Center at Fairfield

Center at Pomfret

News & Visitor Information at the Center at Pomfret

“Perfect Spot to Commune with Nature”

Center at has compiled a list of “15 Perfect Spots in Northeast USA to Commune with Nature” and we are thrilled to let you know that the Center at Pomfret/Bafflin Sanctuary” in number 4.

Read it here.

It’s even more impressive than it seems because the authors consider Maryland and Virginia to be the “Northeast” – odd designations for one state that had been part of the Confederacy and another that borders it.

Bottom line though is that of the 15 Perfect Places, only four are in New England. We’re one of them!

Trail Wood Will be Closed for Winter to Allow Forestry Work that Will Increase Safety and Improve Habitat

The Connecticut Audubon Society will close its Trail Wood Sanctuary in Hampton for the winter to allow loggers to safely remove trees that have died or were weakened by damage in recent years by gypsy moths.

The work will make the 168-acre sanctuary safer for hikers while also serving to improve the forest for birds and other wildlife. The project is scheduled to start in mid- December and be completed by March 2018.

Read more here.



Holiday Nature Store


Shop Locally and Support the Center at Pomfret!

The Center at Pomfret will be full of all kinds of gifts for all ages with mother nature in mind.  We have bird feeders, bird houses, suet, gardening gifts, nature books and items for children, field guides, freshly cut Christmas trees, David Stumpo paintings, matted prints and cards, other local art and photography, nature jewelry, gift baskets, holiday swags, raffle table & more.

Now open seven days a week through Friday, December 22.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. -4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.


Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret was awarded Best Place to Walk/Hike at this year’s Best of Norwich Magazine Awards!


Birds Seen This Week

Cedar Waxwing, Robin, Pileated Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Flicker, Canada Geese, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Song Sparrow, Junco, Great Blue Heron

Birds This Month 

Click here for our
December Birds Of Bafflin Sanctuary



Art Exhibits and Programs

What Does Light Pollution Look Like? – Virge Lorents 
Exhibit & sale thru end of December.

Our night sky is growing brighter as residential and commercial development continues to expand. View Virge’s beautiful images and consider what can be done to keep our northeastern Connecticut skies dark. Free admission.



Winter Art Show Featuring Local Artists
Now through Mid-January

Come feast your eyes on the talents of three local artists. Watercolorist David Stumpo, Wildlife Photographer Nancy Barrett, as well as a special exhibit by Virge Lorents on Light Pollution will be featured. There will be a wide variety of artwork on sale for purchase with holiday gift-giving in mind. Free admission.





General Information

Photo by Aaron Bourque

Located in Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner,” the Center at Pomfret is surrounded by our 700-acre Bafflin Sanctuary. The Center is a community-based facility offering programming for all ages year round.

The Bafflin Sanctuary is actively managed for grassland, shrubland, and woodland birds, as well as other wildlife ,and is a nationally recognized Important Bird Area. Over 200 species of birds have been observed at Bafflin.

The sanctuary is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk for hiking and birding. Programs at the Center at Pomfret include bird walks, trail hikes, art exhibitions, photography workshops, seasonal workshops and lectures, environmental education programs, and citizen science training and projects. Also offered are after-school nature clubs, summer and school vacation camps (ages pre-K to high-school).

The Center manages the Trail Wood, in Hampton. Once the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning nature writer Edwin Way Teale, the 168-acre sanctuary now offers well-developed trails and programming for adults, families, and children. Visitors may view the small museum on the property as well as his writing cabin. Museum visits are by appointment only. The sanctuary is open year round from dawn to dusk for hiking and birding.

Download the Bafflin Sanctuary Rules

Download more information about our center and its green features.

For additional programming in our area consider Trail Wood,
our Edwin Way Teale Sanctuary in Hampton.

Holiday Nature Store


Shop Locally and Support the Center at Pomfret!

The Center at Pomfret will be full of all kinds of gifts for all ages with mother nature in mind.  We have bird feeders, bird houses, suet, gardening gifts, nature books and items for children, field guides, freshly cut Christmas trees, David Stumpo paintings, matted prints and cards, other local art and photography, nature jewelry, gift baskets, holiday swags, raffle table & more.

Now open seven days a week through Friday, December 22.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. -4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.

Cold Weather Survival

Fire Building 101
Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m. – noon

The Baranski brothers – experienced outdoorsmen, animal trackers, campers and nature photographers – will lead a program on the proper way to build a safe campfire.

Fee: $3 for Connecticut Audubon members; $7 for non-members.

Film Series

Tapped (2009)
Monday, January 22, 6:30 p.m.
(Snow date: January 23, 6:30 p.m.)

Examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution and our reliance on oil. Representatives from SAVE OUR WATER CONNECTICUT will lead a short discussion after viewing the film. Free admission – donations always appreciated.

Generation Zapped (2017)
Private pre-release screening!
Monday, February 26, 6:30 p.m.
(Snow date: February 27, 6:30 p.m.)

We encounter 100,000 times more radiation from wireless technologies than we did decades ago. This film, to be released in 2018, investigates the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to radio frequencies (RFs) from wireless technology; its potential effects on our health and the development of our children. Fee: $5 per person

Merchants of Doubt (2014)
Monday, March 26, 6:30 p.m.
(Snow date: March 27, 6:30 p.m.)

The story of how a cadre of influential scientists have clouded public understanding of scientific facts to advance a political and economic agenda. Free admission – donations always appreciated.


Regular Walks

Wednesday Noon Walks
Now through February 28, Noon 

Join Connecticut Audubon Society volunteers for fresh air, exercise, good company and naturalist lessons along the way. Seniors and parents with babes in backpacks welcome. Free to CAS members; $3 non-members.

