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.
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.
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.
Learn about spiders at Ipsiwch River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield during this spooky time of year! All spiders spin silk, but not all make webs to catch their prey. How does a spider spin a web and not get caught in it? Come and find out the other ways these fascinating little animals use their magic threads.
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!
Come be a part of the “Great American Eclipse.” A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Massachusetts on August 21, and we’ll celebrate by building solar-eclipse viewers to safely watch the event. We’ll also learn a little about astronomy and discover why eclipses happen. Our next solar eclipse won’t be visible until 2024, so don’t miss this chance!
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.
Join us at Bradley Palmer State Park for a FREE program for all ages. Bob Metcalfe, of New England Discovery will take you on an adventure in tracking wild animals. Winter is an especially beautiful time to visit the diverse State Parks of Massachusetts. Ability to identify the tracks and sign of wildlife along the trail will add to your enjoyment of your favorite state lands.