Please call to register for all programs. Dates and times are subject to change.
Parties and organizational groups of more than 15 people visiting the park must call the Ansonia Nature Center (203 736-1053) and talk with a staff member about space availability and are required to rent the picnic pavilion for $125 including a $200 returnable clean up deposit
Scout or other organizational groups must book a separate class or program than those being offered to the public.
SPRING BREAK NATURE DAYS
Mon. April 15–Thursday April 18, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
For children from 6 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will not only be educational but also a chance to explore our 156 acres. We will visit a variety of habitats such as the park’s wetlands, fields, and woodlands. Great time of the year for amphibian searches too! Find our registration form HERE!
TUITION: $125 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $150 all others.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration begins Thurs. Mar. 14
Calling all kids 11 to 14 years old who love nature! Has your child wanted to work with animals, garden, help maintain our trails, and help with special events? This is the opportunity to help the Nature Center in our 8-week after-school program, starting on Thurs. Apr. 11 at 3:30 pm. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
BEEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS – Sat. Mar. 16, 1:30 pm
This class is an introduction to the fascinating hobby of beekeeping. Join Ranger Dawn to learn about beekeeping tools and equipment, how to begin a starter hive, and how to identify honey bees and what they are doing. Our observation hive at the Nature Center is a great place to see this incredible system. For ages 14 and up. FEE: $6 per person. Please pre-register.
OWL PROWL: Raptor Woods Hike – Fri. Mar. 22, 6 pm
Whoooo’s awake in our forest? Join Ranger Jess for this adventure! We’ll test our eyes by walking flashlight-free through the dark forest, our ears listening for the “Whooo’s awake? Me tooo?” of the Great Horned Owl. We may even stumble upon an owl nest! For adults and children 9 and older. Dress for the weather and wear footwear appropriate for hiking. FEE: $3 per person.
BEAUTIFUL BIRD HOUSES – Sat. Mar. 23, 1:30 pm
Join Ranger Amie and paint a bird house for spring! Children and adults will paint simple bird houses for our feathered friends. Each finished bird house will include hanging hardware and cordage. Ages 8 and up. MATERIALS FEE: $6 per person. Please register; class size limited.
ACOG MEMBERSHIP DRIVE – Sat. Apr. 6, 11 am–1 pm
Are you interested in getting your own garden plot over by the Ansonia Nature Center? Stop by the ANC, learn about ACOG (the Ansonia Community Organic Gardens), and sign up for a plot! $20 for a 20′ x 40′ plot; $10 for a 20′ x 20′ plot; and $10 per small elevated bed.
ACOG ANNUAL MEETING – Sun. Apr. 7, 10:30–11:30 am
Are you a new or returning member of the Ansonia Community Organic Gardens? Come to their first official meeting of the gardening season! Find out what’s going on at the gardens and how you can help! Open to all ACOG members. FREE!
WHITTLING 101: Carving a Bird – Sun. Apr. 7, 2 pm
Using local soft pine wood from the Nature Center, Ranger Amie will teach safe carving techniques and show how to make a small bird carving using a mat knife. She will show some of her own carvings for inspiration. This class is geared for teens 16 years of age and up as well as adults. Registration and release forms are required. Class size is very limited. FEE: $10.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Thursdays, Apr. 11–June 6, 3:30–5 pm
Calling all children 11-14 years old who love nature! Has your child wanted to work with animals, garden, help maintain our trails, and help with special events? This is the opportunity to help the Nature Center during our 8-week after school program. Parental permission is required. Registration began in March. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
CONSERVATION PROJECT: Wood Duck Box Installation – Sat. Apr. 13, 10 am
Be a part of maintaining healthy habitat for the wild native animal species that call the Ansonia Nature Center home. Join Ranger Dan in an introduction to the benefits of artificial nesting structures for birds. Take a short walk to our pond, where Dan will install a newly constructed Wood Duck box. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FEE: $6 per person. Please register.
SPRING NATURE DAYS – Apr. 15–18, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
For children from 6 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will not only be educational but also a chance to explore our 156 acres. We will visit a variety of habitats in the park such as wetlands, fields, and woodlands. Great time of the year for amphibian searches too! TUITION: $125 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $150 all others. (While you’re here, register for Summer Nature Days! See the notice at the end of the Calendar!)
GETTING YOUR GARDEN READY – Wed. Apr. 17, 6–8 pm
Join Massaro Community Farm and the Ansonia Nature Center for a workshop at the Nature Center. We’ll share steps to prepping or starting your garden for spring and summer plantings. Learn organic techniques to grow a healthy and bountiful garden. Register online at MassaroFarm.org.
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM – Tuesdays, Apr. 23–June 18, 3:30–5 pm
We’ll lead fun, family-friendly activities in our organic garden. Learn about growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dress appropriately; you will get water and/or soil on your clothing. FREE, with the potential to take home fresh local produce!
