In this outdoor survival skills program, we will venture out onto the Ipswich River. Learn the basics of canoe safety, paddle strokes, and the river knowledge needed to travel on the water. When we stop at Perkins Island, you will be challenged to explore the area and craft your own paddle out of natural materials, and then test it out on the paddle back to the mainland. No previous canoe or outdoor skills are necessary, just a strong survival instinct!
The historic tour of Willowdale Estate covers historic background, context and conversation about the Arts & Crafts style mansion. Discover the hidden details decorating each room and hear the fascinating stories of our wonderful and unique estate as lead by a member of our educated staff. Join us for light refreshments and conversation after the tour.
Want to instill your children with the wonder and joy of nature but aren't sure how? Come experience Nature Awareness activities and games that engage heart, mind, and senses. Fun and easy to learn, these uplifting and playful activities were developed by world-renowned experiential educator Joseph Cornell. Share them as a family and rediscover the beauty and richness of nature.
The annual Memorial Day Parade starts on Grove Street and continues along Main Street to the Veterans Memorial Green for a service. The parade reforms, and will continue to Pine Grove Cemetery for another service. All residents and especially military families are invited and encouraged to attend. The Proctor School Band will perform.
As late Spring becomes early Summer, it means one thing: turtle time! Join us for an afternoon of exploring our wetlands in search of these fascinating reptiles. We'll visit areas where turtles like to nest in hopes of finding some eggs, and, with a little luck, get an up-close look at a painted turtle. We'll conclude with a trip to the Rockery to see if we can summon our resident snapping turtle, Godzilla.
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.
Essex County Trail Association is hosting the 23rd annual Equine EXPO to be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9am-3pm in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Route 1, Topsfield, MA. This popular event draws over 800 people each year. Many new and returning individuals, groups and businesses will be offering their goods and services – selling anything new or used for the horse, rider or driver.
If you are looking to outfit the kids for the show season, upgrade your horse’s equipment, build a bard, find a massage therapist, purchase supplements, home décor, gifts, books or herbal products this is the place to be. We also have a large information table with pamphlets on trails, land organizations, businesses, etc.
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.
Kids will get their hands dirty and dig into the science of soil at this April vacation session. Meet the critters of the sanctuary that call dirt home. Worms, millipedes, sow bugs, weasels, and voles are a few soil creatures that we will hope to see. Find out what it takes to make a garden grow, before preparing and planting your own take-home garden.
Wetlands are wonderful places full of fascinating animals and plants. Together we will discover the wetland habitats of the sanctuary. We'll hike to Hassocky Meadow and search for ducks, turtles, snakes, and more. We will continue our explorations at a real vernal pool and look for breeding salamanders, wood frogs, and their egg masses.