In every kind of weather, our favorite thing is to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats! Each nature exploration will focus on the importance of a sense of place as we explore the ecology, sights, and sounds of our natural landscape. Wildlife, local and migrating birds, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy. In this session, particitpants will explore the trails of Woodsom Farms with naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center! .
Events that include exploration
Kids explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary during April Vacation Week! Spring is a time when many baby animals are born. Join IRWS to learn about the plant-eating mammals that make their home at the sanctuary. We hope to catch glimpses of them, and certainly we'll see signs that they are living here. Participate in a mammal obstacle course. Build a beaver and muskrat lodge as a group, and track deer and other mammals in the fields and forests of the sanctuary.
Joppa Flats Education Center Camp Director Kirsten Lindquist leads an excurison to York Maine! We'll explore both a mountaintop and the ocean in one day -- it's the best of both worlds! We'll start off with a hike around and up Mount Agamenticus, which overlooks the ocean out to the Isles of Shoals on the horizon. On the mountain, our crew will keep an eye out for vernal pools and evidence of glacial history, while we all get to know flora unique to alpine ecosystems. After lunch on the summit, we'll descend to the coast at nearby Long Sands Beach and investigate the tide pools for marine life.
Spring is the season when frogs, toads, and salamanders return to the wetlands to lay their eggs. After a short introduction in the Nature Center, where we will learn about the life cycles of these amazing creatures, we will search the sanctuary's wetlands and woodlands for salamanders and other amphibians on the move. If we're lucky, we might be able to catch a few to observe up close and then release. We'll also swing by our vernal pool, where we often find wood frog and spotted salamander eggs.
Each spring American woodcocks engage in one of nature’s most fascinating courtship displays. Here’s your chance to witness this “sky dance” up close and in-person! This program is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Meet the ranger on the deck of the visitor contact station at parking lot 1. Bring binoculars and a flashlight. Program is limited to 15 participants. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Preregistration required.
Take your 3-5 year old youngster on a good old fashioned nature discovery walk. Meet at the refuge visitor center before driving together to the head of the day's trail on the refuge (no parking fee charged). For each session, a refuge volunteer will lead the children and their caregivers on a walk to explore different aspects of the refuge: beach, dune, marsh, scrub forest, cranberry bog. Come dressed for the weather. If the weather is completely unsuitable for outdoor enjoyment, then an indoor program comprised of a story, activity and craft will be held at the visitor center instead.
Living on the coast is a constant reminder of the beauty and power of the Atlantic Ocean. Isn't it interesting that our mighty seas are also fragile and need protection? Come to Joppa Flats for a full day of indoor activities and exhibits that focus on our ocean giants and creatures of the deep. Find out where our seafood comes from, how people can collect energy from the ocean, and how to protect our oceans and coastline as they show signs of change.
Join Ranger Dave Williams for a walk along Crane Beach to look for birds that frequent the shore during winter. Birders will enjoy the opportunity to spot species they don’t often see, while beginners will learn what to look and listen for to help identify these feathered friends. Bring your binoculars and your life list!
Children ages 4-6 (and three year olds who are comfortable with the setup) are invited to come and play and learn with us for the next 6 Friday mornings. This class is playful, silly, and all about being a child, or a child pretending to be an animal. Each day, focus on a different one of our senses, and learn about local wild creatures that are really good at using that sense. Play games for using each sense, and imagine what it would be like to have super sense powers. Each day, create something original related to our sense exploration, and take it home.
Drop in at Joppa Flats for an up-close winter wildlife experience! On select weekend and school vacation days, Joppa Flats volunteer Deb La Roy presents demonstrations on bird research and banding. After capturing wild birds in the Joppa backyard, Deb brings them inside to measure, weigh, examine, and then release them. The unique band that Deb places carefully on each bird’s leg connects other bird researchers with the data she’s collected. You’ll learn about your own backyard birds and why they’re here while watching scientific research in action.