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.
CRAFT: Create Your Own Pet Rock – Sat. Mar. 10, 2 pm
Ranger Jess will hold this crafting extravaganza! She’ll take you outside to find the perfect rock-friend for you to decorate and dress up back at the Nature Center building. Paint is just one of the craft supplies we will have available. Come craft with us! This class is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE. Please call to register.
GREAT GULL ISLAND: Where Terns Rule and People Visit – Sun. Mar. 11, 2 pm
Conservation photographer Sophie Zyla will introduce you to Great Gull Island, a 17-acre island in Long Island Sound that has the largest concentration of Common Terns in the world and Roseate Terns in the Western Hemisphere. Through Sophie’s PowerPoint presentation, you will learn about the terns and the researchers who have devoted close to 50 years to them. Sophie holds an B.S. in Environmental Education and an M.S. in Conservation Biology. Photography is Sophie’s passion, and conservation is where her heart is. FREE.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration begins Thurs. Mar. 15
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. 12 at 3:30 pm. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
THE ART OF ANIMAL TRACKING WITH ANDREW DOBOS – Sat. Mar. 17, 10 am
Naturalist and educator Andy Dobos will take you on a wildlife tracking walk through the Nature Center’s fields and forests. There are always clues left behind by the animals for us to decipher, telling a story of their habits and lives. Get to know our beloved wildlife that much better. Wear good boots and extra layers; there will be a lot of standing and time off trail. For ages 6 and up. FEE: $6 per person.
NATURE AS MENTOR: Building on Your Authentic Foundation with Marlow Shami – Sun. Mar. 18, 2–3:30 pm
Discover with teacher and healer Marlow Shami how every day and anywhere nature can guide, calm, inform, and restore you. Enjoy a beautifully illustrated talk, out-of-door nature connecting activities, and deep guided visualization. Marlow will share both the wisdom of elder/earth based cultures as well as recent empirical research in the fields of ecopsychology and environmental psychology, mindfulness based stress reduction, meditation, and energy medicine. This 90-minute workshop is designed for adults seeking inspirational guidance and healing restoration within their daily lives. Marlow Shami, M.S., conducts Nature as Healer workshops and talks throughout New England. FEE: $6 per person. Please register for this adult program.
OWL PROWL: Raptor Woods Hike – Fri. Mar. 23, 5 pm
Visitors will take a guided hike through the Raptor Woods and explore how our senses change with the setting of the sun. We will learn how nocturnal animals have adapted to the night life. Guests will search for and call the owl species that call CT home. The night will end in the Visitor Center, meeting one of our resident owls! For ages 8 and up. FREE.
ASTRONOMY: Radio Telescope – Sat. Mar. 24, 7 pm
Come to Ansonia’s darkest location for some unusual night sky viewing with Bob Carruthers. View the first quarter moon and geo-stationary satellite using Bob’s small radio telescope. He will explain how he made this fairly simple telescope out of a satellite dish and teach you how you can make your own. FREE; please register in advance.
FITNESS AWARENESS JOG –Mondays, begins Apr. 2, 5:30 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 pre-register and wear appropriate footwear.
SELF DEFENSE FOR WOMEN – Tues. Apr. 3, 6:30 pm-7:45 pm
Learn life-saving techniques and how to take control of a potentially dangerous situation using practical, effective tactics. Today, self-defense is more important than ever. Refuse to be a victim! This workshop at the Nature Center is a must for women of all ages, so sign up today! Presented by the Assembly of the Martial Arts Academy. FEE: $20 (cash or check payable to AMAA, due by Mar. 27). For more information call Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903, Theresa at 203-506-3816, or the Ansonia Nature Center at 203-736-1053.
BEEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS – Sun. Apr. 8, 2 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.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS Thursdays, Apr. 12–June 7, 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.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sundays, Apr. 15, May 13, Jun. 10, 2:30 pm
Do you have a child aged 8–12 with autism and other developmental delays? Would you like to join a group playtime that meets once a month? Gently led by Ranger Amie, we will explore ways to introduce your child to playing indoors and outdoors at the Nature Center. Activities include meeting animal friends, taking a walk or easy hike, and nature crafts. Playtime begins at 2:30 pm and ends at 4:30 pm (or however long your child would like to stay). Please arrive on time. We will meet inside at the small classroom; children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class. FREE. Pre-registration required; group limited to 10 children with adult. Session 1 activity: Vernal Pools.
SPRING NATURE DAYS – Apr. 16–20, 9:30 am–2:30 pm
For children ages 6–11 who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will be educational and also a chance to explore our 156 acres. We will visit habitats such as wetlands, fields, and woodlands. Great time for amphibian searches too! TUITION: $150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 all others. (While you’re here, register for Summer Nature Days! See the notice at the end of the Calendar!)
SPRING CLEANUP – Sat. Apr. 21, 10 am–12 noon
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 gloves and garbage bags. At 12:30 pm join participants of this citywide cleanup day at Pavilion 1 for lunch and refreshments. Please pre-register.
SUNDAY GUIDED HIKE: Vernal Pools – Sun. Apr. 22, 1 pm
Learn about local amphibians on this hike to our vernal pools. Help our ranger lift rocks and logs to find these fascinating creatures that secretly inhabit our woodland and wetlands. FREE; please pre-register.
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM– Tuesdays, Apr. 24–June 19, 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. 28, 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 co-hosting this annual event. Enjoy hikes, live animals, environmental exhibitors, music and more! Join in interactive activities with Nature Center staff using our new Education Station trail. Food and snacks available from local vendors. No park admission fee. All ages welcome; bring family and friends to celebrate Spring!
SURVIVAL SCHOOL: Fire in the Rain – Sat. May 5, 10 am–1 pm
Have you ever wondered how people on the frontier kept warm on a wet day? Fire starting is a craft which can be learned! Ranger Dan will help you sharpen these skills. Come to try your hand at striking a piece of flint against steel and harness a force from nature while the very elements work against you. This class will take place outdoors; be prepared for the weather. For ages 14 and up. Class size is limited to 8, so please pre-register. FEE: $10 per person.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, May 9, 16, 23, 30; 10 am
Join our 4 week program for children ages 2-5 and their adult explorer. Enjoy exploring nature every week! The classes are loosely structured and influenced by the seasons and interest 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 first class. Class is limited to 10 children. Please call to register: 203-736-1053.
MIGRATORY BIRD WALK: Wandering for Warblers – Sat. May 12, 8 am
The gems of the New England forest are returning! Join Ranger Jessica on this morning walk looking for these small colorful migratory birds. Travel through our fields and forests and along the edge of our two-acre pond habitat in search of our returning warbler friends. You will have Jessica’s 15 years of birding experience on your side to help you find these delightful birds. For ages 9 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE. Please register; class size limited.
LAVENDER BATH BOMBS FOR MOTHERS’ DAY –Sat. May 12, 1 pm
Join us in making these wonderful bath bombs for the mother in your life. Each attendee will make a batch of their own, learn how to mold them, and prepare them as gifts. For 8 years old and up. MATERIALS FEE: $12 per person. Please pre-register.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sun. May 13, 2:30 pm See Apr. 15 listing for group description. Session 2 activity: Mothers’ Day: Special Flowers in Nature.
MASTER GARDENERS: Native Plants – Sat. May 19, 10 am
Join Master Gardener Janis Underwood and discover the importance of Connecticut’s native plants. She will take you on a guided walk to our native woodland garden and medicinal/edible bioswale. This FREE program is geared for adults. Please pre-register.
THE NATIVE AMERICAN COURTING FLUTE –Sat. May 19, 1:30 pm
Allan Madahbee is a registered Ojibway (Chippewa) Indian who has pursued the traditional music, arts, and crafts of his ancestors, creating paintings, flutes, beaded moccasins, wood carvings, Native American regalia, and rock sculptures. Allan participated in the making of the short film Quinnetukut: Life In The Woodlands, produced by the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington Depot, CT; he is credited with voice over, acting, and flute music. Join us for Allan’s presentation on the history, culture, and playing of the Native American flute; he’ll also play some contemporary Native American songs with vocals and guitar. FEE: $6 per person.
