Current Calendar

APRIL – AUGUST

UPCOMING EVENTS

VIEW A MAP OF FLANDERS BUILDING LOCATIONS

Support Flanders – Give Local!

Hosted by Connecticut Community Foundation and sponsored by Ion Bank Foundation for the ninth consecutive year, Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills will return on April 21st to benefit the vital work of hundreds of nonprofit organizations in our region, including Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust!

Each year, this 36-hour online give-a-thon rallies donors like you to raise unrestricted funds for Flanders, with exciting incentives and bonus funds provided by Connecticut Community Foundation and generous sponsors. This year, Flanders is raising funds for operations, campership and the farm and we need your help!

Help us achieve success again  between April 21st and 22nd. More information

  PLEASE NOTE:  ALL VIRTUAL PROGRAM LINKS WILL BE E-MAILED BY NOON, DAY OF PROGRAM

   COMMUNITY EVENTS

Understanding Eversource’s Vegetation Management

Eversource’s Vegetation Management department maintains vegetation in and along 2,300 miles of transmission right-of-way corridors through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Join Flanders and guest speaker Michael Rasy, Eversource Arborist and Transmission Vegetation Manager, for a presentation on utility right of way vegetation management. We will also discuss creating pollinator habitat pathways on utility right of ways. This program is designed to raise awareness about Eversource and their vegetation management policies and procedures. All community members are welcome to attend this complimentary, informative presentation.
Thursday,  April 22 |  7 PM | Complimentary | Virtual – Meeting link will be provided by noon, day of program | REGISTER

Community Service Day

Join fellow community members for a day of service on Earth Day! Volunteers will work to remove non-native plant species on a Flanders preserved property. Non-native or invasive plants have a negative effect on native plants and wildlife communities. The goal is to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the invasive plants, clearing the way for local species to reclaim their territory and creating a healthy environment for the plants and animals that call Connecticut home. Please bring lots of water, snacks and lunch. Also, please wear closed-toe footwear, long pants and work gloves. Bring shovels, pruning shears/loppers/clippers to this event. We ask that you leave all furry friends at home. Community service hours can be provided for this event. Meeting location will be sent to those who have signed up to volunteer. Help us make a positive and lasting impact on a Flanders preserved property by joining us for this very important Community Service Day!
Thursday,  April 22 |  9:30 AM | Location TBD| Registration required so we know how many to expect | REGISTER

SEDGES!  An Identification Workshop

Flanders and the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club are excited to host Dr. Robert Naczi, Curator of North American Botany at New York Botanical Garden. He is a plant systematist whose research focuses on the flora of North America, plant conservation, the Sedge Family, and the Western Hemisphere Pitcher Plant Family. He leads the NYBG project to produce New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. In his work on sedges, he combines field, herbarium, and lab work to discover and document new species, reveal relationships, and produce new identification tools. Many of the grass-like plants one may encounter in our natural areas are not actually grasses. Although similar, they are members of an entirely different family of plants. This workshop will focus on the largest genus within the sedge family (Cyperaceae), the genus Carex. Dr. Naczi will teach us about sedge diversity and how to identify this notoriously difficult group.
Saturday, May 15 |  2 PM | Sugar House | $15 members & $20 non | REGISTER

Flanders Field & Forest 5K

The Flanders Field & Forest 5K is an all-age walk/run through the woods and fields of Flanders, officially timed by Fast Track Timing.  Enjoy the picturesque nature sanctuary and a post-race celebration with local food trucks, craft beer, and live entertainment. Register by MAY 1ST to guarantee a FREE race shirt.  Must register by June 3.  Same day registration will not be accepted.
Friday, June 4 |  6 PM | Sugar House | $25 | REGISTER

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.
Meetings are currently postponed.  The Photo Club Chairman will contact you regarding the next meeting date & time |$20 members & $40 non per year  | REGISTER

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 | 6:30 PM | Location Varies Monthly (to be announced) | Complimentary, but registration required | REGISTER

   CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAMS

Farm School

Welcome to the new season of Flanders Farm Schools—Farming Adventures! Spring is in the air and all the animals are ready for your visit. Baby chicks and bunnies, kids and lambs, pigs and horses invite you to learn more about animals and experience life on the farm.  The Flanders North Barn welcomes visitors with a reservation on select Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We continue to follow all COVID-19 recommended safety guidelines and ask you to wear a mask, wash your hands before and after visiting.

Fridays, May 7,  28, &  June 18 and Saturdays, May 8, 29, & June 19 | Every half hour,  10 AM –  2 PM | North Barn | Adults: $7 members & $12 non (children complimentary) | REGISTER

Summer Camp is Open!

In our popular summer camp series, children can explore nature, art, agriculture, and ecology in a fun healthy and stimulating outdoor environment.  From farming fun to outdoor explorations, art adventures or creating cooking, Flanders’ summer camp offers more than 60 programs to keep children ages 3 to 13 entertained!  Great spaces, great programs – for all ages!

June 7 – Sept 3 | 9 AM – 1 PM or 1 – 4 PM or All Day (early care available) | Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary | Prices Vary INFORMATIONREGISTER

Fun Nature Activities At Home

While at home with your family here are some fun  nature related videos of activities that you can do right in your own backyard. From building fairy or troll houses to decorating rocks there is so much to do. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather and your time together creating beautiful memories! Don’t forget to post your creations to our Facebook page and Instagram – we look forward to seeing the creativity!  Watch our videos!

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!

LAND TRUST HOT TOPICS 

Are you currently a land trust volunteer and want to hear ways to improve your stewardship work? Are you interested in getting more involved in stewardship activities, helping to keep our lands preserved for future generations?

Join Flanders as we explore the important roles we play as stewards of land trust properties.  Group size is limited to 12. One complimentary ticket to each of our Conservation Partners for each of these programs.

 

Legal Aspects of Acquisition

Acquisition is some of the most exciting and rewarding work we do as land trusts. It is critical to ensure all legal aspects of acquisition projects is done correctly. Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC) Executive Director, Catherine M. Rawson, and staff will lead for a discussion about NCLC’s acquisition program and practices. NCLC is Connecticut’s largest land trust protecting over 12,000 acres and averaging seven land transactions per year. Participants will be encouraged to share their own acquisition stories and challenges.
Wednesday, April 21 | 7 PM | Virtual – Meeting link will be provided by noon, day of program | $10 members & $15 non |  REGISTER

 

SPRING / SUMMER TRAIL HIKE SERIES

Earth Day Hike With Miss Dianne

Celebrate Earth Day with a guided hike of the Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary led by Dianne Parmelee, Flanders’ Farm Manager and Education Coordinator. This is a wonderful opportunity to get outside and take a nature walk to see what the new season has in bloom. Miss Dianne will be pointing out the signs of the season, interesting facts and entertaining stories as well as give a tour of the Antique Farm Museum and of the North Barn.
Sunday, April 18 | 10 AM | Studio Parking Lot  | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER 

Fleming Preserve Hike

Flanders volunteer Sandy Stone will lead a hike on our Fleming Preserve, which is the site of the original Flanders Sap House. This beautiful property also includes a former apple orchard, stone walls, and a spectacular scenic overlook. Those participating in the hike should wear boots.
Saturday, April 24 | 10 AM | Fleming Preserve – Cowles Rd,  Woodbury| Complimentary/members and $5 non | REGISTER

Senior Hike 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.
Thursday, May 6 | 9 AM | The Sugar House | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER

Hike The Hetzel

Everyone’s invited to come out and explore the Hetzel Refuge in Middlebury with Flanders Land Management Volunteer Geoff Whan! The Hetzel is a pristine wooded refuge of 66 acres and offers prime observation areas for both birds and animals. It has an excellent trail system traversing woodlands, hayfields, conifer plantations, swamps, and several man-made ponds, all of which provide a haven for wildlife. Dress for the weather and wear terrain appropriate footgear.
Saturday, May 8 | 10 AM | Hetzel Refuge – Breakneck Hill Rd,  Middlebury | Complimentary/members and $5 non | REGISTER

CT Trails Day Hike

Come out to Flanders’ Whittemore Sanctuary to celebrate CT Trails Day. Flanders Land Management Volunteer, Jeff Sherman, will lead the hike. The Whittemore has an extensive 8-mile trail system, which winds through a wide range of ecological habitats, including woodlands, streams, ponds and a large bog. The bog and wetlands support endangered, threatened and rare plants. The forest on the property is, historically, one of the oldest privately managed forests in Connecticut, containing planted white pine, regenerated oak and several large laurel and tulip tree stands. ALL are welcome to attend and join in on the outdoor fun!
Saturday, June 5 | 9 AM | Whittemore Sanctuary – Rt 64 (Sherman Hill), Woodbury | Complimentary 

Discover The Delights Of Spring

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 the Whittemore Sanctuary and enjoy the many delights of the outdoors. It’s an interactive opportunity to share interesting or quirky observations and lively conversation.
Sunday, June 6 | 1 PM | Whittemore Sanctuary – Rt 64 (Sherman Hill), Woodbury | $5 members & $10 non | REGISTER

  ADULT & FAMILY PROGRAMS

Wildflower Walks

Celebrate spring and come partake in a wildflower walk on Flanders’ Botany Trail led by a member of the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club. The award-winning Botany Trail began in 1965 when wildflowers rescued from the proposed path of I-84 and other development projects found a haven at Flanders. Dress for walking in the woods. Please note that rain will cancel the hike.
Sundays, April 25 and May 2 & 9 | 2 PM | Sugar House | complimentary, but registration required | REGISTER

Needle Felting Virtual Class

Join Rachel Gerowe of Redbarn Originals for virtual needle felting nights! Rachel will guide confident beginners as well as needle felters with some experience through the individual steps to make their own unique needle felted sculpture out of wool. Needle felting is a simple craft in which wool is poked with a special barbed needle to shape it into anything imaginable. Participants can attend for $15 and purchase a kit for an additional fee of $25 (plus tax). Class size is limited and participants must register in advance!
The May  kit  is the hen/rooster kit.  Kits can be picked up at the Flanders office or mailed for an additional fee.
Thursday, May 13 | 7 PM | Online – Virtual – link provided by noon, day of program | $15/per class plus $25/per kit | REGISTER

Oil Pastel Landscape Workshop

Local professional artist, Dita Carley is leading this workshop. Oil pastels are one of the most overlooked mediums. Oil pastels are lush in color, easy to handle, portable, versatile, and yet relatively inexpensive! Participants will experiment with different techniques such as blending and scratching in and create a landscape painting. This workshop will focus on the beautiful landscape of Flanders. We will go out into the field and choose which view pleases to paint. The class is suitable for beginning and more advanced levels of artists. All materials will be supplied, and students will receive a set of oil pastels to bring home.
Tuesday, May 25 (Rain Date: Wed, May 26) | 1 PM | Studio | $25 members & $30 non | REGISTER

Installing A Rain Garden

Cynthia Rabinowitz, soil and wetland scientist, horticulturist and ecological landscape designer is leading this virtual program. We will explore the need to capture stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces in our built environment and how rain gardens are a simple solution to this need. Rain gardens are easily designed landscape sites that reduce the flow rate, total quantity, and pollutant load of runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas. Rain gardens rely on plants and soil to increase water infiltration and remove many pollutants carried by runoff.
Thursday, May 27 | 7 PM | South Barn | $5 members & $10 non | REGISTER

Goat Yoga

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 Nigerian dwarf goats will be frolicking & cuddling with you as you flow through the class on the picturesque Van Vleck 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 and bring along a yoga mat or towel.
Sundays, June 6 & 20, July 11 & 25, August 15 & 29, Sept 12 & 26 | 9:30 AM | North Barn | $20 members, $25 non for adults & $10 ages 15 & under | REGISTER

Wild Edible Plants & Fungi 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 19  | 10 AM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

What’s Under A Log?

Have you ever been out enjoying a hike in the woods and notice a rotting log or two somewhere along the trail? Eyesore? Obstacle to stumble over? Perhaps the tree is dead, but that log is teaming with life – living creatures, plants, and fungi that we often overlook as we simply step over it. Put down the binoculars and pick up a magnifying glass and join us to uncover the diversity of life we’ll find in a rotting log.
Saturday, July 10  | 10 AM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Insects At Night!

Are you curious about nocturnal insects? Everyone’s familiar with daytime insects, but rarely have a chance to see the array of moths, beetles, and other insects who wait until dark to emerge from their daytime hiding places. We will be collecting, observing, and learning about nocturnal insects and their relatives. This is a great family program. Please bring a headlamp or flashlight and a sense of adventure!
Friday, August 13  | 8 PM | South Barn | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Creating A Pollinator Garden

Cynthia Rabinowitz, soil and wetland scientist, horticulturist and ecological landscape designer is leading this virtual program. Pollinator insects and other essential and beneficial creatures are threatened by loss of healthy habitat and other factors. To counter these threats, a widespread movement of grass-roots efforts around the state and across the country is creating connectivity for habitat and migration of many insects, birds, and other creatures. Conserving these species, and the habitats on which they rely, is a significant issue impacting agricultural and native ecosystems which provide a wealth of services such as clean water, air, food, and healthy soils. This presentation will show how, using simple principles of permaculture, we can all develop multi-functional landscapes, very small or very big, that provide for these essential animals.
Thursday, August 26  | 7 PM | Online – Virtual – link provided by noon, day of program | $5 members & $10 non | REGISTER

Hiking Under The Moon

Join An Average Jill for a hike under the night sky. 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 views of the sky. There, we’ll take in the brilliance of the majestic moon before we hike back under the stars. It’s an exhilarating experience. Bring a flashlight or headlamp for safety on the trails.
Sunday, March 28 – Postponed, new date TBD | 7 PM | Van Vleck Studio Parking Lot | $5 members & $10 non | REGISTER

Flanders Letterbox Series – New Botany Trail Hike Added!

Flanders has planted several letterboxes on the family friendly trails at their preserves and sanctuaries. Combining art and nature in a fun interactive way, letterboxing is a popular treasure hunting activity done world-wide.  GET MORE INFORMATION

Volunteer At Flanders!

Interested in giving back to an organization that is making a difference by preserving land and educating people on the importance of caring for the environment, meeting kindred spirits and making new friends? AND the good feeling that comes with knowing that your time is being spent in a worthwhile way that truly makes an impact?

TO LEARN MORE
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

TO REGISTER
 for any programs, call 203.263.3711
or click on the registration link next to the program.

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