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.
Topsfield, Massachusetts 01983
We will read by Lindsay Barrett George, take a close-up look at some beaver artifacts, and then take a walk to Rockery Pond to see a beaver lodge, dam, beaver chews, and scent mounds. Find out why beaver teeth are orange and what they use their tails for! We may even try our luck at making our own beaver lodge.
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."
Join us for an evening park adventure for families. Fireflies delight us with their nighttime dance and spectacular light show! Learn about the life of a firefly, and take a walk led by the park interpreter. The walk is moderately paced for 3/4 mile. There is a gentle uphill slope which may pose difficulty for those with limited mobility.
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.
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!
Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3rd with a walk along some beautiful trails with ECTA and Ipswich River Watershed Association. Join ECTA Trail Steward Judi Milano and IRWA Executive Director Wayne Castonguay at 10am in the Bradley Palmer parking lot at 40 Asbury Street in Topsfield.
The walk will gather at the mounting block and go up the trail toward Asbury Street, across the road, across the fence and down to the river and the bridge. We turn left at the bridge and walk along the river for about a half mile to the Patton property where we go through the opening in their stone wall and walk back out to Asbury street along their fence. The walk will return to the Bradley Palmer lot through the Bradley Palmer trails.
Backpack Babies is a program that encourages caregivers to explore the natural world with their babies and toddlers. Bring your backpack/frontpack or jogging stroller and explore the meadows, forests, and wetlands with your baby in this four-session series. Each class will begin indoors with a nature book and a few lap rhymes, songs, and games about the topic of the day. Then we'll go outside for a closer look at nature's gifts with our:
Explore the wonders of spring in the enchanted woods of the sanctuary in this four-session series. We'll begin indoors with story, poetry, and imagination. Next we'll head out for a spring walk to awaken our sense of wonder. Along the way we will explore the miracle of new life in seeds and eggs, and observe insects, reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, and their habitats in the wild.
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.