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  • Fairfield County

    Audubon Center of Greenwich
    613 Riversville Rd., Greenwich, CT Phone: 203-869-5272.

    Audubon Greenwich has been providing environmental programs since 1942 and was the National Audubon Society’s first education center. The Audubon Center of Greenwich on Riversville Road is comprised of 285 acres and 7 miles of walking trails and includes the Kimberlin Nature Education Center classrooms, the Kiernan Hall Nature Art Gallery, and the Nature Store.

    Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield
    2325 Burr St., Fairfield, CT 06824. Phone: 203-259-6305.

    The Center is adjacent to the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary and provides an indoor setting for the interpretation of its varied land, forest, and freshwater wetland ecosystems. The Center features a butterfly garden, the Farm Pond (great for spotting frogs, turtles, and ducks), a greenhouse featuring a ‘Sensory Garden’ and nature-related exhibits. The Center also features a “Live Birds of Prey” Compound which is open Tuesday thorugh Saturday from 10:00am – 3:00pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our owls, hawks, falcons and vulture up close! Our Nature Store provides nature-related gifts, birding guides, a great selection of bird houses and feeders, and other bird-related supplies.

    Darien Nature Center
    120 Brookside Rd., Darien, CT 06820. Phone: 203-655-7459.

    Welcome to the Darien Nature Center. Sited in a small town park, we are blessed to have a magnificent facility, built by the generous citizens of our community. We have a grand exhibit gallery, small theater, library and multiple program rooms for children. But we like to spend most of our time outdoors, exploring the fields, pond and trails that surround us. Please come visit us soon – we’d love to show you around!

    Earthplace: The Nature Discovery Center
    10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT 06881. Phone: 203-227-7253

    The mission of Earthplace is to educate the public about nature and the environment.  Visitors can learn about nature by exploring the hands-on museum exhibits in Natureplace and the Ecology Resource Lab. Get up close to wildlife in the Animal Hall and outdoor Connecticut Birds of Prey exhibit area.  See what plants are found in Connecticut in the Native Plant Courtyard.  Take a walk on our 62-acre property on one of the trails, including the wheelchair-accessible Wheels-in-the-Woods IV, a universal design nature trail.  Hunt for the five letterboxes along the trails.  Examine the beautiful Connecticut Wall of Nature, a tile wall of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants that are found in Connecticut.  Visit a garden designed to attract birds and butterflies.  Other facilities include picnic tables, a swing set, a children’s playground available after 3 PM and on weekends, rest rooms, a snack machine and a gift shop.

    New Canaan Nature Center Association
    144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT 06840. Phone: 203-966-9577.

    The New Canaan Nature Center is located on a 40-acre site which features unusual habitat diversity offering a variety of horticultural experiences for the visitors as well as a live Birds of Prey Exhibit, a variety of gardens, a Greenhouse and a Visitors Center which houses our Discovery Room, Art Exhibits and the Nature Gift Shop. Two miles of trails criss-cross the site featuring unusual habitat diversity, including wet and dry meadows, two ponds, wet and dry woodlands, dense thickets, an old orchard, and a cattail marsh with two Observation Towers.

    Sherwood Island State Park and Nature Center
    Department of Environmental Protection Westport, CT 06436. Phone: 203-226-6983.

    A cooperative effort of the CT Department of Environmental Protection and the Friends of Sherwood Island, the nature center opened in June for its third summer of welcoming visitors and interpreting the area.  Curious and budding naturalists of all ages will find a wide variety of displays and exhibits to greet them and help them understand the rich diversity of plant and animal life that inhabit the park.

    The Center is located between East Beach and the salt marsh nature trail. DEP staff, assisted by interns and docents, has planned summer nature walks, bird watching, and learning activities for adults and children. The Nature Center hours are Wednesday-Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.

    Stamford Museum and Nature Center
    39 Scofieldtown Rd., Stamford, CT 06903. Phone: 203-322-1646.

    The Old Quarry Nature and Science Center
    5 Maple Lane, Danbury, CT 06810. Phone: 860-354-7592.

    80 acres of forever-wild land, nature trails, and group programs serving Danbury, Bethel, Ridgefield, Redding, Brookfield and New Milford.

    Woodcock Nature Center
    56 Deer Run Rd., Ridgefield, CT 06789. Phone: 203-762-7280.

    Located on 149 acres of state-protected land, the Woodcock Nature Preserve includes a pond, wetlands and 3 miles of publicly accessible woodland trails. The Center is home to a variety of living local and exotic creatures including snakes, frogs and lizards. We also house a handful of injured birds or prey.

    The Preserve is a haven for aquatic life and a remarkable variety of birds. Along our trails you’ll find historic stone walls and stands of old maple, beech, oak and hickory trees. An Everglades-style boardwalk allows rare access through part of the rich, abundant wetlands nestled in the woods. In these graceful surroundings, young and old can experience the rich, renewing world of nature. Our woodland trails are open to all, sunrise to sunset, everyday of the year.

    Hartford County

    Barnes Nature Center
    175 Shrub Rd., Bristol, CT 06010. Phone: 860-589-6082.

    The newly expanded Barnes Nature Center located in a picturesque setting on Shrub Road in Bristol offers guided exhibit tours. Visitors will be guided on an hour long hands-on tour which includes our live birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians, mounted mammals and other hands-on explorations. There are also loop hiking trails and a trailhead of the Tunxis “Blue” Trail. Open Hours: Saturdays 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Admission fee is charged for nature center, trails are open dawn to dusk year round and are free of charge.

    Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury
    1361 Main St.,Glastonbury, CT 06033. Phone: 860-633-8402.

    The Center’s 4,000 square-foot facility offers a full range of environmental programs and a full calendar of events throughout the year for people of all ages.  The Center contains a Discovery Room with hands-on exhibits, wildlife mounts, interpretive natural history exhibits, a diorama of Connecticut River’s Great Meadow, and small live animals.  The grounds surrounding the Center contain the Four Seasons Wildlife Garden, a bird-feeding station, and a picnic area. The Center is adjacent to the 48-acre town-owned Earle Park, with its forest trails and scenic vistas of Tom’s Pond, meadows, and bluffs overlooking the Holland Brook river.  The park is home to a maturing forest of beech, tulip, and red oak trees and contains the state champion bitternut hickory tree.  It contains trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.

    Lutz Children’s Museum and Nature Center
    247 South Main St., Manchester, CT 06040. Phone: 860-643-0949.

    Every visit to the Lutz Children’s Museum is exciting because exhibits change frequently and special programs are offered daily. Most exhibits and activities are designed for children aged two through ten.

    Northwest Park and Nature Center
    145 Lang Rd., Windsor, CT 06095. Phone: 860-285-1886.

    Welcome to Northwest Park! Located in historic Windsor, Connecticut, USA, the park is a 473-acre multi-recreational facility operated by the Town of Windsor, Connecticut, offering an interpretive nature center, 12 miles of trails, maple sugaring, a Coffee House Concert Series, gift shop, and more.

    Oak Grove Nature Center
    Oak Grove St., Manchester, CT 06040. Phone: 860-643-0949.

    52 acre nature preserve features a pond, covered bridge, and walking trails. On-site teaching facility operated by the Lutz Children’s Museum.

    Roaring Brook Nature Center
    70 Gracey Rd., Canton, CT 06019. Phone: 860-693-0263.

    Our present facility houses display’s on local flora and fauna as well as changing seasonal exhibits. A replica of an Eastern Woodland Indian longhouse, a Beaver Wetland exhibit, a wildlife attraction area, outdoor flight cages, and a small collection of live animals offer our visitors additional opportunities for learning. A small nature store features a selection of nature-related books and gift items. We maintain five miles of trails on the adjacent State-owned Werner’s Woods property. This refuge is home to a variety of native wildlife species – over 150 bird species have been sighted on the property. Outdoor gardens provide opportunities for visitors to view wildflowers, birds and butterflies in season. Self-guiding trail maps, booklets and wildlife checklists are available in the Nature Center Store. Roaring Brook Nature Center is especially proud to be home to numerous beautiful birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, owls and a turkey vulture. Inside the Center a small collection of live animals and animal mounts offer our visitors additional opportunities for learning. The live animals that reside in the Nature Center include snakes, turtles, frogs, and salamanders.

    Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area
    341 Milford St., Burlington, CT 06013. Phone: 860-675-8130.

