Program & Events

MAY – SEPTEMBER

Click on the catalog and flip through to see our
2022 Summer Programs and much more!

WE ARE RECRUITING NEW SUMMER INTERNS!

Help make our 2022 Summer Camp & Academies an amazing experience!

Do you enjoy the great outdoors?  Looking for a fun & exciting summer experience?
Are you 14 years or older?  Then sign up to be a Summer Intern!  Download Application

To join our summer teaching team contact Flanders at flanders@flandersnaturecenter.org or call 203-263-3711 x12

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

   COMMUNITY EVENTS

Flanders Farm Festival:  A Celebration of Art, Farming & Nature

The whole community is invited to come out and spend a fun filled family day exploring our farm and nature sanctuary during Flanders Farm Festival: A Celebration of Art, Farming & Nature!    Enjoy a picnic lunch from local food trucks, GV Bites and Polar Sweets Ice Cream.. Take a tour of the Flanders North Barn and meet all the brand new arrivals, then go on a scenic wagon ride. Listen to performances by local young musicians from Nonnewaug High School and watch professional puppeteer Adelka Polak from Sova Theater as she tells the story of “The Rabbit and the Moon.” Shop artisans and crafters while your children enjoy fun crafts and activities. It is certain to be a great day for everyone!

Saturday, May 21 | 11 AM – 4 PM | Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary| $7 p/ person & children under 2 free

Flanders Environmental Book Club

Flanders is excited to announce the launch of the Flanders Environmental & Nature Book Club!

Join reading enthusiasts and book club leaders, Adele Falco and Ingrid Manning, in discussing reading that will focus on mostly nonfiction books about nature and the environment. The club would like to investigate and remain open to all aspects of these subjects from science-based teachings to cultural and political influences. It is our hope to have the opportunity to delve deeply into aspects of these topics that affect our community directly, particularly the environmental and natural history of our region, its agrarian history and current trends.   May book selected: Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard (https://suzannesimard.com/finding-the-mother-tree-book/). The group will collectively decides on future titles. We welcome anyone interested in sharing and learning more about these topics to join us for a friendly, educational and hopefully, enlightening discussion on a monthly basis.

Every 4th Tuesday ,  Tuesday, May 24 | 7 – 8:30 PM | Van Vleck House | Complimentary, but registration required | REGISTER

Flanders Field & Forest 5K Registration is OPEN!

Don’t miss this event!  This is more than your average Trail Run!   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 entertainment!   After the race, replenish with craft beer and food from local food trucks.  (food & beverages are additional purchases)
Friday, June 3 | 6 PM | Sugar House | REGISTER

Photo Club Photo Opening Night & Daily Exhibit

Come out and meet the photographers of Flanders’ Nature Photography Club! Their work will be showcased in the historic Van Vleck House. An opening night “Meet and Greet” wine reception is planned for Friday, September 23 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The photography will be on exhibit for the following two weeks from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, closing on Friday, October 7. Some of the photography will be available for sale.

Flanders Trail Blazers 4-H Club

Do you have a child age 7-18 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!  More information.

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.
Second Wednesday of the Month | 6 PM | Location to be Announced | Complimentary, but registration required | REGISTER

Photography Club 2022

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.
Third Wednesday of the Month  | 5:30 PM | Studio |$20 members & $40 non per year  | REGISTER

   CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAMS

Summer Camp Registration 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!  REGISTER

Flanders Farm School

Welcome to the new season of Flanders Farm School—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.

 

Duck, Duck, Goose and Chickens too!Let’s check to see what is hatching from an egg at the barn! We will learn about raising ducklings, goslings and chicks from eggs to legs! We will take a hayride to learn about wild newborn birds in nature!
Friday, June 10 & Saturday, June 11 | 10 AM – 2 PM, every half hour | North Barn | Adults: $7 members & $12 non (children complimentary, but registration required) | REGISTER

K – 5 Next Generation Science Standards – Aligned Programs 

Flanders offers an exceptional collection of field-based K-5 learning experiences to complement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These 2-hour immersive programs are fun, engaging, and authentic in a classroom of nature’s design.
Each NGSS program focuses on grade-specific standards, helping to prepare students to meet key grade-level performance expectations. Each can be incorporated into a teacher’s unit plans, or can stand as a self-contained experience. >> For More Information

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!  Call Amber McDonald at (203) 263-3711 x12 for more information to brainstorm what will make for an unforgettable party for your birthday child!  For more information, download a new Birthday Flyer!

