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.
There's a walk in the woods... and then there's a walk in the woods with a naturalist. Bring your friends for a pre-Thanksgiving guided walk to discover the world of nature as plants and animals prepare for winter. Sanctuary naturalists will lead small groups as they venture out to Averill's Island, to find some of the sanctuary’s oldest trees. We will stop along the way to hear stories of those who lived on the land before us and learn more about the fascinating cultural history of the sanctuary. Look for animal signs as we hike through the woodlands and marshes, taking in the beauty of the muted colors of late autumn. Walks are approximately 2 hours and 3 miles in length.
It's time for backyard birds to head south for the winter. Joppa Flats Education Center want to give them a proper send-off with a fun, free family event that features bird banding demonstrations, interactive games about bird migration, and lots of table-top science including bird-call recall, bird identification, shorebird feeding challenges, and a mystery bird nest challenge!
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.
In every kind of weather, we love to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats, so join us for one, two, or more of these nature explorations! Each one 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. This session is a coastal forest stroll with a discovery session in the marsh.
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.
Find out why Native Americans call the November full moon the Beaver Moon. The smell of wood smoke combined with the crunch of leaves underfoot reminds us that winter is just around the corner. Spend an evening walking around the sanctuary under a full moon, searching barren tree tops for the silhouettes of owls, fishers, and raccoons while stopping in our wetlands to observe beavers making their final winter preparations. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening with your family before the rush of the holidays begins.
Join Kirsten Lindquist on a nocturnal hike through Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley as "All Hallow's Eve" approaches on this kids-only adventure! We'll peek at the stars, learn about nocturnal animal adaptations, and see what kind of wildlife we can uncover. We'll cap off the evening with s'mores roasted over the firepit at Joppa Flats Education Center.
At sundown this Halloween weekend, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a magical forest with creatures that can talk! Take a guided walk along our Halloween trail, home to some interesting creatures that come out just for Halloween. Learn firsthand about the creatures of the night and some history and myths that surround this spooky holiday.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on the deck in the salt marsh at Rowley's Rough Meadows for a sing-a-long of sea shanties and maritime poetry, and learn how music was used to entertain, focus on work, and tell stories of nautical life. Bring your blanket and dinner and plan to stay for a picnic under the rising full moon. Instruments and shanty singers are welcome.