New Pond Farm

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New Pond Farm is largely supported by donations, memberships, program fees, and contributions.

Members receive seasonal newsletters and calendars, lower rates on all of our programs, enjoy members-only activities, hike, picnic, cross-country ski, and explore our private 102-acre property, and support an education center that plants the seeds of conservation encouraging our children to become future environmentalists.

Donations made in honor or memory of a family member or a friend will be properly acknowledged if you include this information. Please remember that you can increase your gift if your company gives matching funds.

New Pond Farm also welcomes gifts of securities through direct delivery to our investment manager. As many are aware, there are substantial tax advantages to gifts of appreciated securities. In addition, it is a convenient way to dispose of securities whose cost is unknown or difficult to obtain. Please call Ann Taylor at (203) 938-2117 for more details.

All donations are tax deductible for those of you who can use this advantage.

If you would like to give a general donation Please Donate Here

If you have an area that is especially dear to your heart, please explore the options below.

Summer Camp

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Please Help Us To Bring Nature, Farming & Pure Joy
To Wonderful Children From The Inner Cities of CT.

A Full Scholarship for the ten-day camp Session: $1,600

Donations of any size are welcomed!

Please Sponsor a Camper Here
If you’d like to learn more about the camp, please read on!

New Pond Farm’s commitment to urban youth began over forty years ago, ten years before we opened our doors as a year round Environmental Education Center.

In 1975, our founder, Carmen Mathews opened her heart and her property, hosting a very small and personal summer camp for children from NYC for the very first time.

She said, “I had a growing realization that the use of my lovely farm must evolve. I felt I had to use its advantages to help the disadvantaged. I had this exquisite terrain all around me and I wanted it to be used in the most wonderful way possible. I wanted to serve youngsters who might never have this kind of opportunity.”

It is with pride and joy that we carry on Carmen’s commitment. The summer camp has touched the lives of over 800 children, providing them with ten fun-filled days filled with new experiences like nature explorations, swimming, hiking, learning about the farm, harvesting fresh veggies from the garden, star-gazing, camping, making new friends…and being celebrated as individuals.

Our camp now welcomes children from Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury. We have four girls and four boys at a time as our residential campers. They are joined by four girls and four boys from the local area, who are our day campers. Together these children form friendships and understandings and have a marvelous time.

Our residential campers are on full scholarship, thanks to the generosity of our members and friends.

We estimate that a ten-day stay, with its lifetime of memories, costs $1,600.

Programs for Urban Youth

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 3.42.59 PMIn addition to our residential summer camp, which hosts children from Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury for ten-day stays on the farm, our experienced educators work closely with school children and teachers from Connecticut’s cities.

We are committed to excellence and have realigned our programs with the new State Standards in social studies and the newly adopted NGSS science standards, so our hands-on field trip programs bring their in-class lessons to life!

We love sharing the farm’s resources with all students, but we consistently observe the overwhelming joy and enthusiasm shown by our students from the cities. These field trips make an enormous impact on their learning and their imaginations.

A donation of $250 would enable 25 eager learners to come to the farm for an hour and a half field trip. (The school would just be responsible for the cost of the bus.) They can also bring their lunch and enjoy a picnic before or after their program.

Please Donate Here

Or learn more below

We have six main topics for our field trip programs-but we can also custom-design programs at a teacher’s request. Here is a brief glimpse of two programs.

– In our Spring Farm and Honeybees Program children learn about the importance of food production and farms, they brush a dairy cow, visit with piglets, see our ewes and lambs, and hold a warm freshly laid egg in our coop; they learn about pollination, watch honeybees in our observation hive, taste fresh honey and make a bees wax candle to take home.

– In our Freshwater Explorations Program they become instant explorers. Working in our stream and marsh they carefully gather dragonfly nymphs, tadpoles, diving beetles and more. They learn about these animals’ adaptations for survival and what makes aquatic habitats unique and important.

Information about our other school programs can be found here

The Working Farm (animals and agriculture)

Cows at fence-DSC_0326Our Environmental Education Center is fortunate to have a beautiful working farm. It is one of the last dairy farms in Fairfield County. In 2007, thanks to the knowledge and care of our Farm Managers, we were selected as one of Connecticut’s Dairy Farms of Distinction.

It takes a great deal of funding to keep our herd of 14 dairy cows, our flocks of sheep and chickens, and our seasonal pigs in tip top shape. We welcome your help!

Please Support Our Animals Here

For more information, please read on:

Feed our flock of sheep for a month: $40

Feed a cow for a month: $60

Provide animal bedding for a month: $250

Feed a pig for the growing season: $400

Feed our herd of dairy cows for a month: $840

Feed our flock in the coop for six months: $1,000

Educational Programs

NPF-What Hapens to Animals in Winter_2We are always working to bring interesting speakers or artisans to the farm. Many of these talented people request a significant honorarium that is not easily covered by our program fees. Donating to this fund allows us to keep our program prices affordable, while sharing wonderful talents with our members and friends. This fund also covers the cost of props for our programs.

Please Donate Here
For more information, please read on:
  • A team of percherons to lead wagonrides at our Harvest Festival: $600
  • Artisans (broom maker, rope maker, colonial cookers): $300 each
  • Speakers range up to $400
  • Master Falconer to fly birds of prey over the pastures: $600
  • A mounted bobcat: $900

Re-planting Native Species

Meadow

When high winds roar through the farm or we loose old growth trees due to their age, we take the opportunity to replant with native species of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Gifts ranging from $50-$650 can make a huge difference and they can be designated in honor or memory of a loved one.

Please Donate Here

For more information, please read on:

Just a few of the plantings installed in recent years include: a grove of new Sugar Maples in front of the Farmhouse, stands of Winterberry and Buttonbush along the banks of the stream, and a Redbud in front of the Learning Center. After Super Storm Sandy toppled 2-acres of white pines by the marsh, we made the best of the situation. We had the area cleared, our Farm Manager tilled up over a dozen planting beds, and a team of hard-working volunteers planted wildflowers specifically selected for our honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

There are so many more areas that can benefit from new plantings. We’d love to have your help.

$50-$100 will help with more meadow wildflowers

$100 will help with additional stream plantings

$300 will purchase a flowering dogwood tree

$450 will purchase of a sugar maple tree

$650 will purchase a white oak

Thank you.

The Arts (performing/visual)

Summer Shakespeare

Art and nature regularly meet at New Pond Farm! The beautiful property and the Learning Center lend themselves to Art Shows, Earth Art, a wide variety of art programs for children and adults, Summer and Winter Shakespeare for middle and high school actors and exciting play readings by professional actors.

We would appreciate donations to our Arts Fund.

Please Support the Arts

The Arts Fund is used to provide partial scholarships for our Shakespeare Programs to those in need. It also allows us to bring wonderful artists to the farm to inspire our members and friends.