eastern United States and Canada.
Buddy, a Broad-winged Hawk who lost part of a wing when hit by a car.
Broad-winged hawks measure 15-17 inches, weigh 9-20 pounds, eat small mammals, amphibians and insects, and live in forests in eastern United States, most of southern Canada, the pacific slope of southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America.
Trinity, a Red-tailed Hawk who lost the use of one ear and one eye when hit by a car.
Red-tailed Hawks measure 18-26 inches, weigh about 3.5 pounds, eat birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians ,and live in scrub desert, grasslands, farm fields, pastures, parks, woodlands & tropical rain forests in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.
You may observe them during any daylight hours, whether our Center is open or not.
Do Not Bring Distressed Wildlife to Connecticut Audubon
If you care, leave it there is usually the best thing you can do for a bird or animal that appears distressed but shows no visible sign of physical injury.
But if it is injured, it may need help.
However, do NOT bring any wildlife to The Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury or any other Connecticut Audubon facility.
We are neither licensed, trained nor equipped to care for it. Leaving an injured bird or animal on our doorstep gives it a probable death sentence.
Click here for more wildlife info from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division.
Earle Park (right outside our door) and Connected Open Spaces
The Town of Glastonbury’s 49.7-acre Earle Park, with its Tom’s Pond, Holland Brook and 2 miles of trails, runs from our Center to the Connecticut River and is open daily from dawn to dusk. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. On a kiosk between our entrance and the park are trail maps which may be borrowed for use while you are hiking, or, if you wish to plan ahead, you may click here to download a printable copy. For more details about the park’s features, click here for our trail guide for group leaders.
The Glastonbury Pony Club uses many of the trails for horseback riding. It is named in memory of Dr. B. Baylis Earle and his family, the previous owners. Before 1900 it was used as a farm. Most trees are no older than this.
Nearby are the town-owned historic Cider Mill and Red Hill Open Space. Both are connected to the park by a publicly accessible pathway; click here for a map and a bit of history.
The adjacent Old Church Cemetery was established in 1823; click here for photos. The dirt dug from the graves was dumped along side the cemetery, creating the embankment where the trail runs.
It is a popular place – people are dying to get in there!
How many people are dead in there? All of them!
Woodpeckers: Damage, Prevention and Control
Woodpecker damage is a wide-spread problem, not just here in the Glastonbury area. Unfortunately, we know of no sure-fire solutions, but check these sources for further information:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers’ findings about why the birds may have selected your house and possible deterrents: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/wp_about/.
CT DEEP “Dealing with Woodpecker Problems: https://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/wildlife/pdf_files/outreach/fact_sheets/wdpckrproblems.pdf.
Jayne Gillon & Sandee Brown, 2019 Winners of the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award
Our congratulations and appreciation to Jayne Gillon and Sandra Brown, longtime volunteers at the Center at Glastonbury, who are two of the four honorees receiving The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award at its annual meeting on Oct. 20, 2019, aboard the Cecilia Ann on Long Island Sound. (Click here to see the full list of current & past honorees.)
For the past 10 years, Jayne Gillon has been a reliable and dedicated volunteer at the Center at Glastonbury. Jayne shows up each week with a smile on her face ready to take on any project. She has saved our staff countless hours by keeping up with our program data entry, making sure we are accurately tracking the number of students and adults we serve at our center, and compiling the teacher survey data to help improve our programs. We rely on Jayne as an extra set of proof-reading eyes and value her input on programs and exhibitions at the center. She has rearranged and spruced up our nature store numerous times and recently has begun helping with store inventory as well. We rely on Jayne as one of our most dedicated volunteers.
Sandee has served the Center at Glastonbury in one capacity or another since 1987. She has served multiple terms on the regional board and is a former member of Connecticut Audubon’s state Board of Directors. As a retired school teacher, Sandee has lent us her knowledge, experience and expertise, not only in teaching programs for us, but also working with our staff to create and improve our programs.
Every spring, Sandee rallies her troops to put on the annual Traditional Tea fundraiser to benefit the Center at Glastonbury. The Tea is Glastonbury’s most successful and popular event and Sandee’s attention to detail and dedication is the key to that success.
Above everything else, Sandee’s love of the Center at Glastonbury and the Glastonbury community in general is evident to all who have interacted with her over the years. Her dedication to education and conservation shines through in everything she does.