Thursday Morning Walks
December 7 thru February 22, 8:30 a.m.

Stretch your legs, breathe in that early morning fresh air and look for signs of wildlife on the Bafflin Sanctuary with Fran Barnaski, longtime volunteer, tracker and nature photographer. Bring your camera if you are so inclined. Free to CAS members; $5 non-members.


Family and Children’s Programming

After School Nature Club
Pomfret Winter Session–Grades K-6
Thursdays, Jan 18 & 25, Feb 1, 8, 15 & 22 from 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Do your kids need to blow off steam after school? Send them to the Center. After a quick snack, we will head out on the trails to explore and search for animal tracks and sign.  The afternoons will be filled with fresh air, exercise and fun. Wildlife lessons will be quietly inserted along the way.  We will go outside, so warm winter clothing and boots are a must. Fee: $60 for the 6-day session.

Click to download the 2018 After School Club Forms.


Bird Walks and Programs

Monthly Bird Walks
Thursday, December 28, 1 p.m.
Thursday, January 18, 1 p.m.
Thursday, February 22, 1 p.m.

Come out in search of wintering bird species. We will look for horned larks, ducks, hawks, sparrows, yellow-bellied sapsuckers and more. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Owl Walks
Saturday, December 30, 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 20, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 7 p.m.

Join Andy Rzeznikiewicz in search of wintering owls. We will attempt to find screech, barred, and great-horned owls. In some years saw-whet and long-eared owls are possible to find. Most of the calling is done from the road. Program is cancelled if bad weather (rain, snow, high winds). Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program

Citizen Science Volunteer Appreciation & Season Kick-off Night
Wednesday, November 29, 7 p.m.

This is our annual event to thank our Citizen Science volunteers! Come enjoy a special presentation on Connecticut’s Eagles by Brian Hess from the Conn. DEEP Wildlife Division. Let’s get together to celebrate our conservation work.

Dessert and Coffee/Tea served. Prospective volunteers welcome!

RSVP Paula at 860-928-4948 or


Mammal Wildlife Tracking 

What’s in your backyard? Tracking activities, presentations, and mounted animal exhibit followed by an afternoon tracking hike on the sanctuary.  Dress for the weather, bring water, lunch and snack. For more information, contact Paula Coughlin, Coordinator at Fee: $50 CAS members/$60 non-members.

Introductory Tracking Hike
Saturday, December 2
9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Center at Pomfret’s Bafflin Sanctuary
Fee: $25 CAS members; $35 non-members. Registration is required.

You may have seen the tracks of a red fox or a fisher in mud or snow. Maybe, you’re lucky and caught a glimpse of a coyote. Connecticut’s forests provide excellent habitat for local wildlife.  Our experienced Citizen Science Volunteers monitor sites in Woodstock, Willington, and Canterbury seasonally, always on the lookout for track and sign of fisher, river otter, mink, moose, black bear, and bobcat. You are welcome to begin or continue training to become a Citizen Science wildlife monitor by attending training hikes that suit your schedule throughout the year.

For information about all Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program projects and training, contact Paula Coughlin, Citizen Science Coordinator, 860-928-4948 or email

Additional Winter Tracking Hikes:
Sat., January 6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat., January 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat., February 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat., February 17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

All hikes are subject to change due to weather conditions. Full training is six hikes; participants select hikes that suit their schedules. Registration is required. For more info, contact Paula Coughlin, Citizen Science Coordinator at 860-928-4948 or

Training Fee per hike: $50 CAS members; $60 non-members. Registration is required.

Schedule School Field Trips and In-class Programs

Attention Teachers!
Science In Nature School Programs

Early- Mid May 2016 031_2Want to add a little excitement to your classroom? Consider one of our in-class science programs. We have one hour programs for kindergarten through sixth grade. Sample titles include: Winter Tracks, Life Cycles, The Dirt on Soils, Adaptations, Birds and Beaks, Food Chains, Skins and Bones, CSI Aquatic, Winter Birds, and Rockin’ Out, to name a few. Also, consider our four hour school field trips The Dirt on Soil, Bird Ecology, Scratching the Surface (Geology), Watersheds and Erosion, Native Americans, EcoNiches and Adaptations, and more! The calendar fills up quickly. For more info and scheduling call 860-928-4948 or email Sarah at

Center at Pomfret, P.O. Box 11, 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259  

Special Opportunities

Bird Surveys on Private or Public Property

Sanctuary Manager Andy Rzeznikiewicz is available to conduct bird population surveys and can provide habitat management recommendations for your property. Private property owners, Land Trusts, municipalities or other groups that want an inventory of what bird species they have breeding or using their property might be interested in this service. Conservation groups that are evaluating potential land purchases for conservation might find this service helpful as well. The best time of year to conduct nesting bird surveys is May and June. Call for more information: 860-928-4948.

Group Programming

Are you a school, library or other organization serving the community? We’re glad to raise environmental awareness in all contexts! We can bring our wildlife video and bird slide show programs right to you. Call 860-928-4948 for more information on each program.

Private Guided Bird and Nature Walks

Throughout the year, sanctuary manager Andy  Rzeznikiewicz can take you on a private bird and nature walk, geared to your expectations and locations.  Andy can take you to your next life bird, local hot spots, or places he knows to find birds and wildlife for you.  Owl walks and private woodcock watches are very successful in small groups.  This is an excellent gift for that outdoor enthusiast who has everything. Call 860-928-4948 for more information.


From the intersection of Routes 101 and 169, take Route 169 north.

Take your first right onto Day Road. Follow for approximately one mile to stop sign.

Turn right continuing on Day Road. Center less than one quarter mile up on your right.

218 Day Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259




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