When was the last time you held a hermit crab? Have you ever set a fish trap to catch minnows? How would a great blue heron look through a telescope? Have you ever seen red-winged blackbirds mobbing a red-tailed hawk? Now is your chance for your family to learn together about the wonders in nature. Each program will focus on conservation updates, animal and plant interrelationships, changing environmental conditions, and an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our surroundings. Each experience will leave you excited for the next one!
A meadow with grasses and wildflowers is home to many insects, from bees and butterflies to grasshoppers and crickets. Take a walk to a meadow to see how many different wildflowers you can find, and then take a closer look at insects using nets and collecting jars.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary invites families to join them at Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary to discover the amazing journey of the monarch butterfly to Mexico. Learn about the monarch life cycle and the challenges facing its habitat. Find out more about butterfly gardening and create a paper butterfly that will spend the winter with children who live near the monarch sanctuaries in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico. We will then work together as citizen scientists to tag and release several monarchs to start their journey south.
It's nice to have GPS, but do you know how to read a map or use a compass? What happens if you're out on the trail and your GPS malfunctions or the batteries die? Are you instantly lost? Join Mass Audubon for a guided map-and-compass treasure hunt around the sanctuary. Bring your own compass or use one of ours and learn how to find north, orient yourself, count paces, and use the map and compass to find your way. After some basics, we'll hit the trails and use the new skills learned to search for some hidden natural treasures. No experience necessary. This program is a good introduction to orienteering for the whole family.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge invites families to join Katie Hone, The Monarch Gardener, for this fun and interesting one hour program about the monarch butterfly. The program will include a presentation about monarchs with interactive role playing and live animals AND making milkweed “seed bombs” (to take home). Meet, tag and release live monarch butterflies to the wild! This program is geared to younger children and their parents. This program will take place in the refuge visitor center classroom. NO preregistration for this program.
Explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary after hours and join us for a night of camping under the stars. Have an early dinner at home and then come with your family, your tent, and a dessert to share. Join us as we explore the habitats of the elusive owls.
Enjoy a summer afternoon at Grace Oliver Beach during low tide and discover the living wonders of the sandy coastline. Walk across the mudflats to Crowninshield Island, where we will search for tiny fish, hermit crabs, periwinkles, and other sea creatures living in this delicate habitat. Explore the five-acre island and its unusual variety of landforms, from granite rocks and tidal pools to sandy beach, salt marsh, and wooded hilltop.
Explore the Ipswich River at dusk. Bring your family and join us for an evening paddle in a canoe as we learn more about the river and some of its inhabitants. Being on the water is one of the best ways to explore and discover the wonders of wetlands. We will paddle through the winding backwaters lined with cattails and other marsh plants, looking for hidden wildlife. Using buckets and strainers, we'll stop and sample the rich aquatic life to learn more about what lives under the water.
Explore the Ipswich River at dusk. Bring your family and join us for an evening paddle in a canoe as we learn more about the river and some of its inhabitants. Many kinds of owls "call in the night" with their hoots and screams as the sun begins to fade. As we paddle along, we'll look and listen for owls, talk about the types of owls we're likely to find at this time of year, and do some hooting ourselves.
Oh My Butterflies is an interactive program where your youngster can learn about butterfly habitat, food and migration. Learn about different kinds of butterflies found on the North Shore, how to spot them and what will attract them.