Join The Trustees of Reservations for a paddle and a hike – what better way to spend a summer morning? Paddle across Essex Bay from the Trustees of Reservations boat dock to Choate Island. We’ll beach our boats for a tour of the island, stopping in at the Proctor Barn, the White Cottage and the Choate House, then continuing to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to get the views from the water (tides permitting).
Events that include exploration
Local Native American tribes call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon because it heralds the time of year to pick wild strawberries. Spend an evening walking in the warm air, listen to the dusk bird songs turn to choruses of spring peepers, and try to catch a glimpse of our resident wildlife as spring ripens into summer. We'll enjoy some strawberries and chocolate as a sweet treat to end the night.
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! .
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 invites teens and tweens to explore a mountaintop and the ocean in one day - it's the best of both worlds! We'll start at Long Sands Beach, where we'll investigate the tide pools for marine life. The, we'll hike up Mount Agamenticus, where we'll keep an eye out for plants and animals unique to mountain habitats, and for evidence of the glaciers that covered the area thousands of years ago. We promise a lunch break, raptor search, and games at the summit! The two-mile hike is a combination of gentle and moderately hilly terrain. This is a great mountain for beginners and is full of natural history interest for more experienced hikers.
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!