To spark a sense of wonder, Rachel Carson said, every child needs an adult "who can share it, rediscovering with him [or her] the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in." To this end, knowing facts about nature matters less than feeling a sense of beauty, admiration, excitement, and love, which can prompt a wish for knowledge later on and create an enduring legacy of meaning. Exploring nature, Carson reminds us, means being receptive to the surrounding world - "learning to use your eyes, ears, nostrils, and finger tips, opening up the disused channels of sensory impression."
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.
Enjoy ongoing activities throughout the day at Mass Audubon's 20th Annual Audubon Nature Festival. This year's special feature will be live owl presentations by Marcia and Mark Wilson of Eyes On Owls. Come see live owls up close, learn about their natural history, and join in a hooting lesson.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a family nature photography workshop! Photography is a wonderful way to take your memories of the wildlife and landscapes of our sanctuary home. Introduce your family to the basics of digital nature photography and practice those skills while exploring some trails. At the end of the program each child will take home a print of their favorite photo!
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a Springtime Stargazing Party! This evening we will observe the moon, Jupiter, and springtime stars through a large reflector telescope. The moon will be just past first quarter, bringing craters in Mare Imbrium and the lunar highlands into view, as well as the Apennines Mountain Range. We will explore both the intricate cloud-belt structure of Jupiter's upper atmosphere, and the four Galilean moons orbiting this gas giant planet. Some of the more prominent stars of the spring season will be pointed out, too. A brief presentation to orient you to these celestial sights will precede the observtion portion of the progam.
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.
Tompson Street Reservation in Gloucester, managed by Essex County Greenbelt Association, is full of rich and diverse wildlife habitat, as well as some spectacular views of Ipswich Bay. Come on this fun, full-day hike and learn about vernal pools and forest wildlife while we explore the glacial granite summit of Eagle Rock with other adventurous young adults. Don't forget a camera -- the views should be great!
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, such as whales, sharks, and sea turtles. Find out where our seafood comes from, examine sand and sea shells from around the world, and participate in art activities and ocean-themed games. Learn how we can all take responsibility for sustaining the natural beauty and resources of our oceans and coastline.
The bald eagles are back along the Merrimack River, and we know where to find them! Join us at Joppa Flats, where we'll kick things off with some bagels and cream cheese while we learn about eagles and other birds of prey before we hit the road. We'll use recent sightings from our bird observation log, pass out binoculars and radios, and caravan out to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Deer Island, and Salisbury Beach State Reservation to seek out these majestic birds.