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION – Sat. Apr. 27, 10 am–3 pm
Every day is Earth Day at the Nature Center! We invite you to honor Mother Earth with our Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. co-hosting this annual event. Enjoy hikes, live animals, music, environmental exhibitors, interactive activities with Nature Center staff, and more! Food and snacks available from local vendors. No park admission fee. All ages welcome; bring family and friends to celebrate Spring!
CONSERVATION PROJECT: Weekend Warriors Part 1 – Sat. May 4, 9 am–1 pm
Ranger Dan is seeking naturalists who want to help keep our park beautiful. Managing our precious landscape requires your help! Together we will continue the legacy of this nature preserve. Part 1 will focus on controlling invasive plant species around our open fields. Great for teenage scouts and adult volunteers. Bring water, snacks, gloves, and trimming tools. Call to register.
PIGEONS: SMARTER THAN YOU THINK – Sun. May 5, 2 pm
Licensed wildlife rehabilitator Megan Eaton will bring her pigeon friends for this unique meet and greet. Megan has spent the last 3 years rehabbing every pigeon brought to her door. At this family-friendly program, meet some of her rescues and learn all about one of the earliest domesticated and most misunderstood birds: the pigeon. FREE; donations appreciated.
LAVENDER BATH BOMBS FOR MOTHERS’ DAY – Sat. May 11, 10 am
Join us in making these wonderful bath bombs. Each attendee will make a batch, learn how to mold them, and prepare them as gifts. For 8 years old and up. MATERIALS FEE: $12 per person. Please register; class size limited.
FAIRY HOUSES AND TEA PARTY – Sat. May 11, 1 pm
Join Ranger Amie at Pavilion #2 to design tiny homes for fairies and gnomes from bark, moss, stones, and other natural decorations. Materials will be provided. Celebrate these magical creatures during the fairy tea party. Bring tea party food to share if you would like. Please register for this FREE family program.
ADVENTURES IN EDIBLE PLANT FORAGING – Sat. May 18, 10 am
Karen Monger is the author of the 3 Foragers blog, which she runs with her husband, Robert. Come join them for a short lecture and a hike to discover and identify edible plants in the park. Their mission is to impart their knowledge of wild edible plants to others. FEE: $6 per person for this family program.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, May 22, 29; June 5, 12; 10 am
Join us for this 4 week pre-school/toddler program for children ages 2-5 and their adult explorer. Participants will have fun exploring nature every week in these outdoor classes. The classes are typically loosely structured and influenced by the seasons and the interests of the children. We will go outside for a short hike and to explore nature every class so please dress for the weather. Classes will end with a light snack (provided or bring your own) and conversation. TUITION: $40 for all 4 weeks, space permitting (cash or check payable to Ansonia Nature Center), due at the first class. Class is limited to 10 children. Please call to register: 203-736-1053.
MIGRATORY BIRD WALK – Sat. May 25, 9 am
Warblers, catbirds, and grosbeaks, oh my! Join Ranger Jess for a migratory bird experience. The Ansonia Nature Center is the home to many migratory birds. See redstarts, common yellow throats, towhees, and more during this birding adventure. This is a slow-paced walk on uneven terrain. Dress for the weather and bring your binoculars. FREE; please register.
CONNECTICUT TRAILS DAY – Sat. June 1, 9 am
Join Nature Center Director Alison Rubelmann and Ranger Daniel Bosques for this morning walk. Discover the beauty of the Nature Center’s typical New England woodland during the CT Forest and Park Association’s annual Trails Day weekend. We might get lucky and find a lady slipper or two. This moderate hike will also focus on the history of the land, and we will visit the settlement of the Paugasucks. Bring water, a snack, and bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes. Suitable for older children and adults. FREE.
CT DEEP FISHING EDUCATION PROGRAM – Sat. June 8, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
The Ansonia Nature Center is sponsoring this Department of Energy & Environmental Protection C.F.E.P. (Connecticut Fishing Education Program) Family Fishing Class. This is an opportunity for interested people of all ages to learn about fish identification, how and where fish live, fishing tackle and techniques, fishing laws and regulations, how to tie a strong knot, how to clean and cook your catch, sportsmanship and safety, how to cast, and where to catch fish. The 2-hour classroom instruction at the Nature Center will be immediately followed by fishing with the instructors at Colony Pond until 3:30 pm. All equipment and bait will be provided. Adults over the age of 16 are required to have a fishing license to participate in the fishing event. This FREE program, taught by Certified DEEP C.F.E.P. Instructors, is open to everyone 7 years old and up; children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. To register or for more information call the Chief Instructor, Dave Connelly: 203-231-0946.
