Flanders Summer 2020 Enrollment Notice: If signing-up for FULL DAY Camp at Flanders this summer–one CAMP SITE-must be selected (example – your child will be at ONE location all day for the week), Flanders is following best practices as outlined by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood for Day Camp Operations–and will be maintaining small group camp sizes not to exceed 10 children per group. Camp groups will be physically separate from each other and Campers will not change locations during the day.
Flanders Farm Tea
To celebrate Flanders first beginnings as a working farm, the Flanders Art Committee will host its Fourth Annual 1920s-themed Farm Tea in the original Flanders farmhouse. The Farm Tea will feature a selection of teas as well as jams, homemade cakes, scones, sandwiches and cookies. A highlight will be a raffle for a basket filled with locally sourced items.
The Farm Tea will include a short talk by Jim Frey, owner of Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury and a member of Flanders Art Committee. He will give a brief history of his winery. The talk will be held in the Natalie Van Vleck Studio, which is situated a few steps away from the farmhouse. Natalie’s artwork will be on display in her Studio. We look forward to taking you back in time to the 1920s, to when farm teas were commonplace, and to when a young New York artist fell in love with the beautiful landscape, subsequently making it her home where she painted, then went on to farm those original 200 acres and purchased more land, now accessible to all as the Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust.
Event postponed | New date to be determined / announced
Flanders Trail Blazers 4-H Club
Do you have a child age 5-18 that loves animals and being outdoors? Then joining the Flanders 4-H Club is the perfect fit! UCONN 4-H is a youth organization whose mission is engaging youth to reach their fullest potential with a motto “To Make the Best Better.” Members will learn all about caring for a variety of farm animals, beekeeping, responsible land care, gardening and forestry. Also, as a club member you will have the opportunity to attend educational meetings, go on field trips or show off your new skills at a 4-H Fair. In the process, you will make new friends, solve problems and make a difference in your neighborhood or even in the world!
The Van Vleck 200-acre campus with our North Barn animals presents perfect opportunities to learn the responsibilities of raising livestock and many land management challenges. For more information, please contact the Flanders office at 203-263-3711 x12.
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, starting June 10 | 7 PM | North Barn | Complimentary, but registration required | Register
6th Annual Flanders Field & Forest 5K
The Field & Forest 5K is an all-age walk/run through the woods and fields of Flanders, officially timed by Fast Track Timing. Enjoy a scenic 5K trail run or walk through the picturesque nature sanctuary, Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust in Woodbury, CT, and a post-race celebration with local food trucks and beer and live entertainment with the rock band, Root Six. Registration also includes run or walk, two food items and, for those over 21, a complimentary craft beer. Additional food and drinks can be purchased at the celebration.
POSTPONED – more information coming soon |Sugar House
Farm to Flanders Benefit & Auction: Join Us For an Unique Dining Experience and an Amazing Auction.
This important annual fundraiser will bring together a devoted crowd of Flanders advocates for a fun send-off to summer with cocktails and delicious food sourced from local farms and prepared by our famous local chefs. The Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary promises scenic views, gardens in bloom, farm animals in the pasture and dancing to live music under the stars. We hope to see you there!
Sunday, August 23 | 5:00 PM | Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary | $75 per person | To purchase tickets or volunteer call 203.263.3711 x 14 or email Program Coordinator, Ana Jordan | email Development Director, Jennifer Callery for sponsorship opportunities
Photography Club 2020
Want to join the Flanders Photography Club? Our focus is outdoor nature photography “to foster understanding and appreciation of nature, art and the wonders of the natural world . . .” The Club’s purpose is to promote the development of photographic skills and the art of photography. Meetings will include instruction on the basics of outdoor photography, camera operation, features, techniques and tips as well as presentations, forums, and guest speakers. Plus there will be outdoor exercises and projects, such as macro, wildlife and bird photography.
Every third Wednesday of the month | 5:30 PM | Studio |$20 members & $40 non per year | Register
CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAMS
Flanders Farm School
Flanders invites parents and their children up to five years old to join them for a series of fun preschool programs being held on Friday and Saturday mornings once a month in May and June. The mission of these preschool offerings is to engage and inspire them with a lifelong love and appreciation of nature and the environment while having fun.
Preschoolers and their caretakers will love Flanders Farm School where kids can be “a farmer for the day” visiting and helping feed the animals at the Flanders’ North Barn. It is a unique opportunity for all young children to experience and learn about farm animals close up. Mom’s Groups, play dates and day cares welcome. More details and preregistration is available by calling 203-263-3711, x12.