Ralph Wood, 2018 Winner of the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award
The Connecticut Audubon Society presented Ralph Wood, a longtime member of the state and Center at Glastonbury boards, with its Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award, at its annual meeting on Oct. 21, 2018.
Treasurer. Chairman of the Board. Chairman of the Governance Committee. Member of the Executive Committee. Chairman of the Board. Chairman of the Glastonbury Regional Board. Member of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Regional Board….
Those are all the positions Ralph Wood has held for Connecticut Audubon just in the last six years. And we probably forgot some.
Ralph has handled it all with aplomb, with generosity, and with a gentlemanly demeanor that makes working with him a pleasure.
A resident of South Glastonbury, Ralph is passionate about conservation and the outdoors, and about the imperative to instill a conservation ethic in the younger generations. He is passionate about donating his time and his expertise in how organizations function effectively. Most of all he’s been unstinting and steadfast in his loyalty and his friendship.
Kate Reamer is Named Director of the Center at Glastonbury
July 7, 2018 – Please welcome Kate Reamer as the new director of the Center at Glastonbury!
Kate, a Glastonbury resident with extensive experience in outdoor environmental education, replaces Michelle Eckman, who has held the position on an interim basis for two years. Michelle will be returning to her position as Connecticut Audubon’s education director.
Kate will be working part-time until September 4. Until then, she will be in the center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kate spent many years teaching and managing environmental education programs along the east coast before moving to Glastonbury nine years ago with her husband to raise their two daughters.
She has a degree in marine biology from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and has taught outdoor education programs in the Florida Keys, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island.
Before she moved to Glastonbury, Kate was the Director of the Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative AmeriCorps Program in Providence, where she managed a team of AmeriCorps members trained to teach environmental education programs in Rhode Island’s cities.
She spent this past year volunteering at the Center at Glastonbury as the volunteer coordinator. Kate has also been on the board of the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association and the Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association.
Dan Miller, 2017 Winner of the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award
The Connecticut Audubon Society presented Dan Miller, a longtime volunteer at the Center at Glastonbury, with its Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award, at its annual meeting on Oct. 15 in Sherman, Conn. He was one of four honorees this year.
Dan has spent the past nine years volunteering roughly 4,620 hours at the Center at Glastonbury.
“Dan treats his work at the center like a paid position, helping to organize the volunteer database and update the website,” said Patrick M. Comins, executive director of Connecticut Audubon.
“He cares about our success and does what it takes to help behind-the-scenes operations run smoothly. He has great ideas, is organized, and his institutional knowledge has helped tremendously.”
Connecticut Audubon Society’s Volunteer Benchmark Award was established in 1993, and is given annually by its Board of Directors to one or more selected individuals whose volunteer activity has significantly enhanced the organization’s mission.
Each year, at the annual meeting, recipients are presented with a plaque commemorating their dedication to conservation. The other 2017 recipients are Richard Telford of Pomfret, Louise Crocco of Milford, and D.G. Warner of Southport.
In 2007, the award was renamed the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award for a longtime member, donor, board member, and one-time interim president. Engelman epitomized the characteristics of an extraordinary volunteer by helping Connecticut Audubon Society grow both in spirit and as an organization.
You can find the list of past award winners here.
From I-84 in East Hartford: Take Exit 55/Route 2 East to Route 17 Exit (Portland/South Glastonbury). Our Center is on the right, 2.5 miles from the exit.
From I-91 North: Take Exit 25 to Putnam Bridge/Route 3. Follow Route 3 over the Connecticut River to Route 2 East. Move quickly into the left lane to take the Route 17 Exit (Portland/South Glastonbury). Our Center is on the right, 2.5 miles from the exit.
From I-91 South: Take Exit 25N to Putnam Bridge/Route 3. Follow Route 3 over the Connecticut River to Route 2 East. Move quickly into the left lane to take the Route 17 Exit (Portland/South Glastonbury). Our Center is on the right, 2.5 miles from the exit.
From Middletown: Go east on Route 66 to Route 17 North. Follow through South Glastonbury. Our Center is on the left.
From Marlborough and Southeast: Take Route 2 West to Exit 10. Turn left, then turn right at first stop sign. At first stop light, turn left onto Chestnut Hill Road. Follow for 3 miles to Main Street. Turn right onto Main Street. Our Center is ¼ mile on the left.