Calendar of Events
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.
REGISTER NOW FOR SUMMER NATURE DAYS!!!
Mon. Aug. 1–Fri. Aug. 5, Mon. Aug. 8–Fri. Aug. 12, Mon. Aug. 15–Fri. Aug. 19, 9:30 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 not only be 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.
NATURE’S CHILD: Reptiles Rule – Fri. July 1, 10 am
Who’s that slithering through your garden, or sleeping under that rock in your backyard? Come to learn from Ranger Amie about our parkland’s snakes who live in the water, in the fields, and in the woods. TUITION: $7 per child ($5 for family-level FANCI members and Ansonia residents). Please pre-register for this class for preschoolers and their adults.
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAM – Fridays, July 8–Sept. 23, 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!
BUTTERFLIES, DRAGONFLIES, AND REDWING POND – Sat. July 9, 2 pm
Did you know that dragonflies fiercely defend their territory? Explore the pond and meet the six-legged, four-winged insects who inhabit our fields, meadows, and pond edges. An easy walk is scheduled after a brief description of the lifestyles of these beautiful insects and their fascinating behavior. Register in advance. FREE.
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Sundays, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11, 1 pm
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 support group for those who have lost an animal or have one in the process of moving on. Join us for these FREE sessions.
FITNESS AWARENESS JOG – Mondays, July 11–25, Aug. 8–29, Sept. 12–26, 5 pm
Start your week off by jogging the path to a healthier you. Every Monday, join Ranger Dan on a Fitness Awareness Jog. This is your chance to cruise our trails on foot, sweat out impurities, and enjoy the sights and smells of our 156-acre nature preserve. We kick off at 5 pm with a stretch, then gently jog our 2 miles of trails for an hour and a half. All experience levels are welcome, so be sure to bring a friend or two! FREE, but please register.
MOONSHINE AND FIREFLY HIKE – Tues. July 19, 7:30 pm
Rangers Dan and Dawn will follow the park’s 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: $1.00 per person. Please pre-register. Wear shoes for hiking.
CREATURE FEATURE: Creatures of Long Island Sound – Sat. July 23, 12 noon
Want to cuddle up to a crab? Sing a song to a snail? Learn all about the creatures who share Long Island Sound with us? Come to see and touch our salt water visitors with Ranger Dan! FREE. Please register in advance.
THEMED GUIDED HIKE: History of Ansonia Nature Center – Sun. July 24, 1 pm
Join Ranger Dan to explore the history of the land before it became the Nature Center. For 12,000 years, Native Americans inhabited this area until the Pequot War of 1637. Learn about the last of the Paugasetts to live in what is now Ansonia. Wear appropriate footwear and bring a water bottle. This FREE hike begins promptly at 1 pm.
CHRIS ROWLANDS: Puppeteer and Singer – Fri. July 29, 7 pm
Come see Chris Rowlands, who’s famous for getting everyone involved. He brings animals to life through his music, comedy, puppets, and colorful props. Sing along as he shares his songs about animals and their environment. Please register for this FREE interactive presentation.
ANSONIA CITY WIDE TAG SALE – Sat. July 30
Participate in Ansonia’s town wide tag sale! Residents may register and purchase maps at the Ansonia Nature Center. Registration fee: $15.00.
CREATURE FEATURE: Snakes of Connecticut – Sat. Aug. 6, 12 noon
Meet some of nature’s most important predators up close and personal! Discover how they eat, what’s inside those long, skinny bodies, and how invasive species impact the natives. Come see some of our indigenous snakes. FREE. Please register in advance.
ROCKS IN SPACE: Perseid Meteor Showers – Fri. Aug. 12, 8 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 (and touch a real meteor!), lunar rays—glass ejecta from the moon’s meteor craters—and Saturn will be visible if we have clear skies. Telescopes will be available. Meet at picnic pavilion #2. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE. Please register.
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Sun. Aug. 14, 1 pm
See July 10 listing for description.
SUMMER AND FALL WILDFLOWERS OF CONNECTICUT – Fri. Aug. 19, 7 pm
Many colorful summer and fall wildflowers can be found growing in Connecticut’s fields, forests, and wetlands. Compared to the light pastel colors of our spring flowers, summer flowers are bold and vibrant. Asters, goldenrods, and milkweed are easily observed, but many others are elusive and require a bit of searching. Area naturalists Peter and Barbara Rzasa will provide a Powerpoint presentation highlighting not only our common native wildflowers but also the not so common ones such as pipsissewa, turtlehead, bottle gentian, butterfly weed, rattlesnake plantain, Virgin’s bower, and arrowhead. This FREE presentation will also cover the parasitic plants dodder and Indian pipe as well as the carnivorous Northern pitcher-plant and sundew. Stories and flower folklore of our native summer and fall wildflowers will be shared.