SUMMER TRAIL HIKE SERIES

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! Hike is moderate, 120 minutes, 3.5 mile loop.
Saturday, June 4 | 10 AM | Whittemore Sanctuary, Rt. 64, Sherman Hill Rd,  Woodbury | Complimentary, but registration required | REGISTER

Senior Hikes with Arthur

Join retired Flanders Executive Director, Arthur Milnor, for easy to moderate casual walks taken on forest trails. A great opportunity to get outside, observe what’s happening in the natural world, learn something new and maybe even meet new friends. This hike is not just for seniors. All are welcome!
Wednesday, June 15 | 9:30 AM | Phillips-Lovdal Farm Preserve, 400 Sanford Rd, Southbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER

Wednesday, September 14 | 9:30 AM | Bellamy Preserve, Munger Ln, Bethlehem | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER

Marzahl Refuge Hike

Flanders Land Management Volunteer, Bob Burke, 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. Hike is moderate, 60 to 90 minutes, and x mile loop.
Saturday, July 16 | 10 AM | Marzahl Refuge – Route 132 (Carmel Hill Rd), Woodbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER

Fleming Preserve Hike

Join Flanders Board Member and Land Management Committee Chair, John Trainor, on a hike on our Fleming Preserve. The Fleming 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. Hike is easy to moderate, 45 to 60 minutes, 1.25 mile out and back.
Saturday, August 13 | 10 AM | Fleming Preserve, Cowles Rd,  Woodbury | Complimentary members & $5 non | REGISTER

Leavenworth Preserve Hike

Join Land Management Volunteer, Dave Terry, 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. Dress for the weather and wear terrain appropriate footgear. Hike is easy to moderate, 60 to 90 minutes, 1.5-mile loop.
Saturday, Sept 17  | 10 AM |Leavenworth Preserve, Pilgrim Trail, Woodbury |Complimentary members & $5 non |REGISTER

  ADULT & FAMILY PROGRAMS

The Complex Pro Nature Art of William Kent

Join Flanders Curator, Marc Chabot, for a presentation on CT artist William Kent. William Kent lived and worked in New Haven and then retreated to rural Durham CT where he lived and worked tirelessly on his prints and sculptures in relative obscurity until his death in 2012. Kent loved every living thing and the vast diversity of life in nature. We will examine Kent’s training and work as both a prolific sculptor and printmaker, and how his work reflected his creative vision and desire to call out corruption, greed; nurturing respect for and harmony with our natural world.
Date TBD  | 7 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non |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 24 (rain date Wed, May 25) | 1 PM | Studio | $30 members & $35 non | REGISTER

Home Composting

Join Monique Bosch, Organic Land Care Coordinator and Soil Health Technician for CT NOFA: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, as she shares her passion for composting, whether it be thermophilic, static pile, or composting with worms. We’ll also take a close-up look at compost under the microscope and learn about the ‘soil food web’ in compost that can be used to bring our own gardens ‘back to life’. Other regenerative ag principles will be described and adapted for the home garden.
Wednesday, May 25 | 7 PM | South Barn | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Birding Walk

Join Chris Wood on a bird walk at the Flanders’ Whittemore Sanctuary. Forest and wetland bird nesting activity will be the walk’s focus, including several species of warblers and thrushes. Late and lingering migrants should also be present, and several ducks and other wetland birds will be found around the bog. Participation limited to 8.
Sunday, June 5 (rain date Sat, June 11) | 8 AM | Whittemore Sanctuary (Rte 64, Sherman Hill, Woodbury) | $10 members & $15 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 12, July 10, August 7, Sept 11 | 9:30 AM | North Barn | $20 members & $25 non for adults & $10 ages 15 & under
Sundays, June 26, July 24, August 21, Sept 25 | 6:00 PM | North Barn | $20 members & $25 non for adults & $10 ages 15 & under
REGISTER