CONNECTICUT TRAILS DAY – Sat. June 2, 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.
FANCI ANNUAL MEETING AND POTLUCK SUPPER –Wed. June 6, 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.
CT DEEP FISHING EDUCATION PROGRAM–(2-day program) Classroom instruction: Sat. June 9, 9 am–11 am Fishing at Colony Pond: Tues. June 12, 5:30 pm–8 pm
The Nature Center is sponsoring this CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection C.F.E.P. (Connecticut Fishing Education Program) Family Fishing Class. The classroom instruction will be held on June 9 at the Nature Center; fishing with the instructors and DEEP representatives will take place at Colony Pond in Ansonia on June 12. All equipment and bait will be provided. Adults over the age of 16 must have a fishing license to participate in the fishing event. Please pre-register for this FREE program, open to 7 years old and up; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
WILD EDIBLE HARVEST AND FEAST – Sat. June 9, 1 pm
Join Rangers Jessica and Dawn on an epic foraging adventure. Together we will explore the wilds of the Nature Center’s property to learn about and harvest wild edible plants. The program will conclude with tasting prepared wild edible treats like garlic mustard pesto, knotweed crumble and dandelion fritters back at the building. For adults and children ages 9 and up. FEE: $6 per person. Please pre-register.
SURVIVAL SCHOOL: Stay Dry, Stay Warm! –Sun. June 10, 10 am–1 pm
One of the basic necessities for a survival situation is shelter. Staying dry goes hand in hand with keeping warm. Join Ranger Dan in scouting for a suitable place to build a shelter, and help construct a hideaway made from the surroundings. Learning this survival skill is a great reason to get out into nature! Be advised: We will be traveling off-trails, so insect awareness and terrain are your own consideration. Ages 14 and up. Class size limited, so you must pre-register. FEE: $10 per person.
NATURE AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS – Sun. June 10, 2:30 pm See Apr. 15 listing for group description.
Session 3 activity: Big Meadow Exploration Hike
FIELD TRIP: Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery
Sat. June 16, 10 am (meet at nursery, 9:45 am)
Join the Nature Center for a field trip to Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery in Woodbury. We will be provided a guided tour as we walk enjoying this beautiful rustic setting. Learn about New England’s grasses, ferns, perennials, shrubs and trees and how you can create an amazing landscape using natives. If you’re looking for plants that flourish without synthetic pesticides, rarely need watering, provide food and habitat for wildlife, be sure to bring some shopping money. Space is limited so pre registration is required. For directions, visit www.earthtonesnatives.com. We will meet in the parking area at the nursery at 9:45 a.m.
CREATURE FEATURE: Meet Our Scaly Friends –Sat. June 16, 12 noon
Snakes, lizards, and turtles, oh my! Come learn about the Nature Center’s non-native and native reptiles. Get a chance to even touch some during the program. Take a short walk around the pond and to our snake boards to see what native species you can observe here in the park. This program is for all ages. FREE; please register in advance.
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. 6–10, Aug. 13–17.
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.
Pet Loss Grief Support Group – By appointment
Losing a beloved animal can be tragic and a very emotional time for humans. There are numerous resources to turn to for the loss of a human loved one; however, there are limited options for when we lose an animal. Susan Wilson has created this FREE support group for those who have lost an animal or have one in the process of moving on. Please call Susan at 1-802-379-4449 to set up an appointment.
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, 5:30-6:30 pm
For all the runners who want something 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. This FREE program is the best way to start off your week. Please register and wear appropriate footwear.
Karate Club – Tuesdays, 5–5:45 pm (Karate Kids); 5:45–6:15 pm (Little Dragons).
This after-school program at the Nature Center is for children 6-12 years old (Karate Kids), and 3-5 years old (Little Dragons). 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: $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 call Chief Instructor Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903 or 203-931-1979, or the Ansonia 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.