FANCI ANNUAL MEETING AND POTLUCK SUPPER – Wed. June 12, 5:30 pm
If you’re a FANCI member who can’t make the regular meetings, now is the time to find out what we’ve been up to! Reports and the election of officers will take place. Bring your own table setting and a dish to share (12 servings), and your ideas and suggestions for next year’s activities. Please register in advance.
MUD KITCHEN MADNESS – Sat. June 15, 1 pm
Calling children ages 3-5 years old and parents who don’t mind letting their children get muddy. Come to the Nature Center and use water and dirt to “cook up” mud pie masterpieces. Children will learn a physical understanding of volume, measuring, and the effects of water on soil. They will have pots, pans, spoons, bowls, and other materials to play in the mud. This program will be gently supervised by Ranger Amie. Bring your own apron, towels and a change of clothes. Your children will get muddy from head to toe so make sure they wear old clothes and shoes you don’t care about. Please call to register; class limited to 20. FEE: $6 each.
FIELD TRIP: Silver Sands Mollusk Walk – Sat. June 22, 9:30 am
Meet the Nature Center staff at Silver Sands State Park for a natural history walk. We will join Tim Chaucer, Director of Milford Marine Institute, Inc. and Gulf Pond Museum, for a leisurely interpretive walk to learn more about Connecticut’s marine mollusks. We will find examples of 2 of the 5 groups of mollusks, discuss and handle them, and learn the differences between the gastropods and pelecypods and which ones are vegetarians or carnivorous. This walk will last about 60 to 90 minutes. Meet in the Silver Sands parking lot at 9:15 am. FEE: $6 per person. Please call to register.
EXPLORE REDWING POND – Sat. June 22, 1 pm
Join Ranger Dawn to learn what critters inhabit our beautiful Redwing Pond. Start with a short talk on the types of reptiles, amphibians, and insects you will see during your exploration. Head to the pond with nets and buckets to collect and observe these creatures. At the end participants will release the animals back into their home, the pond. Family-friendly program; children must be accompanied by an adult. Wear appropriate clothes and shoes for this wet and muddy adventure. FREE; please register in advance.
THEMED GUIDED HIKE: Wild Medicine in the Park – Sun. June 30, 1 pm
Join Ranger Jess for our Sunday guided themed hike. She will take you on this wild plant foray! You’ll hike around the Nature Center property hunting out wild medicinal plants and learning to identify them. She will also teach you how to make them into medicine. Sample some edible plants along the way too! Yum… For children 8 years old and up accompanied by an adult. FEE: $6 per person.
And register now for SUMMER NATURE DAYS!
Open registration; choose one or both of our week-long sessions, each held Mon.–Fri., 9 am to 3 pm.
Dates: Aug. 5–9, Aug. 12–16.
For children 6 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes are not only educational but also a chance to explore the park’s 156 acres. We will visit a variety of habitats in the park such as wetlands, fields, and woodlands. Hikes, games, crafts, and cooking will be incorporated into our lessons. A great choice for a fun late-summer experience!
TUITION PER WEEK: $150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 all others.
Sunday Guided Hikes – Sundays, 1 pm
Join a Nature Center guide on Sunday afternoons for fun, exercise, and learning about our trails! See the above listings for hikes with a specific theme.
Monday Night Trail Run – Mondays, April–June, 5:30-6:30 pm
This is a call to all of the runners who want something out of the ordinary! Ranger Dan will lead you through our 156-acre park’s network of trails, while you burn off the weekend’s extra calories. We guarantee that this program is the best way to start your week. FREE; must register and wear appropriate footwear. Adults only. Class dates are subject to change.
Karate Club – Tuesdays, 5-week sessions: April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4; and June 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 5:45–6:15 pm
This program at the Nature Center is for children 3-12 years old. Students will engage in martial arts techniques and activities while learning skills such as discipline, focus, self-control, and confidence. They can earn higher-ranking belts as their participation continues. TUITION per 5-week session: $40 (cash or check payable to AMAA), which includes a Karate Club T-shirt and white belt. For more information call Chief Instructor Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903, Program Coordinator Theresa at 203-506-3816, or the Nature Center at 203-736-1053.
Fiber Arts Group – Tuesdays, 6 pm
Get together with others to work on your fiber arts projects! Bring any kind of fiber work—knitting, felting, crocheting, etc. A great way to dedicate time to your handiwork and socialize too. FREE.
Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body – Thursdays, 6:30 pm
Hatha Yoga instructor and practitioner Pam Mellitz will lead us into a healthier lifestyle through stretching, breath control and gentle exercise. The 90-minute classes require a mat or thick towel; dress for easy movement. Class is limited to 12 students. $7 per class. Please call Pam to register at 203-888-4124.
Creature Features – Saturdays, 12 noon
Come to meet our furry, scaly, and feathery animal ambassadors. You’ll have the chance to touch and hold them in this FREE family program for all ages.
***THINGS TO COME (Summer 2019)*** Summer Nature Days • Reptiles • Firefly Hike