    Sessions Woods WMA focuses on conservation education, with facilities to bring school groups, the general public and natural resource professionals from throughout Connecticut and the region to participate in educational programs, demonstrations, and workshops pertaining to wildlife and natural resource management. These facilities include an education center with an exhibit area and a large meeting room, as well as interpretive trails, habitat management demonstration areas, and a backyard wildlife habitat area. Sessions Woods WMA offers conservation education programming that uses the expertise of Wildlife Division and other DEEP natural resource management staff. Staff may also be available, by appointment, to conduct group educational programs at the Center and to give technical assistance and professional advice to visitors on an individual basis.

    The Wethersfield Nature Center
    156 Prospect St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. Phone: 860-529-3075.

    The Wethersfield Nature Center is an environmental education facility devoted to the mission of sharing and exploring our natural world through exciting environmental learning. Our wheelchair accessible Nature Center, open to the public, offers minds-on, hands-on educational exhibits and displays. Visitors are provided a unique opportunity to view our live animals, mammals, birds and reptiles, and the Owl’s Nest gift store! If you enjoy the great outdoors, the 110 acres of Wintergreen Woods Park is well within walking distance of the Center. Follow the Park’s mellow trails through white pine groves, pass Folly Brook Pond and over bridges leading to the beech, oak and hickory forest. Another wonderful walking area, only ten minutes away, is Quarry Park in Rocky Hill, CT. Maps are available at the Nature Center.

    Westmoor Park
    119 Flagg Rd., West Hartford, CT 06117. Phone: 860-232-1134.

    Westmoor Park is an environmental, agricultural, and horticultural education center. Its 162 acres includes three miles of nature trails (one-half mile of which is handicapped accessible), a demonstration farm and a variety of gardens. The park’s main building features seasonal exhibits, a nature discovery room, a greenhouse, and a meeting room for classes and community use. Throughout the year, Westmoor Park offers a wide range of programs for schools, groups and the general public. From animal studies to environmental sciences and garden design, the park’s programs are both fun and educational.

    Litchfield County

    Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust
    Flanders Rd./5 Church Hill Rd., Woodbury, CT 06798. Phone: 203-263-3711.

    The Eliott Pratt Education Center
    163 Papermill Rd., New Milford, CT 06776. Phone: 860-355-3137.

    New Haven County

    Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center
    10 Deerfield Lane, Ansonia, CT 06401. Phone: 203-736-1053.

    The Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, a town owned and operated park, is located in Ansonia, Connecticut.   While providing active and passive recreational opportunities to area residents, nature oriented education is our focus. Use of this facility is free and open to the general public. Visitors are welcome everyday from sunup to sundown.  The interpretive center and office hours are from 9 to 5 daily with the exception of major holidays. The park is laced with two and one-half miles of nature trails. The land encompasses 104 acres of wooded hills and grassy fields bisected by streams, a two acre pond, wet meadows, and an upland swamp.  A butterfly/hummingbird garden and an award-winning woodland wildflower and fern garden graces the visitor center.  A portion of the park has been dedicated to recreational fields; including soccer, baseball, and softball, as well as several acres reserved for community gardening and a large playscape for younger children. Picnic pavilions are available by reservation.

    Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point
    1 Milford Point Rd.,Milford, CT 06460. Phone: 203-878-7440.

    Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point is located on an 8.4-acre barrier beach and is situated next to the 840-acre Charles Wheeler Salt Marsh and Wildlife Management Area at the mouth of the Housatonic River.  The Coastal Center promotes the awareness of Long Island Sound’s ecosystem, the birds and habitats it supports, and its preservation needs; and provides access to Long Island Sound and its many habitats: tidal salt marshes, barrier beaches, tide pools, and coastal dunes.

    The Coastal Center is a bird-watcher’s paradise – 315 species have been seen here, including many rarities. The Coastal Center offers a full range of educational programs and many events for families, children, and adults.  The Coastal Center provides educational exhibits, a tide pool demonstration tank, a salt-marsh laboratory, and program and meeting rooms.

    Kellogg Environmental Center
    CT Department of Environmental Protection 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, CT 06418. Phone: 203-734-2513.

    As part of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Kellogg Environmental Center offers workshops, exhibits, nature activities, and lectures for the general public. Through hands-on programs, families can enjoy learning about nature and the environment. Throughout the year, the Center offers special weekend programs, nature walks, and family workshops.

    Meig’s Point Nature Center
    Hammonasset State Park 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT 06443. Phone: 203-245-8743.

