Where do animals go in the winter? How do they survive? Where do they find shelter? What food do they find? Who migrates, who seeks shelter in burrows or dens, and who sleeps soundly through the cold and snow? What signs can we look for of animals that are "toughing it out" on the refuge or in your backyard? You'll learn about fur, tracks, and scat.
If you have ever seen tracks in the snow, sand, or soil and were curious about what made them, then this is the program for you! Refuge staff will lead you through the basics of identifying common animals through the clues that they leave behind. A brief introduction to animal tracks and other sign in the visitor center classroom will be followed by a trip to the refuge where we will look for tracks and attempt to determine their owner’s identity.
Children and their caregivers are invited to spend a morning at the Stevens-Coolidge Place to enjoy a story and craft time focused on birds. Bird watching is enjoyable any time of year, but can be particularly rewarding in the winter if you've hung a homemade snack for the birds in your yard. So, join us this Wednesday morning to explore the world of birds around you through stories and a hands-on activity.
Enjoy an evening out with the owls. This guided hike will begin in the Stevens-Coolidge Place parking lot located across the street from the property. As the day falls deeper into the night and new animals emerge as others retire, we will walk together through the property in search of screech owls and great horned owls. Flashlights strongly encouraged. Owl Prowls will be held rain, snow or moonshine. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Welcome the New Year with a brisk hike through the Crane Wildlife Refuge! We’ll begin with a small fire on the beach – bring a slip of paper with regrets from the past year, and we’ll send them up in smoke. Then we’ll cleanse our psyches with a trek through the starkly beautiful landscape of the dunes; trails winding along the sandy hills, blood pumping, the smell of the sea in the air – what a perfect way to to enter into 2018! At hike’s end we’ll warm up with hot cider.
Squirrels are among the most engaging animals of the forest, dashing across logs and leaping from tree to tree. Except for the flying squirrel, they are active during the day, and one of the few wild animals you can actually observe up close. We’ll play some squirrely games and then take a walk to look for these charming bushy-tailed mammals. Bring binoculars if you have them.
You’ll feel better about that Thanksgiving indulgence if you come join us for a hike over the Blueberry and Moon Hills of Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield! Best for children ages 7 and up. We will be hiking for a couple of hours on moderate trails. Wear clothing for hiking; bring rain gear as appropriate. Only pouring rain cancels.
Did you know that the wild turkey was Ben Franklin’s nominee for our national bird? Once driven nearly to extinction in much of the United States, the wild turkey has returned. Come learn about this large bird that represents our first American holiday, Thanksgiving. We’ll make a turkey craft and take a walk to catch, with luck, a glimpse of this elusive bird.
Grab your snow shoes, hiking boots or cross country skiis and get the family outside between Christmas and New Years to seek out our elusive herd of wooden reindeer sculptures found throughout the Grass Rides. See how many you can find and leave a bell around each one's neck. Bells can be found at the bulletin board. This Self-guided program takes place on the Appleton Grass Rides entrance off of Highland St. Trustees members park free. Nonmember's are $5. Dogs are welcome in the grass rides!
Join Artist and Art Teacher Mary Ann McCurdle for one or more of these new family art classes this fall. Each class will begin with a short story, followed by a nature walk, and finish up with a related art project as we celebrate the beauty of the season.