May Farm School – Baby Animals
What bird is hatching from that egg? Is it a duck, chicken or goose? Will we find any babies in the meadow? Come explore at the North Barn as we learn and discover baby animals all around us. Caterpillar to butterflies, lambs to sheep and kids to goats are all part of life cycle discoveries.
Thursday, May 28, Friday, May 29 or Saturday, May 30 | 9:30 AM | North Barn | $7 members & $12 non for 1 caretaker & child(ren) – additional fees due for additional caretakers | Call 203-263-3711 to register
June Farm School – Meet The Sheep!
Sheep have roamed the Van Vleck farm for years in the past. Come and learn about our Shetland sheep and feel the beautiful, soft wool we use for knitting and felting. Participants will have a hands on experience to use some wool for an art project to take home. You will see a yarn-spinning demonstration and learn how a shepherd takes care of these incredible wooly wonders.
Friday, June 12 or Saturday, June 13 | 9:30 AM | North Barn | $7 members & $12 non | Register
Summer Camp Registration is Open!
Birthday Parties at Flanders!
We offer birthday parties on Saturdays or Sundays year round! Affordable and fun there are a variety of nature themed parties to choose from including animals and art to fairy fun. Hiking, games and stories, live animals and even tractor rides can all be made a part of the celebration! Download a flyer or call us for more information to brainstorm what will make for an unforgettable party for your birthday child!
SUMMER TRAIL HIKES
Connecticut Trails Day Hike
Come out to Flanders’ Van Vleck Farm & Sanctuary to celebrate CT Trails Day 2020! CT Trails Day 2020 is a DIY (Do It Yourself) event this year! A network of well-marked, well-maintained, color coded trails traverse the fields and forest of Flanders Van Vleck Farm and Sanctuary and include the award-winning Botany Trail designed and maintained by the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club. Most of the trails are under one-mile and are laid out in loops making it possible to create longer hikes. Difficulty ranges from easy to moderate. Van Vleck Farm & Sanctuary Trail Map
Senior Hikes With A Master Naturalist
Join Master Naturalist Dr. Ed Boisits for an easy to moderate casual walk taken on forest trails. A great opportunity to get outside, observe what’s happening in the natural world in spring and summer, learn something new and maybe even meet new friends. This hike is not just for seniors. All are welcome.
Thursdays, June 11, July 2 & August 6 | 10 AM| Sugar House | Complimentary members & $5 non | Register
Manville Kettle Hike
Join Flanders’ Land Management Committee Chair John Trainor on an easy and brief hike of the first property held in trust by Flanders. This unique property contains an open field, mixed trees and a swamp. It is located in the center of town and is known as a “kettle” because geologists believe the depression was formed during the last ice age and filled with water from melting ice.
Hike Postponed | New date to be determined / announced
Leavenworth Preserve Hike
Join Flanders’ former Executive Director, Arthur Milnor, for a guided hike of our Leavenworth Preserve. This 126-acre property contains former logging roads that have been developed into a low-impact trail system.
Saturday, July 18 | 9 AM | Leavenworth@Pilgrim Trail Cul-de-Sac, Woodbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | Register
Marzahl Refuge Hike
Flanders volunteer Mike Carlo will lead a hike of our Marzahl Refuge. This property has a spectacular, quintessential new England stream with multiple small waterfalls that winds its way through a pine forest.
Saturday, August 29 | 9 AM | Marzahl Refuge @ Rt 132, Woodbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | Register
Hiking With An Average Jill Series
Trail Photography – Solo hiking with a camera is one of my favorite pastimes. Without distractions, I can spot the unusual leaf, a face in a tree, or the feather gracefully blowing in the wind. Since not everyone is comfortable hiking alone, on this hike I’ll attempt to replicate the solo experience. The group size will be limited to 10 people, and conversation will be kept at a minimum. Beginner photographers are encouraged, and a fancy camera is not required. Approximately 2 – 3 miles.
Wednesday, May 27 | 1 PM | Studio Parking Lot, 5 Church Hill Rd, Woodbury | $10 members & $15 non | Register
Discover The Beauty Of Flanders – Flanders In the springtime, Mother Nature delivers the birth of new color, and summer continues to delight in its wake. Join us as we saunter along scenic trails within Flanders Nature Preserve, and enjoy the many delights of the outdoors. It’s an interactive opportunity to share interesting or quirky observations and lively conversation. 2 – 3 miles.
