Please call to register for all programs. Dates and times are subject to change.
SPRING EQUINOX DRUMMING – Sat. Mar. 18, 6 pm
Let’s wake up the earth gently as we make music together by the fire. Dress for the outdoors. Adults and children are welcome. Bring your own drum or borrow one from us. FREE, but bring a canned good for Spooner House. Please call to register.
ANIMAL TRACKS AND TRACES – Sat. Mar. 25, 2 pm
Follow the signs and tracks and become an animal detective. On our hike discover the clues of the animals that inhabit our forest and fields. We will teach you how to put together these clues to tell their story. Make a plaster cast for your own collection. FEE: $7. Please register in advance.
KARATE CLUB – Tuesdays, 5-week sessions beginning Apr. 04, May 09, June 14, 5–5:45 pm (Karate Kids); 5:45–6:15 pm (Little Dragons)
This dynamic and energetic after-school program at the Nature Center has classes for children 6-12 years old (Karate Kids), and 3-5 years old (Little Dragons). Students will engage in various martial arts techniques and activities while learning important skills such as discipline, focus, self-control, and confidence. They will have the opportunity to earn higher-ranking belts as their participation continues. TUITION per 5-week session: $45 for Karate Kids, $40 for Little Dragons (cash or check payable to AMAA), which includes a Karate Club T-shirt and white belt. For more information please call Chief Instructor Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903 or 203-931-1979, or the Ansonia Nature Center at 203-736-1053.
YOGA FOR A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY – Thursdays, 6:30 pm
Our seasoned Hatha Yoga instructor and practitioner, Pam Mellitz, will lead us into a healthier lifestyle through stretching, breath control and gentle exercise. The full 1.5 hour 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.
BEEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS – Sun. Apr. 2, 2 pm
Have you ever thought about being a beekeeper? Ranger Dawn will teach you about beekeeping tools and equipment, how to begin a starter hive, and how to identify honeybees and what they are doing. Our observation hive at the Nature Center is a great place to see this incredible system. FREE.
MONDAY NIGHT TRAIL RUN – Mondays, 5:30-6:30 pm
This is a call to all of the runners who want something that is out of the ordinary! Ranger Dan will lead you through our 156 acre network of trails, while you burn off the weekend’s extra calories. We guarantee that this FREE program is the best way to start off your week. Please register and wear appropriate footwear.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Thursdays. Apr. 6–June 1, 3:30–5 pm
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. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
SPRING CLEANUP – Sat., Apr. 8, 10 am – 12 pm
Bring your garden and trail tools! Scouts, youth groups, and students, this is a great community service opportunity. Help beautify our park and get ready for spring and summer. We’ll supply the gloves.
ANSONIA COMMUNITY ORGANIC GARDENERS – Sun. Apr. 9, 10 am
Have you always wanted to grow your vegetables but don’t have enough property or sun in your yard for a garden? No worries; the Nature Center has plenty of fertile spots in full sun just for you. Sign up for your own garden plot with ACOG President Pat Evans. We will meet at the visitor center and walk to the organic gardens.
SPRING NATURE DAYS – Mon.–Wed. Apr. 10–12, 9:30 am–3 pm
For children from 5 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! TUITION: $90 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $105 all others. (While you’re here for Spring Break, why not register for Summer Nature Days? See the notice at the end of the Calendar!)
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Tuesdays, Apr. 11, May 9, June 13, 2 pm and 6 pm
Losing a beloved animal can be tragic and a very emotional time for humans. Grief support and grief counseling will benefit the human left behind. FREE, but donations are accepted. Please contact Susan Wilson at 802-379-4449 for arrangements to meet at the Nature Center.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Apr. 19, 26, May 3, 10, 10 am
Join Wendy for our preschool/toddler program. This 4-week session is for children ages 2–5 years old with an adult. These outdoor classes will be fun exploring and learning through play. We will learn about nature and science through activities such as hiking, exploring, singing, games, reading, and making crafts. Every class is outside!!!! TUITION: $40 per 4-week session (cash or check payable to Ansonia Nature Center).
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM – Tuesdays, April 18–June 27, 3:30–5 pm
ANC will lead fun, family-friendly activities in our organic garden. Learn about growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dress appropriately; keep in mind you will get water and/or soil on your clothing. FREE, with the potential to take home fresh local produce!
FULL PINK MOON HIKE – Sat. Apr. 22, 7 pm
This full moon heralded the appearance of the moss pink, or wild phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon. Enjoy the sounds of spring with our Nature Center guides as we lead you around our wetlands to spot some spring amphibians by the light of the moon. For all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult). FEE: $1.00.
SUNDAY GUIDED HIKE: Vernal Pools – Sun. Apr. 23, 1 pm
Learn about our local amphibians during our Sunday hike to the Nature Center’s vernal pools. These fascinating creatures secretly inhabit our woodland and wetlands. Help our ranger lift rocks and logs to find these slippery creatures beneath. FREE.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION – Sat. Apr. 29, 10 am – 4 pm
We invite everyone to join us to honor Mother Earth. At this annual event enjoy plantings, hikes, live animals, environmental exhibitors and a special guest. This year storyteller Leslie Elias will create masks for $5 with families and then perform the Iroquois creation myth. This story is of sky people and water animals and how the earth came to rest on Grandmother Turtle’s back. You can also hear an Audubon biologist present the 2016 Bird Habitat Assessment findings for the Nature Center property (see more information in the calendar entry below). Food and snacks available from local vendors and the Nature Center bake sale. No park admission fee. All ages welcome.
AUDUBON BIRD HABITAT ASSESSMENT – Sat. Apr. 29, 11:15 am
Audubon Connecticut’s Forest Bird Initiative focuses its conservation efforts on priority species, giving us an opportunity to keep these species common before they become threatened or endangered. Properties like the Nature Center can be critical parts of large forested landscapes that provide high-quality habitat for breeding birds. Come to hear recommendations for protecting and improving habitat at the Nature Center by Corrie O’Keefe, Audubon biologist. She will present the park’s 2016 Bird Habitat Assessment findings. This is a great program for volunteers and scouts who are looking for conservation projects.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wed., May 3, 10, 10 am
Please see Apr. 19 listing.
ADVENTURES IN EDIBLE PLANT FORAGING – Sat. May 6, 10 am
Karen Monger is the author of the 3 Foragers blog, which she runs with her husband, Robert, and their daughter, Gillian. Come join their family in discovering edible plants and harvesting them together in the park. Their mission is to impart their knowledge of wild edible plants to others. After the walk, try a wild food “sampler” made by the staff of the Nature Center. FEE: $5.
CARTOONING THE NATURAL WORLD – Sun. May 7 & 21, 10 am
Ranger Amie Ziner, our artist in residence, will teach four classes in cartooning nature! We will use on site materials, stuffed specimens, and live animal observation to complete four cartoons with a plant and animal in each one. Improve your drawing accuracy and realism for fun, for story illustration, and for expressing yourself using pictures—a picture is worth a thousand words! For ages 10 to adult. Limited space. FEE: $5 per class.
SUNDAY GUIDED HIKE: History Hike – Sun. May 7, 1 pm
Hike to the Nature Center’s historic sites with Ranger Dan. Discover old roads, stone walls, and even some secret treasures he’s found during his exploring. Enjoy the day off with your family on this Sunday hike. FREE.
SPRING MIRGRATION BIRDING – Sat. May 13, 9 am
Join Ranger Jessica for our early morning birding. Find the birds living in or moving through our parklands to nest farther north. This is a prime time for birders to come and spot some of our magnificent migratory birds. Bring your own binoculars or use ours. Dress for walking outdoors. We will start with a quick introduction to birds. FREE.
CONNECTICUT TRAILS DAY – Sat. June 3, 9 am
Join Nature Center Director Alison Rubelmann and Ranger Dan 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 visit the settlement of the Paugasucks. Bring water, a snack, and bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes. Suitable for older children and adults. FREE.
CARTOONING THE NATURAL WORLD – Sun. June 10 & 24, 10 am
Please see May 7 listing.
SUMMER SUN SPOTS – Sat. June 10, 1 pm
Join Bob Carruthers for a chance to view the sun safely. Serious eye damage or blindness can result from even a brief glimpse of our star. Never view it directly with the naked eye or with any unfiltered optical device, such as binoculars or a telescope. Bob will use a special instrument to observe the sun spots safely. He will project an image of the sun through a telescope onto a white screen. He will teach you what the sun is, what makes it shine, and what it’s made from. FREE.
“A PASSION FOR BIRDS” WITH HENRY LAPPEN – Sun. June 11, 2 pm
In this family program, participants learn how birds adapt to their environment, and why they look and act the way they do. Be captivated by Henry Lappen’s beautiful masks and by his dances among the crowd demonstrating the form and motion of the different species. The audience joins him while learning some mime skills and imaging. FEE: $5 per person.
EXPLORE REDWING POND – Wed. June 14, 1 pm
An introduction for our young naturalists and adults to learn about the inhabitants of Redwing Pond. We will scoop with ponding nets to capture and identify aquatic insects, fish, frogs, and turtles. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes—you will get muddy and wet. FREE.
FANCI ANNUAL MEETING AND POTLUCK SUPPER – Wed. June 14, 5:00 pm
If you’re a member of FANCI and 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 by June 9.
FIELD TRIP: Meigs Point Nature Center, Three Shoreline Ecosystems – Wed. June 21, 10 am–12 pm
Meet the Ansonia Nature Center staff at the Meigs Point Nature Center, Hammonasset Beach State Park. We will explore three very distinct shoreline ecosystems with the Meigs Point staff – rocky shore, sandy beach, and salt marsh. We will learn what makes a species invasive and how animals adapt in order to survive in the intertidal zone at the rocky shore. Along the sandy beach we’ll identify shells and seaweed as well as drag a seine net to see what lives in Long Island Sound. In the salt marsh we’ll discover its age and why marshes are important to people and Long Island Sound. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes that can get wet and muddy. FEE: $5 per person. Please visit www.MeigsPointNatureCenter.org for directions. We will meet promptly at 9:45 am. Limited space.
NIGHT HIKE: Strawberry Moon – Fri. June 23, 7 pm
Native American tribes traditionally kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. The name of this moon, given because strawberries are harvested in June, was universal to all Algonquin tribes. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Wear appropriate footwear. For all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult). FEE: $1.00.
And register now for SUMMER NATURE DAYS!
Open registration; choose one or more of our week-long sessions, each held Mon.–Fri., 9 am to 3 pm.
Dates: July 31–Aug. 4, Aug. 7–11, Aug. 14–18.
For children 5 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will be not only educational but also a chance to explore the 156 acres the park offers. 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 for priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 all others.
- Sundays: Guided Hikes, 1 pm • Thursdays: Yoga for Your Health, 6:30 pm — call Pam, 203-888-4124 • Saturdays: Creature Features, 12 noon
***THINGS TO COME (Summer 2017)*** • Firefly Hike • Summer Nature Days • Astronomy • Insects • Chris Rowlands
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