Calendar of Events
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Thursdays. Apr. 14–June 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.
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM – Fridays, Apr. 15 –June 17, 3:30–5 pm
Food Corps and 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 might get water and/or soil on your clothing. Closed-toe shoes, please! FREE, with the potential to take home fresh local produce!
OUTDOOR LIVING SKILLS: Lashing Project 1 – Sat. Apr. 16, 11 am–3 pm
Spring is here, seeds will be planted and it will be time to add décor to our organic garden plot. First up in Ranger Dan’s Lashing Project series is creating an arbor out of sticks. Want to add dimension to your garden? Perhaps you’d like a trellis for your beans, or a place for your vines to grow on… Create a stylish arbor in our Organic Community Garden, and bring your newfound skills to your own yard! Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE; please register.
SPRING BREAK NATURE DAYS – Mon. Apr. 18–Fri. Apr. 22, 9:30 am–3 pm
For children from 5 to 10 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: $150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 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!)
FULL PINK MOON HIKE – Fri. Apr. 22, 7 pm
This full moon heralded the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground 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. Please call to register.
SPRING MIGRATION BIRDING – Sat. Apr. 23, 9:30 am
Join avid birder Ranger Jess for this early morning walk to find the birds living in or moving through our parklands to nest farther north. This is a prime time for birders. Bring your own binoculars or use ours. Dress for walking outdoors. We’ll start with a quick introduction to birds. FREE; please pre-register.
ILLUSTRATE AESOP’S FABLES: The Fox and the Stork – Sat, Apr. 23, 2-4pm
Children’s book illustrator, ANC Ranger Amie Ziner, will guide you through illustrating a story. Easy step-by-step instruction will help you create an acrylic painting, featuring animals, nature, and a lesson in each story! Appropriate for people with some painting experience, ages 10 to adult, who are able to follow the instruction with some supervision. At the end of this 2-hour class you will have a painting from the Aesop Fable “The Fox and the Stork”. FREE. All materials provided.
Minimum Registration: 3 people
Class Limit: 28
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION – Sat. Apr. 30, 10 am–4 pm
Every day is Earth Day at the Nature Center! We invite everyone to honor Mother Earth with our Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center co-hosting this annual event. Enjoy hikes, live animals, environmental exhibitors and much more! Join one of our naturalists for a wildflower walk too. Food and snacks available from local vendors. All ages welcome, young and old—bring family and friends.
NATURE’S CHILD: Birds – Fri. May 6, 10 am
If we find a baby bird this spring, what should we do? Join one of our Nature Center naturalists to learn about the life of a baby bird. Hear a short story, make “binoculars,“ and then take a short scavenger hunt hike. TUITION: $7 per child ($5 for family-level FANCI members and Ansonia residents). Please pre-register for this class for preschoolers and their adults.
WILD EDIBLES – Sat. May 7, 10 am
Backyards, vacant lots, woodlands, and open fields support tons of food and medicines for the natural collector! Join Rangers Jessica and Dawn for this in-depth study class. The rangers will lead us in identification of wild plants, and we’ll taste and smell some along the way. Please pre-register. Class size limited. FREE.
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Sun. May 8, 11 am
See Apr. 10 listing for description.
ASTRONOMY: Metonic Calendar – Fri. May 13, 7 pm
Gaianne Jenkins, a retired mathematician with an interest in paleo-astronomy, will teach us about the lunar calendar and phases of the moon for any date in the past 300 years or for the next 300 years. Gaianne will be handing out examples of metonic calendars for you to take home. Afterwards, join Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society for a chance to see the first quarter moon and other objects through their high powered telescopes. FREE; please pre-register.
OUTDOOR LIVING SKILLS: Lashing Project II – Sat. May 14, 11 am – 3 pm
Join Ranger Dan in creating the next item in his Lashing Project series! Summer is almost here and that means campouts, fort-building, imagination, and fun! Using poles from dead trees, natural cordage, elbow grease, and some basic knot-tying, help build a watchtower on the Ansonia Nature Center lawn. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE; please register.
ORIENTEERING FOR BEGINNERS – Sat. May 14, 2 pm
Our assistant director Wendy will teach this basic orienteering and map reading class, which is a good indoor/outdoor program for families. Once the basics are learned, we will take you outdoors to follow our orienteering course. Class size is limited to 15 children at least 7 years of age, each accompanied by an adult. TUITION: $5 per person. Call for information about suitable compasses or borrow one of ours. Please register in advance.
MUSHROOM IDENTIFICATION FOR BEGINNERS – Sat. May 21, 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 eat the fungi in New England. The three foragers are from southeast CT and members of the CT Valley Mycological Society, Connecticut–Westchester Mycological Association, and the North American Mycological Association. This program will dispel myths, teach how to safely identify mushrooms, and discuss mycophagy, the cooking and eating of wild mushrooms. Bring mushrooms you find in your yard and we’ll use our newly learned skills to identify them. FEE: $5 per person; please call to register.