Hike 1 – Sunday, May 31 | 10 AM | Studio Parking Lot, 5 Church Hill Rd, Woodbury | $5 members & $10 non| Register
Hike 2 – Sunday, June 28 | 1 PM | Whittemore Sanctuary, Rt 64, Woodbury | $5 members & $10 non | Register
Hiking as Exercise – The cool earth under the shade of a tree canopy creates inviting conditions for moving outdoors in the warmer months. Join us on a mid-week hike as we venture through the more challenging trails within Flanders Nature Preserve. This is a hike, not a run, but we’ll keep a steady cadence, stopping only occasionally. 3 – 5 miles.
Hike 1 – Tuesday, June 16 | 10 AM | Whittemore Sanctuary, Rt 64, Woodbury | $5 members & $10 non | Register
Hike 2 – Thursday, July 16 | 6 PM | Studio Parking Lot, 5 Church Hill Rd, Woodbury |$5 members & $10 non | Register
Hiking Under the Moon – Experience the spell of the moon’s magical iridescence, while you thrill over the unique sounds of nature at night. We’ll make a short trek to a wide clearing that offers a spectacular view of the night sky. There, we’ll take in the brilliance of the majestic moon before we hike back under the stars. It’s sure to be an exhilarating experience. 1 mile.
Monday, August 3 | 8 PM | Studio Parking Lot, 5 Church Hill Rd, Woodbury | $5 members & $10 non| Register
ADULT & FAMILY PROGRAMS
Photographing Birds – A How To
Interested in birding and photography? Join Flanders Photography Club Chair, Michael Audette, for a comprehensive program covering all aspects of photographing birds; camera and equipment, camera settings, techniques for capturing birds in flight or bird portraits as well as different types of birds and their challenges.
Friday, May 22 | 6:30 PM | This is a virtual program, all registered will be provided with a link | Complimentary, but registration is required | Register
Come out and connect with nature and furry baby Nigerian dwarf goats at Goat Yoga classes being held at Flanders’ Van Vleck Farm and Sanctuary. Experienced yoga instructors will be leading guests in this one-hour gentle class suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced yogis & yoginis! Adorable goats will be frolicking & cuddling with you as you flow through the class on the picturesque farm. Participants should keep in mind that they’ll be outside, practicing with live animals—and some degree of messiness (and a LOT of silliness) may be involved so they should dress accordingly, wearing comfortable clothes. Bring along a yoga mat or towel.
Sundays, May 31, June 7 & 21, July 12 & 16, August 2 & 16 | 10 AM | North Barn | $20 members & $25 non, $10 ages 15 & under | Register
Overcoming Adversity On The Trail
Thru-hiking is more than walking millions of steps along a footpath, it is a transformative experience. No matter the trail or gear, one of the most important tools for any successful long distance hike is carried by all of us. Our mind. Join Reach Your Summit owner and guide, Mat Jobin, as he shares his experiences from the trail, the challenges along the way and how we can apply overcoming these adversities to events off of the trail.
Tuesday, June 2 | 6 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non | Register
Needle Felting With Rachel Gerowe
Join Rachel Gerowe of Redbarn Originals for needle felting nights at Flanders! Needle felting is an easy-to-learn craft that involves using a barbed needle to sculpt wool. Participants can attend for $10 and choose to either bring their own project to be given guidance and support or purchase a kit for an additional fee. Assorted kits will be available, ranging in price from $10–$35. Space is limited for these classes and participants must register in advance!
Thursday, June 18 (giraffe)
Thursday, July 23 (alligator)
Thursday, August 27 (cat)
7 PM | Van Vleck House | Cost varies from $25-$35 depending on kit chosen or
bring your own project and receive guidance for $10 | Call Flanders at (203) 263-3711 x12
Intro to Woodbury’s Trails
In partnership with Woodbury’s Parks and Recreation Department, come hear an overview of both the Town and Flanders trails. Learn all about the many recreational and scenic trails that are offered right here in Woodbury!
Tuesday, June 16 | 7 PM | Woodbury Public Library – Gallery Room | Complimentary, but registration required | Register
Art Excursion to the Florence Griswold Museum
Join the Flanders Art Committee for a docent-guided tour of the exhibit Fresh Fields: American Impressionist Landscapes from the Florence Griswold Museum which celebrates beloved landscapes created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme. Also included is a tour of the Griswold Boardinghouse for artists, circa 1910. There will be time after the tour to wander the museum on your own, visit the gift shop, and view the gardens and surrounding river views. Lunch on your own at Café Flo on the museum grounds.
