More than 50 years ago, actress and environmentalist Carmen Mathews had a dream for the land she loved. She wanted her 102-acres of pastures, woodlands, and wetlands to serve as an oasis where people of all ages could connect with the natural world. Carmen began by inviting urban youth to a summer camp. Building on this initial small and personal summer program, New Pond Farm Education Center opened its doors in 1985. Since then it has evolved into a comprehensive environmental teaching facility with a model working farm, and offers a wide range of school programs as well as classes for children, teens, adults, and entire families.
– Our Vision –
We imagine an idyllic place where people can learn about the natural world and be immersed in its beauty – a place where the careful management of our environment inspires all who come to our pastures, meadows, and woodlands to be good stewards of the Earth.
– Our Values –
Education: We are all about education! One of the most successful facets of our educational outreach is our work with area schools. Over 5,000 children venture to the Education Center each year for hands-on field trips that bring their classroom studies to life. Our programs connect them to the natural world and promote scientific inquiry. Our seasonal calendars are filled with inspirational activities for children, adults, teens, and families throughout the year. New Pond Farm’s programs focus on five areas: the environment, agriculture, local history, astronomy, and the arts.
Sound Stewardship: The practice of responsible and sustainable environmental stewardship of the land defines us; this includes the management of our woodlands, wetlands, and our small working farm. We share our knowledge and love of nature with all who come and visit, so they, too, will become good stewards. Our most powerful lessons emerge through our example of ecological responsibility. Together with the Redding Land Trust, which has a conservation easement over a portion of our property, we seek to protect the beauty of this land for future generations.
Community: Community is at the heart of everything we do. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff welcomes our members and visitors, introducing them to the many wonders and offerings of New Pond Farm. We prize collaboration with local schools, and neighboring organizations and businesses. We honor our heritage by sharing the long history of our area’s inhabitants, including the Eastern Woodland Indians and the colonial settlers.
Regeneration: New Pond Farm is a haven of peace and beauty. Here young and old alike can recharge themselves in a serene and pleasing environment. Our members and visitors are invited to enjoy the tranquility of the open spaces, rolling pastures, and surrounding hillsides.