FULL FLOWER MOON HIKE – Sat. May 21, 7:30 pm
Flowers spring forth in abundance this month, so join our Nature Center staff for this nighttime fragrance hike. Some Algonquin tribes knew this full moon as the Corn Planting Moon. FEE: $1.00; please register.
NATURE AS A HEALER WITH MARLOW D. J. SHAMI – Sun. May 22, 2 pm
Join Marlow Shami—teacher, artist, and writer—for an experiential workshop in experiencing the simple power of nature’s healing effects through guided meditation, natural-healing touch, and out-of-doors activities with Nature. Participants learn simple yet profound methods of connecting one’s inner nature with the web of life, and in the process, deepen sensitivity to Nature’s wisdom. No meditation experience necessary. All that’s needed is a blanket/mat if you prefer to lie down for meditation and comfortable clothes for in and out of doors. FREE. Please register in advance.
NATURE’S CHILD: Creatures of Redwing Pond – Fri. June 3, 10 am
Join the Nature Center staff for a fun morning catching frogs and other creatures of Redwing Pond. We’ll start with a small talk on the animals that inhabit the pond. Then we will use our collection equipment to catch, observe, and release these critters. TUITION: $7 per child ($5.00 for family-level FANCI members and Ansonia residents). Please pre-register for this class for preschoolers and their adults.
CT TRAILS DAY – Sat. June 4, 9 am
Join Nature Center director Alison Rubelmann and Ranger Dan Bosques for this morning walk. Discover the flora and fauna of our typical New England woodland. This moderate hike will also visit the settlement of the Paugasucks. Bring water and snacks, and wear sturdy shoes. Suitable for older children and adults. FREE; call to register.
TREE I.D. HIKE – Sun. June 5, 1 pm
The towering giants that fill our forests have many uses and many names. Learn all about the trees we have here in CT, what they are used for, where they grow, which ones you can use for food, and which ones are best for lighting fires. You’ll learn not only how to I.D. trees by their leaves, but also by their bark! FREE. Please register and wear appropriate shoes.
FANCI ANNUAL MEETING – Wed. June 8, 5:30 pm
Join the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. to see what new and exciting projects they’ve been working on. Bring your own table setting and a casserole, salad, dessert, or other dish to share. Election of FANCI officers will take place at this meeting. Bring ideas for next year’s programs and projects. Please register in advance.
PRIMITIVE FIRE SKILLS – Sat. June 11, 10 am
Join Tom Nedweden, primitive technologist, in the art of fire making. Two hundred and fifty years ago this skill could have meant life or death. This ability, no longer widely known, will be shared with you. Learn where to find the best firewood when you’re stranded in the wilderness, the types of trees and other plants used to make tinder bundle, and how to create our very own coals to ignite the blaze! FEE: $5 per person. Please register; all children must be accompanied by an adult.
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Sun. June 12, 11 am
See Apr. 10 listing for description.
OUTDOOR LIVING SKILLS: Lashing Project III – Sat. June 18, 10 am
Join Ranger Dan for the final session of his Lashing Projects. Hike into the forest, find a suitable group of trees, and build a raised platform using what we find in nature! Our goal is to build a tree house using our lashing skills. FREE; please register in advance.
SUMMER SOLSTICE DRUMMING WITH CHE CARTAFALSA – Sat. June 18, 2 pm
Che Cartafalsa is a musician, instrument maker, and educator whose work has ranged from concert halls and orchestras to rock bands and West African street weddings. He has played in the Northeast as a member of Toubabou and the White-Eyed Lizard Band, Che passes on to his students what he has learned from African percussion masters, emphasizing instrumental technique, listening skills, and multilayered rhythms in percussion. Authentic instruments will help us learn traditional African rhythms. FREE; please register for this family program.
FULL STRAWBERRY MOON HIKE – Mon. June 20, 8 pm
The Algonquin tribes knew this moon as a time to gather the ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon. Join the Nature Center rangers for this nighttime exploration of the park’s trails as we follow the scents of the summer through the forest and fields. This adventure is geared toward adults and children. Wear sturdy shoes. Enjoy the summer fire too! FEE: $1.00; please register.
…AND COMING UP THIS SUMMER…
SUMMER NATURE DAYS – Open registration; choose one or more of our week-long sessions, each held Mon.–Fri., 9:30 am to 3 pm. Dates: Aug. 1–5, Aug. 8–12, Aug. 15–19.
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. 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.
Be sure to see the Friends’ Focus for information on the Playground Fundraising!
***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 (Summer 2016)*** Explore Redwing Pond
- Moonshine and Firefly Hike • Mud Madness • and Summer Nature Days