Tuesday, June 16 | 10 AM | 96 Lyme St, Old Lyme CT | $13 per person – pre-registration required | Register
Behaving Birdly – A Photographic Study of Birds, Acting Like Birds
Enjoy looking at birds? Join Flanders Photography Club Chair, Michael Audette, for a photographic study of birds, at times comical and at other times educational. This collection is an attempt to show birds in ways we don’t often see—behaving, or acting like birds. The photos are sometimes funny and sometimes simply depict the bird in a manner in which they demonstrate their most common behavioral trait.
Friday, June 19 | 6:30 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non| Register
Marvelous Edible Plants and Mushrooms of Summer
Join The 3 Foragers as they teach the edible plants and fungi of summer with their original photos and recipe ideas featured in an educational slideshow, and finish with a walk outside to put some of those newly learned skills to the test. Learn how to identify, sustainably harvest, and prepare the wild foods of summer, from beach plums to invasive wine berries, including some of the choice summer fungi like chanterelles and the myriad of pored boletes.
Saturday, June 20 | 10 AM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 non| Register
The Birds of Flanders: Identify the Birds Who Call Flanders Home
Do you struggle to identify birds? Well, you don’t have to anymore. Join Kristi Dranginis for a two-hour interactive course and bird walk to learn the Seven Questions to Bird identification. These questions are all you’ll ever need to identify any bird, anywhere. We’ll spend some time becoming familiar with the questions and then head out around the beautiful Van Vleck property to put what you just learned to practice.
Saturday, June 27 | 9 AM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non| Register
Bat Chat with Gerri Griswold
Bats have occupied our planet for fifty million years. However, we have only seriously studied them over the last seven decades! Through a brief presentation, a Q&A and the help of a live Big Brown Bat, we’ll explore biology, ecology, sonar, and cultural highs and lows of these extraordinary creatures. After our “Bat Chat” we’ll head outside (weather permitting) with a sonar detector and eavesdrop on our friends while they are having their breakfast!
Friday, July 17 | 7:30 PM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 non| Register
MADAGASCAR – Mysterious Island with Amazing Wildlife
Angela Dimmitt, expert birder and President of the Western CT Bird Club, will explore this fascinating island with attendees. Madagascar is an ecological wonder with over 90% of its wildlife— birds, animals, insects, reptiles, plants—found nowhere else on Earth! The people too are interesting, their origins possibly from Indonesia even though the island is off the east coast of Africa, and their language, Malagasy, is not like any other.
Friday, July 24 | 6:30 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non| Register
Short Is the New Long: Thru-Hiking New England’s Shorter Long Distance Footpaths
Thru-hiking is an incredible experience that everyone should try. There are many hidden gems and lesser known trails all around New England for all to explore. Enjoy stories, photos, learn tips and more drawn from, Reach Your Summit owner and guide, Mat’s personal experience out on these trails and beyond. We will also be going over backpacking opportunities in our home state of Connecticut.
Saturday, August 22 | 9 AM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 non| Register
Become A Flanders Ambassador!
Do you love Flanders? Enjoy coming to Flanders programs and events?
Then why not sign-up to be a Flanders Ambassador?
Flanders’ Ambassadors serve as the “The Face of Flanders” helping us to communicate all that Flanders has to offer to our visitors. Serving as our hosts for adult and family education programs these volunteers are asked to help with set up and closing down of the program venue as needed, greeting and checking in of attendees and introduction of the guest speaker. New Ambassadors will participate in an orientation and train with experienced Ambassadors so no prior experience needed! Programs take place at our main campus , the Van Vleck Sanctuary in Woodbury. The proposed time commitment i s 2 to 3 hours per program once a month.
As an Ambassador you attend the program for free! Please contact Flanders’ volunteer coordinator Ana Jordan to learn more about becoming a Flanders ambassador or other available volunteer opportunities today!
Flanders Wish List!
Flanders’ mission is to foster the understanding and appreciation of nature, art, and the wonders of the natural world through land preservation, stewardship and education. To help reduce expenses, the donation of supplies, services and/or equipment that are used for fulfilling our mission are greatly appreciated! >Learn more