Registration is required for all programs.
Please register online or by calling (203) 938-2117.
Learning to Read & Understand Our Landscape!
It is our pleasure to introduce you to our fascinating new neighbor, Bruce Ward. Bruce has a PhD in geology, is married to a geologist, was raised by two geology teachers, and (no surprise) is an inspiring geologist! As the Chief geologist for e4sciences, an international company that started on a kitchen table in Redding, Bruce is eager to share his passion with all of us! Please join us for these two exciting and eye-opening programs. Geology has played a key role in the landscape of Western CT. Our property is underlain by bedrock over 450 million years old that has been sculpted by glaciers, rivers, and humans. Learn how geology influences our soils, plants, rivers, and streams.
Boulders to Mud
Sunday, October 18, 2 p.m.
Some of the most active present-day movement of sediment on our property is along Blackman’s Pond Brook. Walk the brook as it meanders past the pastures, visiting our active spring, and discovering a variety of sediment types and sizes. Learn how stones and sediments are used, including in human and wildlife homes. We will pass a popular place for viewing animal tracks along the way.
Recommended for families (group size: maximum of 6). Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. This walk will take you from the hill next to the Learning Center to the stone wall beyond the meadow by the marsh. Mostly a flat gentle walk.
$10 per member, $15 per non-member
Boulders and Sediment of New Pond Farm
Saturday, October 24, 2 p.m.
After a brief introduction to the rock and sediments found on the Education Center’s property, we will use basic geological maps and sketches to put our property and the Blackman’s Pond Brook watershed in context with the Earth. As we walk, Bruce will help us to read the landscape by sharing insight into the surrounding bedrock, glacial sediments (including boulders), and stream sediments.
Recommended for Middle School students – Adults (group size: maximum of 6). Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. This walk will take you up to the top of the hill next to the Learning Center, some parts of this walk are steep.
$10 per member, $15 per non-member
Fall Family Fun
Saturday, October 17
Morning session: 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon session: 12 – 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of our Annual Harvest Festival, we can’t wait to welcome you to a more personal celebration of the harvest season! Bring your family and watch sheep shearing, decorate a pumpkin, and create other fun seasonal crafts to take home!
Limited to 8 families per session
$60 per member family, $75 per non-member family
Saturday, October 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Many of you have been greeted by this marvelous display at our Annual Harvest Festival over the years. Now it’s your turn to create and build a Pumpkin Person of your very own to greet your guests during the fall season! Our Board Member, Deb Rakich, will lead you through her creative process in an outside setting that allows for proper social distancing. Your finished product will be the talk of the neighborhood!
Limited to 6 families (1 pumpkin person per family), all materials provided.
$60 per member family, $70 per non-member family
Wreath Making for Families
Saturday, December 5, 2 – 4 p.m.
Join us for an afternoon of family fun creating a holiday decoration for your home, or for a grandparent, a neighbor, or that special friend! Each family group will be assigned their own space within the Learning Center that allows easy social distancing for all!
After an introduction, our staff members will be here to guide you from a distance!
Wreath rings, fresh greens, and additional decorative items will be provided. Please bring your work gloves, clippers, and masks.
Limited to 6 families (One wreath per family).
$65 per member family, $75 per non-member family
Family Outdoor Activities
Fall is the perfect season to get outside and
we have several flexible options for you!
In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the reopening of the area schools, your unexpectedly fluid schedules, and keeping everyone’s safety in mind, we are offering the following menu of hands-on outdoor activities for your immediate family or your friend group.
With at least one adult – Great for home-school groups and children of any age with a parent!
Up to 8 participants, 90-minute program
$75 per member group and $90 per non-member group
Up to 6 participants, 90-minute program
$20 per member child and $25 per non-member child
(Program minimum $80 for members/$100 for non-members)
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Give us a call or take a look at some of our wonderful school programs, which we can adjust for families or small home-school groups.
$100 minimum for custom programs.
How It Works:
Choose a time that fits your schedule September-November: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; Saturdays: September 26, October 3 or 31, and November 14; some Sunday slots are also available
• Time blocks will be reserved on a first come, first served basis.
• All participants will be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
• Please dress for the weather- programs will be held outside whenever possible. If they move inside due to rain, participants will be appropriately distanced in our classrooms.
• Pre-read our updated Fall Activities Form for COVID protocols.
• A parent/guardian will be asked to sign our Release Form on the day of each program (one per family). * We will need a form from each Friend Family.
• Pre-registration and payment are required.
• One-week cancellation is required for refunds.
The Wonder of Leaves
Our woodlands are like a festival of trees!
Join us up on the trails and discover why and how our trees’ leafy food factories are shutting down for winter and taking on the colors of the rainbow. Learn how to identify several types of leaves as you gather your very favorites, make leaf creatures, and create solar prints (sunshine permitting).
Feathers & Scales, Talons & Tails
Using some of our favorite live animals (large and small), and mounted specimens, we will help you to become nature detectives so you can discover some of the fascinating adaptations that are necessary for survival!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Explore our woodlands and meadows, learn about our wild neighbors, and search for clues they have left behind. It’s a terrific time to be outside to witness the many seasonal changes.
Life in the Longhouse
Travel the woodland path to our authentically recreated encampment, complete with a thatched longhouse and barked wigwam. Sit by the fire on deerskin-covered logs and explore ways that our local tribes lived off the land. Learn about shelters, food gathering, hunting, cooking, clothing, and roles of family members.
As we collect a variety of seeds on the property, we will learn about their amazing strategies for dispersal – do they fly on the wind, travel on animal fur, float on the water, get eaten and “planted” by birds, or buried by squirrels? Your seed collection will then be used to create a seasonal work of art.
Perfectly Productive Pollinators
Our gardens and meadow are teaming with beautiful butterflies, beetles, and honey bees, all doing their part to pollinate our fall wildflowers. Search our asters and goldenrods to see how many pollinators you can find, stop by one of our active beehives to observe our tireless worker bees, and make a pollinator craft to take home!
Redding and our surrounding towns have joined the Pollinator Pathway and we will share some fun ideas of how your family can help to Save Our Pollinators! (Best before the first frost)
What a perfect time to get hooked on the lifelong sport of fly fishing! Learn how to cast a fly line in the field, then head down to the pond and see what impact having the line in the water has on your casting process.
Please note this program is not offered on Mondays, recommended for ages 8 and up or a family group.
Limited to 6 participants, all equipment will be provided.
Skeletons and Skulls
We have the bones, we just need sharp-eyed detectives to solve some mysteries – do the bones belong to a racoon, a fox, perhaps a coyote or bear, maybe an owl? Learn how to identify bones you might discover in the woodlands. Dissect an owl pellet and see if you can find out what the owl had for dinner!
To reserve a family/group program,
please email Gwen Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All requests must be made at least a week in advance.
If you would like to view samples of past programs, our past calendars can be found here