The History of New England’s Stone Walls

Stone walls are common features of the forested landscapes in New England. Their story begins during the most recent Ice Age. Then during the colonial period, these stones were turned into fences, which remain now long after most of the fields they enclosed were abandoned. Join Dr. Mitch Wagener as he discusses the geological origin of the stones, the contrasting ideas of land ownership of Native Americans and European colonists, and the ecological impact that stone walls have today.
Thursday, June 16 | 7 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Trees, Leaves, Bugs & Birds Photography Walk

Come out and enjoy nature and take some great photographs with your camera or cell phone. Bring your telephoto, macro or wide angle lens—whatever you have. We’ll enjoy a scenic morning walk along the trails, ponds and woods at the beautiful Van Vleck Nature Sanctuary and capture great photos of wildlife, wild flowers, landscapes—and birds of course. Photography hints and help along the way from Flanders Photography Chair, Michael Audette.
Saturday, June 18 | 9 AM | Studio | $5 members & $10 non | 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 25 | 10 AM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Van Vleck Sanctuary Historic Tour & Walk

If you love old buildings, this is your chance to tour and learn the history of the Van Vleck House (c. 1786) and the Studio (1928). Your guide is Anne Westerman, a long time Flanders member and past Board President. Following the building tours, there will be a short sunset walk/hike to the favorite outdoor space of Flanders’ founder, Natalie Van Vleck.
Wednesday, July 6 | 6 PM | Studio | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Life Under a Log

Wildlife is all around us, whether in our own backyards or on the trails at Flanders. But have you ever considered the secret world that is under a log? It is teaming with living creatures, plants, and fungi. This underworld is often overlooked as we simply step over the log. 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 23 | 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 12 | 8 PM | South Barn | $10 members & $15 non | REGISTER

Wild Edible Plants & Mushrooms of Autumn

Learn how to identify, sustainably harvest, and prepare the wild foods of autumn, from acorns through minty wintergreen leaves, including golden honey mushrooms and maitake, the “dancing mushroom.” Join us for an engaging talk with The 3 Foragers to learn about the edible plants and fungi of autumn, how to identify them, and recipe ideas! We will start with a slide show and head outside to walk around the grounds.
Saturday, September 10 | 10 AM | Sugar House | $10 members & $15 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

Forever Connected!

Volunteer Your Time – A gift of your time and talent is a very important contribution. Flanders offers regular opportunities for members and friends to share their skills and interests with the organization and community. Seasonal events at Flanders, such as Maple Sugaring, Flanders Festival, Field & Forest 5K, Flanders Annual Benefit & Auction, and our Holiday Wreath Making Workshops depend upon the work of hundreds of dedicated volunteers to make them successful. From a Land Trust perspective, Flanders relies on its volunteers to carry on its mission of preserving and caring for more than 2,400 acres of protected property in the region. Whether you would like to volunteer regularly or just help when you have the time, Flanders needs you!

Consider Joining A CommitteeReady to get more involved with Flanders and share your expertise? Join one or more of our volunteer lead committees to help us meet our goals and objectives and further our mission and vision. By being a committee member you will help grow Flanders and make a deep impact! Here is a list of our committees with a brief description:
»  LEARN Committee—Promoting and teaching the understanding and appreciation of art, farming, and nature to adults and families.
»  Art Committee—Organize art related programs and conserve founder Natalie Van Vleck’s history and archives.
»  Land Management Committee—Managing Flanders’ 2,400+ acres of open space.
»  Land Acquisition Committee—Acquiring important open space lands.
»  Development/Fundraising Committee—Helping raise funds to support Flanders’ Mission.
»  Historic Van Vleck Committee—Ensuring Flanders facilities are properly maintained and/or restored.

Want To Lead A Hike, Program Or Class?  Do you have a talent that you would like to share? Flanders is always looking for new instructors.

TO LEARN MOREContact 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

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

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