Ipswich River's weekly homeschool classes promote an active engagement with nature through inquiry-based, hands-on environmental education. Join us as we explore the many different habitats provided by our nearly 2,000-acre sanctuary, and lay the foundation for a lifelong connection with nature. This season, we will focus on the survival skills that all animals (including humans) need to survive the harsh New England winter.
Topsfield, Massachusetts 01983
Preschoolers and young kids will explore the wonders of winter in the "enchanted woods" of Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in this four-session series. We'll begin in the Nature Center with story, poetry, and imagination. Next, we'll bundle up for a winter walk to awaken our sense of wonder to the silence, scents, and scenery of the sleeping winter woods. Along the way, discover how the trees, plants, birds, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, and other wildlife spend the winter. We'll look for animal stories in the snow (tracking) and much more. After our walks, we'll create artwork that reflects the wonders of winter that we discovered, while listening to winter nature songs. These keepsakes will bring home winter's secrets and beauty as we await the signs of spring.
Drop in at Joppa Flats for an up-close winter wildlife experience! On select weekend and school vacation days, Joppa Flats volunteer Deb La Roy presents demonstrations on bird research and banding. After capturing wild birds in the Joppa backyard, Deb brings them inside to measure, weigh, examine, and then release them. The unique band that Deb places carefully on each bird’s leg connects other bird researchers with the data she’s collected. You’ll learn about your own backyard birds and why they’re here while watching scientific research in action.
Haunting Tales and Bewitching Cocktails at Peirce Farm at Witch Hill, Topsfield.
Travel back to Victorian times at the gentleman farm of railroad tycoon T.W. Peirce where you will be spellbound by eerie ghost stories in the manor house, enjoy games and music in the barn, and savor a complimentary signature cocktail.
Focus your "peepers" on more than just leaves this fall! Autumn is an exciting time of change in nature, when both plants and animals get ready for the coming cold. Walk the sanctuary trails while investigting some of the signs of this beautiful season. Learn about the amazing ways that plants and animals prepare themselves for survival and test some of your own skills.
Ipswich River Sanctuary invites you to come explore! Looking to get off the beaten path and take "the one less traveled?" Haven't yet hiked alll 12 miles of our sanctuary's interconnected trails? Have a yearning to explore places like Hassocky Meadow or White Pine Loop? Come with us as we trek some of the sanctuary's less frequented trails to discover new sights and sounds in these spectacular habitats.
Explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary after hours and join us for a night of camping under the stars. Have an early dinner at home, and then come with your family, your tent, and a dessert to share.
Where might deer and foxes, squirrels and chipmunks, rabbits and mice, and other mammals live at the sanctuary? We will take a hike to visit some of the places where we might find signs of them. On our return, we will create mammal masks from natural objects to take home.
Rita Gallant, Lead Field Teacher at IRWS will read Festive Occasions - Special Event Rental Equipment by Joanne Ryder. Let's find out what butterflies live in our area. Using sweep nets and hand lenses, we'll observe butterflies in the gardens and fields of the sanctuary. Become a butterfly as we learn about the life cycles of these fluttering marvels.
Kids ages 3-6 are invited to join this fun, engaging activity session where they will learn about nature through stories, craft and outdoor activitiies. Topics vary by week, so come for them all! Meets at the Nature Center at 40 Asbury Street. An adult must accompany children. For outdoor programs wear comfortable clothes and sturdy closed toe shoes, insect repellent, and sunscreen. Bring water. Inclement weather cancels outdoor programs.