    The Meigs Point Nature Center offers programs and activities for park visitors on a year round basis. The Center hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, from April through October, and 10am to 4pm Tuesday – Sunday, from November through March. For information on programs, please contact Nature Center staff.

    West Rock Nature Recreation Center
    1020 Wintergreen Ave., New Haven, CT 06515. Phone: 203-946-6559.

    The Center consists of 43 acres of upland woods and fields at the northern base of West Rock Ridge. The property contains in excess of 300 different plant species, many of which can be observed along interpretive trails that have been strategically located.  Wintergreen Brook meanders along the property. The waterfall and gorge are of particular interest. The stream and pooling areas assist students and their teachers involved with aquatic investigations. Enjoy the woodsy setting at The Centers picnic grove, which will accommodate birthday parties and other special occasions for groups of up to 25. There are ten acres of open fields adjacent to the more heavily wooded portions of the land. This interfacing of trees, berry laden brushy plants and open fields provide ideal habitat support for birding. Gardening components include a landscaping for wildlife area, raised beds, and a three sisters garden similar to plantings of the indigenous peoples of Southern New England.

     

    New London County

    Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
    109 Pequotsepos Rd., Mystic, CT 06355. Phone: 860-536-1216.

    Located in Mystic, CT, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is a combination wildlife sanctuary, natural history museum, and educational facility highlighting the habitats of southeastern Connecticut. Our mission is to inspire and nurture appreciation and scientific understanding of the natural world and foster a personal environmental ethic. We offer a variety of interesting and informative environmental education programs and hikes for all ages, year-round. Our attractions include exhibits in our Natural History Museum, a Nature Center Store featuring gifts and books for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, and our Nature Preschool. We maintain an interconnected system of hiking trails on land owned by the Denison Homestead and Avalonia Land Conservancy. We are open 7 days a week, year round. The DPNC is located on the Denison Homestead. The Denison Homestead is also home to the Denison.

    Windham County

    Audubon Guilford Salt Meadow
    Sanctuary 330 Mulberry Point Rd., Guilford, CT 06437. Phone: 203-458-2582.

    Connecticut Audubon Center at Pomfret
    189 Pomfret St., (Route 169), Pomfret Center, CT 06259. Phone: 860-928-4948.

    Located in Connecticut’s ‘quiet corner,’ Connecticut Audubon Society’s Grassland Bird Conservation Center at Pomfret is surrounded by rural beauty and adjoins the Society’s 700-acre Bafflin Sanctuary, with its vast rolling meadows and grasslands habitats.  The Center is a community-based facility that will actively manage habitat for grassland and offer environmental education programs, bird walks and nature events, Citizen Science training and projects, and many opportunities to learn about and explore the natural world. In addition to the Bafflin Sanctuary, the Center at Pomfret offers a new classroom, where people of all ages can experience hands-on environmental education programs; after-school and weekend environmental programs; day and evening hikes and bird walks; seasonal lectures and workshops; changing natural history exhibits; and workshops for teachers.

    Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center
    23 Potter Rd., North Windham, CT 06256. Phone: 860-455-9534.

    The Goodwin Conservation Center is an environmental education facility owned and operated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Currently there is a public/private partnership with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.  Together we offer programs for the public, schools, and educators, and those who use and impact Connecticut’s forests, including landowners, foresters, loggers and municipal land use commissioners. The Goodwin Conservation Center is located in the James L. Goodwin State Forest., a beautiful 2,000-acre property with 3 ponds and 14 miles of well maintained trails for hiking, cross country skiing and horseback riding. Educational signs along portions of the Air Line Trail and the Blue/Yellow loop trail provide information on the history, ecology and management of the forest. In addition, visitors can either download here or pick up a hard copy of the Forest Discovery Trail guide. Eleven descriptive text passages in the guide correspond to numbered posts along this ¾-mile loop trail. The spacious grounds include the 1.5-acre Richard D. Haley Native Plant Wildlife Gardens, where visitors can see and learn about dozens of native trees, shrubs and perennials that offer food and cover value for wildlife. There is also a small nature museum, the 130-acre Pine Acres Pond and a youth group campsite.

    Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
    55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355. Phone: 860-572-5955.

    New Britain Youth Museum, Inc.
    30 High Street, New Britain, CT 06051. Phone: 860.225.3020

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