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
CARTOONING THE NATURAL WORLD – Sun. June 10 & 24, 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.
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.
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.
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: Summer Solstice – Fri. June 23, 7 pm
Celebrate the turning of the seasons with a night hike through the Nature Center’s fields and forests! For all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult). FEE: $1.00.
REGISTER NOW FOR SUMMER NATURE DAYS!!! Mon. July 31–Fri. Aug. 4, Mon. Aug. 7–Fri. Aug. 11 (FULL), Mon. Aug. 14–Fri. Aug. 18, 9 am–3 pm.
Choose one or more weeks!
For children from 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 such as the park’s wetlands, fields, and woodlands. A great choice for a fun late-summer experience!
TUITION: $150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 all others.
CREATURES OF LONG ISLAND SOUND –Thurs. July 6, 11 am
This is a great weekday family program to learn all about the creatures of Long Island Sound. We will explore the Nature Center’s salt water tank and learn how to identify and hold common critters you will find at New England’s local beaches this summer. FEE: $6 per person.
DEEP FAMILY FISHING CLASS – Sat. July 8, 9 am–2 pm
The Nature Center is sponsoring this CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection C.A.R.E. (Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education) Program class. The topics covered by the 2-hour classroom instruction are • Connecticut Waters • Fish Identification • How & Where Fish Live • Fishing Tackle & Techniques • Fishing Laws & Regulations • How to Tie a Strong Knot • How to Clean & Cook Your Catch • Sportsmanship & Safety • How to Cast • Where to Catch Fish. The instruction will be immediately followed by fishing with the instructors in Redwing Pond. All equipment will be provided. Adults over the age of 16 must have a fishing license to participate in the fishing event. This FREE program, taught by Certified DEEP C.A.R.E. Instructors, is open to everyone 7 years old and up; children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. To pre-register or for more information call the Chief Instructor, Dave Connelly, at 203-231-0946.
MOONSHINE AND FIREFLY HIKE – Sun. July 9, 8 pm
Follow the Nature Center’s ranger along our wooded paths looking for glowworms in the leaf litter under the light of the moon. We’ll end the hike with a show by beetles in the Lampyridae family, better known as lightning bugs and fireflies. FEE: $3 per person. Wear shoes for hiking.
MONDAY NIGHT TRAIL RUN – Mondays starting July 10, 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.
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM – Tuesdays, July 11, 18, 25; Aug. 1, 8, 15; Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26
ANC will be continuing 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 soil on your clothing. FREE, with the potential to take home fresh local produce!
CHRIS ROWLANDS: Puppeteer and Singer – Fri. July 28, 7 pm
Chris Rowlands is an award-winning singer and songwriter who offers an interactive kid-friendly presentation for those who love music and nature. He creatively blends music, comedy, and education in a fast paced show that teaches and inspires. Chris brings animals to life through song, dance, puppets, and colorful props, to teach children about animals and their habitats. The Environment Magazine has honored Chris with its first E Award for his environmental education programs. Don’t miss this FREE musical program!
BUTTERFLIES AND DRAGONFLIES – Sun. Aug. 6, 1 pm
Enjoy your Sunday afternoon at the park on our guided hike. Explore the Redwing Pond and our meadows for these beautiful six-legged, four-winged insects. The guide will show you our native butterfly gardens and teach you the benefits of native plants to our CT butterflies and dragonflies. FREE.
FULL STURGEON MOON HIKE – Sun. Aug. 6, 7:30 pm
The Native American fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. Join our staff on a hike in our meadows to watch as this reddish moon rises. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Number of participants is limited so please pre-register. FEE: $3 per person. Wear appropriate footwear.
MUSHROOM IDENTIFICATION FOR BEGINNERS – Sat. Aug. 12, 10 am
What are those weird things that pop up in the woods after the rain? Are you mystified by wild mushrooms? Curious? Scared? Or do they make you hungry? Join a foraging family who hunt, photograph, identify, and love to eat the fungi in New England for a discussion and walk at the Ansonia Nature Center. We will dispel common myths, learn how to safely identify mushrooms with visual clues and guidebooks, and discuss mycophagy, the cooking and eating of wild mushrooms. After the lecture we’ll walk the property to search for wild fungi and put our newly learned skills to the test. FEE: $5.
The 3 Foragers, from southeast Connecticut, are members of the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society, the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association, and the North American Mycological Association, as well as avid wild food foragers. They write a blog about their adventures and travels at http://the3foragers.blogspot.com/.
ROCKS IN SPACE: Perseid Meteor Showers – Sat. Aug. 12, 7 pm
Come to Ansonia’s darkest location for some unusual night sky viewing with Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society. In addition to a chance to see the annual meteor showers, there will be a short talk about meteorites. You and your family will get to view and touch meterorites from around the world. This night will be the peak of the showers! No need to bring anything except for warm clothing and a chair. Telescopes and binoculars are not necessary. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE.
TURTLE TALK – Sat. Aug. 26, 1 pm
Anthony Pierlioni is the Senior Director of the TurtleRoom, an online radio show dedicated to these fascinating reptiles and the people who love them. He’ll share his knowledge and some turtle species with us at the Nature Center.
Anthony, who has been involved with turtles since childhood, keeps and breeds many species, and has also written a book and several magazine articles about turtles. He studies their behavior, their effects on the environment, and how different species compete for the same resources. He also assists with field research of endangered turtles. Anthony lives in CT with his wife Shannon and daughter Cambria. He is a member of the Turtle Survival Alliance, Turtle & Tortoise Preservation Group, New York Turtle & Tortoise Society, and New England Herpetological Society, as well as the online sites TurtleForum.com, TortoiseBoard.com, and TortoiseForum.org, where he can be found as Anthony P. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATTAIL MAT WEAVING – Sun. Aug. 27, 10 am – 2 pm, Sat. Sept. 2, 10 am – 2 pm
Join Ranger Dan for a 2-part series on cattails. Week 1 we will begin to collectively work on a mat made from the cattail reeds, and week 2 we will add the finishing touches to our mat. Learn how Native Americans from the Eastern Woodlands would use these reeds! Pack a bag lunch, and be prepared for swampy conditions. This program is for adults only. FEE: $6 per person covers both weeks.
FIBER ARTS GROUP – Tuesdays starting Sept. 5, 5:30–7:30 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 starting Sept. 7, 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.
FALL TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration.begins Thurs. Sept. 7; class runs Thursdays, Sept. 14–Nov. 2, 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.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Sept. 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 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).
KARATE CLUB – Tuesdays, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Oct. 24 (5-week session), 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.
BIRDS ON THE MOVE – Sat. Sept. 30, 9 am
Join Ranger Jess for this informative program. She will concentrate on the end-of-summer journeys taken by our “flying friends” to faraway places each year. Find out who’s going and who’s staying put! FREE.
***ONGOING PROGRAMS*** • 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 (Fall 2017)*** • Autumn Festival • Tree ID Hike • Nature Explorers