Connecticut Audbon Society
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

News & Information at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Next Steps at the Estuary Center

In January, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center found its home in the Old Lyme Shopping Center at 90 Halls Road. Since October, we have been converting the area into an office and programming space, where we have already had several events, including a book discussion with one of the writers in the  writer-in-residence at our Trail Wood Preserve; an information session about Connecticut’s Breeding Bird Atlas; and an afternoon talk about the benefits of bird feeders.

This month, we are officially opening our doors to the public on a regular schedule, and inviting locals in to learn about Connecticut Audubon’s mission and programming. 

Our staff is excited to be in such a public area of Old Lyme, where locals who are curious about our efforts in educating the public can easily access us. Although we don’t have our own natural space, we are developing relationships with local land trusts and other public spaces. With them, we can connect people with locations they may not be familiar with while spreading our love for the outdoors. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for a way to get more involved with the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center? We are looking for volunteers!

Education: These volunteers would help to facilitate family and adult programs with our center. You could be involved in hikes, bird walks, or crafting activities. These volunteers would benefit from a naturalist background.

Administration: We are looking for volunteers to greet people at our center. These greeters should be comfortable answering the phone and basic questions about our center. We also need help with basic tasks like correspondence and book-keeping. 

Get involved today by filling out our volunteer application form. We look forward to working with you!

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the Connecticut River Estuary ecosystem and watershed, through science-based research, education and advocacy.

 The Connecticut River Estuary, where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound, is a showcase for biodiversity, serving as a fisheries nursery and an important nesting and migratory stopover for numerous birds.

The RTPEC, named for internationally and locally renowned artist, scientific illustrator, environmental educator and conservation advocate Roger Tory Peterson, is seeking to acquire land and a building to create an environmental education center.

The center will be dedicated to facilitating scientific research, establish high-quality environmental education for children, teens and adults, and promote outreach and advocacy to preserve, protect and conserve the estuary and its beauty for generations.

Click here to read about Eleanor Robinson, our Center Director. Click here to read about our Education Team.


Year of the Bird

2018 marks the centennial of the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which has served to protect over 1025 birds in every habitat on the planet. National Geographic Magazine has alerted its readers to this benchmark and concurrently dedicated a feature story in each monthly issue this year to a topic related to birds. National Geographic has also declared 2018 The Year of the Bird.

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center would also like to ride on the tail feathers of The Year of the Bird and pause each month to highlight the wonder of birds. While our underpinnings are rooted in a habitat-, ecosystem-, and bioregion-based approach to conservation, education, and advocacy, this spotting scope focus on one category of life on earth is a launch pad for learning and for celebration.

Lesser Yellowlegs, photo by Amelia Graham

My children have asked since they were toddlers, “Mom, what’s your favorite bird?” As innate observers of the natural world, children see birds as accessible and alluring expressions of beauty in the wild. Be it bird song, feathers, nests, or eggs, children connect to the outdoors via these fanciful flyers with their exquisite adaptations for survival. Having a favorite bird is a personal pinpoint of joy. It is something to notice, to care for, to imagine and to enjoy.

In the meanwhile, adopt whatever aspect of The Year of the Bird that might resonate with you. 

Perhaps this year you could create a backyard bird list, learn 10 new bird songs, or participate in a citizen science project that protects a bird species of concern.Consider participating in our Migration Madness Bird-a-thon this May, to raise money for our conservation efforts. Whatever you decide, the RTPEC staff is here to help you along the way. We offer programs for over 1,000 schoolchildren and for people of all ages and stages that inspire connection to and understanding of birds and the natural world.

Celebrate your own personal Year of the Bird and let us know how you decide to experience all things avian in 2018.

 Eleanor Perkins Robinson
Director, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Grant Funding in Lyme and Old Lyme

November 1, 2017 – The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center has been awarded a generous grant from the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation to be used in local elementary schools for the 2017-18 school year.

The center is using the grant to purchase technological equipment for student use in the field to further the study of local natural habitats. The grant also allows center educators to teach Science in Nature to third, fourth and fifth grade children at Mile Creek and Lyme Consolidated elementary schools.

Third graders observe a pond during Science in Nature

The Lyme–Old Lyme Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that raises funds to enhance learning for all ages in the Lyme-Old Lyme community. The Foundation has funded many enrichment projects in innovative teaching and learning for local students. 

“LOLEF is excited to partner with the Estuary Center in an exciting new science program for our elementary school students,” said Mary Stone, the Foundation’s president. “Science in Nature is a dynamic, interdisciplinary program that actively involves children in the methods of scientific inquiry at an early age.”

This grant award follows a Science in Nature pilot program initiated in the 2016-2017 school year that garnered the endorsement and enthusiasm of students, teachers and school administrators.




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