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 National Heritage Area sites offer over 150 free family fun events over two weekends each September for the annual celebration of TRAILS & SAILS. Participants can hike, bike, paddle, stroll or sail through the region and Essex National Heritage Area will provide a passport to fun and adventure. It’s all FREE and it’s all located within the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. You can read more about it Trails & Sails 2018
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.
Kids will learn about the winged creatures that inhabit the sanctuary at this vacation week program. Spring is in full swing and all our flying friends are in a frenzy. If it has wings, we'll find it, and learn about the different ways creatures use their wings. Using binoculars, nets, and bug boxes, we'll take an up-close look at birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and other insects that make their homes at the sanctuary.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
CCome hike to Rockery Pond to observe a beaver lodge. Then as a group, we will attempt to build our own lodge. Along the way, we will investigate other animal homes including bird and squirrel nests, chipmunk holes, and tree cavities, and discover who made them and how.
The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary wraps up the maple sugaring season this year with our the annual Flapjack Fling. Bring your family and friends for this special breakfast at the sanctuary and enjoy the fruit (OK, sap!) of our labor and our maple trees on some delicious pancakes.
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse.