Current Calendar





Flanders Haunted Hikes: Science Experiments Gone Terribly Wrong

Flanders Haunted Hikes are back! Hermit Guides will take you across our fields and forests to find out what is the mystery happening at Flanders.

From 4 PM to 5:30 PM, join a family friendly search party for a not-so scary walk in the woods. Followed by spine chilling walks in the dark woods until 8:15 PM. Not recommended for children under 12 or the faint of heart.

Fridays, October 23 & 30 and Saturdays, October 24 & 31 | 4 – 8  PM | Sugar House | $7 per person (under age 2 – free) | Purchase Your Tickets

Flanders Wreath Making Workshops

Learn to build and decorate a beautiful holiday wreath from scratch!  Enjoy a morning or an afternoon session together as a family taking a hike to gather evergreens. We supply a 12-inch reusable metal frame, various greens and decorations like pine cones and ornaments, and will have a supply of natural dried flowers and decorations and to select from. Everyone will make their own wreath to take home or give as a gift! Registration Required.
Friday, Nov 27 – Saturday, Nov 14, 21, 28 and Dec 5 – Sunday, Nov 15, 22, 29 and Dec 6 |  10 AM or 1 PM | The Sugar House |  $20 members& $30 non per wreath | 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.
Every third Wednesday of the month | 5:30 PM | Studio |$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, starting October 14 | 7 PM | North Barn | Complimentary, but registration required | Register


New!  Flanders Outdoor Fall Program

Let the Flanders campus become your child’s outdoor classroom during schools’ modified schedules this fall. Flanders will also provide students supervised time, space and connectivity to accomplish online learning. Flanders’ 200 acre Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary with meadows, forest, pond, brooks and animals creates unique hands on learning opportunities that bring biology and natural science curriculum to life. These experiences will connect our community’s children to worldwide environmental issues as they find their role as the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards.

Flanders Outdoor Fall Program will follow farm, science, art and nature programming topics over the course of 15 week.

Monday – Thursday (except holidays)  Now thru Dec 18 | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM or 12:30 – 4:30 PM or All Day |Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary Register | Download Health Forms (print only the forms you need).  Download Connecticut and Flanders required Informed Consent Forms.   

Election Day – School’s Out?  Flanders Is IN!

Looking for a great opportunity for your children, grade kindergarten through 5th, to get some outdoor exercise, learn more about the animals that make up their world and bring their science books to life on their days off from school? A day at Flanders will be packed with exploring the great outdoors, as well as age appropriate stories, games and art projects! We will care for them, entertain them and educate them while giving them a memorable day.
Tuesday, November 3 | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM or 12:30 – 4:30 PM or ALL DAY | Trail House (Gr K – 2) or Sugar House (Gr 3 – 5) | $30 members & $40 non p/ session | Register


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!


Making Connections In Nature With An Average Jill

Join Jill on a hike and take in nature as it unfolds before you. She’ll point out patterns in nature that can apply to circumstances we encounter in our everyday lives. Like what trees can teach us about conquering unexpected disruptions; or, how the flow of water sets an example for bravely pursuing onward when life presents with obstacles. Hiking with An Average Jill is a unique experience that focuses on the wonders of natures, and encourages curiosity.
Tuesday, Oct 27  or Thursday, Dec 3 | 1 PM |Studio Parking Lot |  $5 members & $10 non |  Register Oct 27 | Register Dec 3

Trail Photography With An Average Jill

Come out to Flanders’ Van Vleck Sanctuary and work off those Thanksgiving calories and avoid the craziness of shopping those big box stores! Join Flanders ex officio, Anne Westerman, as she leads a hike which will traverse our main campus. The natural habitats of the Sanctuary, including fields, meadows, forests, wetlands, marshes, streams and ponds, support a great diversity of wildlife species. All are welcome to attend and join in on the outdoor fun!
Sunday, Nov 15 |1 PM | Whittemore Sanctuary, Rte 64 (Sherman Hill) Woodbury | $10 members & $15 non | Register

Hiking Under the Moon With An Average Jill

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 hat 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.
Sunday, November 29 |  4 PM | Van Vleck Studio Parking Area |  Approximately 1 mile &  1 to 1 ½ hours | $5 member & $10 non | Register


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: Nov 5 &  Dec 3 | 9 AM |The Sugar House |  Complimentary members & $5 non |Register Nov 5 | Register Dec 3

Black Friday Hike

Come out to Flanders’ Van Vleck Sanctuary and work off those Thanksgiving calories and avoid the craziness of shopping those big box stores! Join Flanders ex officio, Anne Westerman, as she leads a hike which will traverse our main campus. The natural habitats of the Sanctuary, including fields, meadows, forests, wetlands, marshes, streams and ponds, support a great diversity of wildlife species. All are welcome to attend and join in on the outdoor fun!
Friday, Nov 27 |10 AM | Van Vleck Sanctuary—Sugar House Parking Area | Complimentary members & $5 non | Register

Whittemore Sanctuary Hike

Join us for some fresh air and exercise! Flanders Land Management volunteer, Jeff Sherman, will lead a hike of the Whittemore Sanctuary. 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. Those participating in the hike should wear boots and warm clothing.
Saturday, Dec 12 |10 AM | Whittemore Sanctuary, Rte 64 (Sherman Hill) Woodbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | Register


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?

Come join Flanders as we explore the important roles we play as stewards of land trust properties. This 3-part series covers important areas of land trust work and will provide opportunity for discussion and sharing. Register for one or all three. One complimentary ticket to each of our Conservation Partners for each of these programs.

Land Trust Hot Topic Series – Basics Of Boundary Marking

Boundary markings—are all those signs really necessary? Yes, they are. Join volunteer Mike Carlo for a discussion of the work involved with boundary markings on the many fee properties owed by Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust.
Thursday, Nov 5 | 7 PM | Online – Link provided after registering | $10 member & $15 non | Register

Land Trust Hot Topic Series – Land Monitoring

Arguably the best part of Land Trust work, actually getting out exploring the beautiful land under our care! Join volunteer John Trainor as we review how we perform annual monitoring of properties including preparation, what to look for, and reporting requirements. If you are a current monitor, we look forward to hearing your feedback. If you are interested in becoming a monitor, this would be a good introduction.
Thursday, November 19 | 7 PM | Online – Link provided after registering | $10 members & $15 non  |  Register

Land Trust Hot Topic Series – Violations / Conservation Easement or Fee Property? – What a Headache!

Let’s talk. How have we reacted to violations? How have you reacted? What successfully resolved the problem? What failed? Join Priscilla Price, Flanders Violations Committee chairperson, for a lively discussion.
Thursday, December 3 | 7 PM | Online – Link provided after registering | $10 & $15 non | Register


Flanders Fall Photo Contest

Test your skills and join in on the fall fun by participating in Flanders 2020 “Fall” Photography Contest! Prizes will be awarded for the best submissions based on composition, image quality, originality and the story the image tells. The “Fall” photo contest is an invitation to capture the spirit and beauty of the autumn season in all of its splendor with images that might include landscapes, or wildlife pictured in a fall context. The photos do not need to be taken on a Flanders property, but instead can be taken anywhere that provides the photographer inspiration.
Oct 1 – Nov 1 | One submission is $5; two for $7; three for $10; four for $13 five for $15   | Register 

eBird Series

The eBird app is a tool for tracking, storing bird sightings and location of birds to better help birders find hot spots for birds and to help scientists and conservationists with better understanding bird behavior and migration in order to preserve and protect birds and their habitats. This 2 part series will include an online tutorial followed up with a walk.

eBird Tutorial – Oct. 6 @ 7 PM – Mike McAloon will present a brief “how-to” video on the use and benefits of the Cornell Lab eBird app. This video will be followed by a virtual interactive question and answer session to help further explain this application.

eBird Walk – Oct. 13 @ 8 AM – The eBird walk with Chris Wood, follows the tutorial a week later and will give those in attendance to further enhance their knowledge and understanding of this powerful, yet easy to use app. The eBird app will enhance the experience and enjoyment of birding and nature in general!
Tutorial – Tuesday, October 6 | 7 PM | Online – Link provided after registering
Walk – Tuesday, October 13 | 8 AM | The Studio | $5/members and $10/non-members | Register

Needle Felting Virtual Classes

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 the purchase a kit for an additional fee of $25 (plus tax). Class size is limited and participants must register in advance!  Kits can be picked up at the Flanders office or mailed for an additional fee.

The October kit is a bat kit.
Thursday, October 22 | 7 PM | Online – Virtual – link provided after registering for class | $15/per class plus $25/per kit | Register 


The November kit is a squirrel kit.
Thursday, November 19 | 7 PM | Online – Virtual – link provided after registering for class | $15/per class plus $25/per kit | Register 



The December kit is a chickadee kit.
Thursday, November 19 | 7 PM | Online – Virtual – link provided after registering for class | $15/per class plus $25/per kit | Register 

Chainsaw Carving Demonstration

You don’t want to miss this amazing live show! Michael Audette of the CT Woodcarvers Association will be on-site at the Flanders Van Vleck Nature Sanctuary demonstrating start to finish how to chainsaw carve a wood pumpkin. This is sure to be a unique and exciting experience!
Saturday, October 31 | 1 – 4 PM | Studio Parking Lot | Complimentary Community Event

Introduction To Permaculture

Cynthia Rabinowitz, soil and wetland scientist, horticulturist and ecological landscape designer, leads this virtual program covering the basis and  origin of the design science of permaculture; how permaculture promotes ethics and principles that underpin decision-making in providing the essentials that humans need—food, water, shelter; designing agricultural operations, home and home landscape design and management; community building. We will explore the theoretical aspects of permaculture and look at concrete examples of systems that individuals can use to move away from linear, natural resource-heavy waste-producing systems toward cyclical systems. Examples will focus on small scale projects.
Wednesday, Nov 4 | 7:00 PM | Online—meeting link will be provided after registering | $5 members & $10 non | Register

The Maternal Matrix:  Some Women Printmakers of Western Connecticut

In Celebration of 2020 as The Year of the Woman, Flanders curator Marc Chabot will examine the contributions of several notable local Connecticut women artists who included a vibrant engagement with printmaking as part of their art practice. He will examine the lives and art of Natalie Van Vleck, Wanda Gag, Elizabeth Newton, Clare Leighton, M.G. Martin and Inga-Britta Mills.
Tuesday, Nov 10 |  7 PM | Online—meeting link will be provided after registering | $5 members & $10 non | Register

Climate Change & Our Future In Connecticut

Join Dr. Mitch Wagener, professor of climate ecology and entomology at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury for a fascinating look at climate change and our future here in CT. Dr. Wagener will give an update on where we stand today and then discuss several factors that are impacted by climate change and how they affect Connecticut.  The presentation will cover the extremes of weather, the polar vortex and cyclonic storms. Also, infectious diseases—what is zoonosis and insect and tick vectors. Lastly, he will touch on agricultural and horticultural topics like growing seasons, and how things might grow in the future and what we can do about these changes.
Thursday, Nov 12 | 7 PM | Online—meeting link will be provided after registering | $5 members & $10 non | Register

Growing Shitake Mushrooms

Stuart Rabinowitz, professional photographer and certified permaculture design consultant, will be leading this virtual
program on raising shitakes at home is an easy and fun activity for the whole family.  Learn how to source and prepare growing substrate. As well as how to inoculate the substrate and how to tend to it in order to produce delicious, beautiful, and above all, very nutritious mushrooms for your family.  Shitakes are expensive to buy but cost effective to produce. Workshop will include recipes for preserving and cooking with shitakes!
Wednesday, Nov 18 | 7 PM | Online—meeting link will be provided after registering |$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?

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

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

and receive a discount on programs!

our ongoing programs and events
at Flanders!