THE NAUGATUCK RIVER: THE MOVIE – Sun. Aug. 21, 1-3 pm
This Naugatuck River Revival Group (NRRG) movie shows our river like never before. You will see it from its beginning in Torrington to its tide waters, where it meets the Housatonic River, and view what it is like in, over and under the river. The Naugatuck River, suitable for both children and adults, is a glimpse into a planned documentary called The Last Refuge and features the wildlife and people who use the river. You will see songbirds bathing and get close to eagles, owls, and salmon. You will meet two ancient creatures: lamprey and elvers (baby eels). Trapped at the Kinneytown Dam in Seymour, these elvers traveled thousands of miles from the Sargasso Sea to grow to lengths of over 3 feet. If they survive they will stay in the Naugatuck for the next 20-30 years before returning to the Sargasso to breed. Come close to one of the oldest predators on Earth: the peregrine falcon. Watch volunteers struggle to clean the river. See unique views of the new $6.4 million Tingue Dam Bypass. “We want to bring the river to the community,” Sondra Harman, NRRG Executive Director, said. “We want to show people that the river is beautiful.”
YOGA AND FITNESS – Begins Thurs. Sept. 1, 6:30 pm
Instructor Pamela Mellitz will lead her students through stretching and toning, balance and awareness. She’ll also demonstrate the importance of just breathing correctly for better physical and mental health in these full 90-minute sessions. FEE: $7 per class. Please call Pam at 203-888-4124.
NATURE’S CHILD: Incredible Insects – Fri. Sept. 2, 10 am
Join naturalist Amie to discover the critters who live in our park’s beautiful yellow flowers. You’ll be amazed to find how many tiny creatures live on our goldenrod. 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.
FUNDRAISER: Club Comedy Night – Fri. Sept. 2, 7 pm
This fundraising event, hosted by the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc., to support the building of a new playground, will be held at Club Comedy, 585 South Main Street, Naugatuck, CT. The club is located ½ mile off exit 25 or 26 on Route 8. Tickets can be purchased at the Ansonia Nature Center for $25.00 each. The doors will open at 5 pm, so plan to arrive early and enjoy a pre-show dinner. Raffle tickets will be available from 5–6:45 pm with proceeds also going to the playground fund. The comedy show will begin at 7 pm. For ages 21 and over only.
FALL TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Registration begins Thurs. Sept. 8; class runs Thursdays, Sept. 15–Nov. 3, 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.
BACK TO BASICS: Soap Making 101 – Sat. Sept. 10, 1:00 pm
This two-hour class will provide the basic skills you’ll need to make wonderful soaps! Attendees will learn basic safety and traditional techniques required for this time-honored craft which makes great gifts – or soaps to keep for your own use. Soap samples and recipes will be provided. Bring a small container for your take-home samples. Instructor: Dawn Sotir. FEE: $10 per person. Registration is required.
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Sun. Sept. 11, 1 pm
See July 10 listing for description.
THEMED GUIDED HIKE: Goldenrod Jungle – Sun. Sept. 11, 1 pm
For all nature enthusiasts! Enjoy a walk through the park’s fields and vast Goldenrod Jungle. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of insects, spiders, and birds that depend on this unique habitat for survival. FREE guided hikes every Sunday at 1 pm.
FULL HARVEST MOON HIKE – Fri. Sept. 16, 7 pm
The northeastern native people referred to the full September moon as the “corn is edible” moon. Join our rangers to hike the Nature Center trails as the big moon rises. Enjoy some marshmallows over the campfire to conclude our program. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Number of participants is limited, so pre-registration is required. FEE: $1.00 per person.
PLAYGROUND FAMILY FUN DAY – Sat. Sept. 17, 10 am
Let’s get our community together and celebrate! We will start by restoring the grounds around our new playground. The original playground was built in 1991 by the community, and it would be great to keep up the tradition. It is time to continue the legacy for another 25 years and ensure the playground’s longevity for future generations.
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX DRUMMING CIRCLE – Fri. Sept. 23, 7 pm
Join our drumming circle with Ranger Dawn. For adults and children 12 years and older. Welcome and celebrate our most colorful season! FREE, but bring a canned food item for our local homeless shelter. We’ll gather at Pavilion #2. Please register.
BIRDS ON THE MOVE – Sat. Sept. 24, 9 am
Come for birding with Ranger Jessica for this fun, 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; please call to register.
Be sure to see the Friends’ Focus for information on the Playground Fundraising!
- 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 2016)***
- Autumn Fest
- Fall Mushrooms
- Bittersweet Wreath Workshop
Check back for updates!