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.
Join your friends and neighbors at the Stevens-Coolidge Place for a free day of outdoor enjoyment! This free mid-day event is the perfect low-key introduction to the Stevens-Coolidge gardens, including assorted lawn games, a variety of paths through the gardens to see what spring has sprung, and several tables set up for communal picnicking.
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.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
It’s winter. The air inside is stale, you just ate a bag of chips for lunch, and the couch is calling your name. There’s stuff you should be doing, but you’re just not feeling it – and yet another nap seems so boring. We have just the thing to make you feel tip top in no time! Join us for an energetic hike around the Crane Estate! Route will be determined by weather. The pace will be brisk, the air will be fresh, the chips will be burned off, and you’ll leave feeling invigorated!
This hike starts at the Barn on the Crane Estate, and wanders down to the Cedar Point Trail where many of our spring-time birds are busy getting settled. On the way, kids will use their skills of observation to see what kinds of birds are starting to show up – where are they hanging out, and what are they doing? What do they sound like? Then we’ll head to the Pine Grove where we’ll collect pine cones to make unique bird feeders for you to hang up at home. Our adventure will end with hot chocolate and s’mores around a camp fire in the Pine Grove.
This hike will test our skills of observation! We’ll trek through the dunes and forest of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, keeping our eyes peeled for wonders in the wilderness; and for some things that don’t belong out in Nature as well. Each child will have the opportunity to make a notebook that can be used as a field guide to record what we see and hear on our hike. We’ll end our trek with hot chocolate and cookies.
Join The Trustees of Reservations at Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate in search of the American Toad in Ipswich, Massachusetts! Ever wonder what that screeching sound is on damp spring evenings? The cacophonous chorus of toads and Spring Peepers means winter is finally coming to an end. In the early evening darkness we’ll quietly make our way through the dunes to the bogs and puddles that serve as breeding pools for the American Toad, and hope to catch a glimpse of them (and other species too!) as they call to find a mate. These are the toads you most often see around your yard – but there’s a lot to learn about them! Come with us as we get up close and personal with these awesome amphibians!
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.
CCome hike to Rockery Pond to observe a beaver lodge. Then as a group, we will attempt to build our own lodge. Along the way, we will investigate other animal homes including bird and squirrel nests, chipmunk holes, and tree cavities, and discover who made them and how.