Education and Outreach Newsletter
March / April 2018

CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
State Parks & Public Outreach
When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.
Madeleine M. Kunin, Diplomat
No Child Left Inside ®
Come out and try some fun outdoor skills during the 13th Annual No Child Left Inside ® Great Park Pursuit (GPP): CT State Parks Family Adventure. We will kick-off six weeks of exciting adventures on Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning with a FREE Family Fishing Day at Wharton Brook State Park , Wallingford, CT.  Registration for the 2018 GPP will begin on Friday, March 16, 2018. For more information: ,
Latest News

Connecticut has launched the Passport to Parks Program.  CT Residents are no longer required to pay a parking fee at CT State Parks and Forest recreation areas, due to Department of Motor Vehicles collecting a $10 fee ($5 per year) on behalf of DEEP at the time of registration and registration renewals for non-commercial motor vehicles. There will still be an entrance fee at Dinosaur, Gillette and Fort Trumbull State Parks. 


This program is designed for people who want to expand their knowledge and awareness of the natural environment. Participants will receive in-depth instruction, both in the classroom and the field, on a comprehensive range of topics, including plants, soils, birds, habitats, mammals, forestry, and aquatic systems.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Master Naturalist Level 1 Program
The application is due by March 17. Applicants will be notified by April 7, payment of $250 due by April 14. Classroom dates: April 28, May 5, 12 & 19, June 9 & 16
Field dates June 3, other dates to be determined.
General Public Programs

Let the adventures begin as you head out to some of the lesser known trails across CT. Hike to ten locations and receive a certificate and medallion or pin. Hike to all 14 locations and be entered to win a hand-carved hiking staff. All entries must be received by Friday, December 7, 2018.

Dinosaur State Park will return to a 6-day a week schedule (Tuesday – Sunday) starting on Tuesday, March 20. Museum hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm. The hiking trails are open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no public access to the museum or grounds on Mondays.

Dinosaur State Park School Vacation Week ( Calendar Keyword: Dinosaur)
April 7, 8, 10 to 15 and 17 to 22 - animal programs, track talks, nature walks and crafts. On Thursdays, April 12 and 19, at 1 p.m. the Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum will sponsor a live Birds of Prey Show . Tickets are free with admission and will be handed out beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the show. Space is limited to 100 visitors per show.

May 1, 2018 , Tuesday, the dinosaur outdoor track casting area will reopen for the season. Visitors are able to make a plaster cast of a dinosaur footprint. The area is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You must bring 10 pounds of plaster of Paris to make a plaster cast.
James L. Goodwin Conservation Center , 23 Potter Rd., Hampton
(Calendar Keyword: Goodwin)
P rograms are free and pre-registration is not required, unless otherwise noted.For more information or to register: 860-455-9534 or , or visit or

Mohegan tribal member Chris Harris “Turtle” returns to present the second part of this 4-part series. During this presentation, we will look at the South direction. How does the South relate to our life?

Nest boxes are being increasingly erected in hopes of attracting beautiful bluebirds, tree swallows, chickadees, and other birds. Many of these bird boxes are being used by the invasive house sparrow. This program will train you how to properly collect house sparrow eggs and send them to Sparrow Swap for analysis.

Join other like-minded folk who want to talk about their favorite books. This month’s book will be Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom Wessels.

Connecticut woodland owners and conservation professionals share information and experiences in order to help provide support for healthy woodland management and stewardship. Please RSVP: Beth Bernard, Program Director, 860-455-9534,

Ever wanted to learn how to identify a tree by the bark and not by the leaves? Join Master Naturalist Caroline Driscoll as you learn all about bark. 

This workshop is intended for gardeners of all experience levels. We share best practices and pitfalls for gardening in eastern Connecticut. Monthly workshops.

Join Master Naturalists Lynn Kochiss and Regan Stacey as we explore the wonderful world of lichen! Come discover the patches of green that grow on trees and rocks, the beards that hang from branches, and the soft pillows tucked along stone walls. All children must be accompanied by an adult for this program. Registration is required.

Join Beth Bernard, Program Director, in a unique journey to discover the lost art of the sit spot. Be dressed for the weather and bring a small mat or towel to sit on if you desire. Age 12-adult.

This workshop will illustrate early gardens and plant uses from the colonial period of North America with specific emphasis on New England. Debra Hultgren, a practicing community herbalist and a master gardener, will present the program.

Let the full moon guide your path as you take a night hike at Goodwin State Forest. Goodwin Guide Kat Gayson will be taking you on a moonlit journey through the forest to bear witness to the changes in nature from day to night. Bring a headlamp or flashlight if desired, they are not necessary. Please dress appropriately for the weather. 

Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area , 341 Milford St., Rt. 69, Burlington
Office and exhibit area are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(except holidays). The trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
(Calendar Keyword: Sessions)

The Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center’s Public Program Series is a cooperative venture between the CT DEEP Wildlife Division and the Friends of Sessions Woods. Please pre-register for these programs by calling 860-424-3011 or email . Programs are free. An adult must accompany children under 12 years old. No pets allowed!

The CT Valley Mycological Society welcomes members and non-members to Sessions Woods for a presentation on mushrooms by Noah Siegel. Noah has spent over two decades seeking, photographing, identifying, and furthering his knowledge about all aspects of macrofungi. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation and has recently co-written a book about mushrooms of the northern California coast. Coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m. followed by the program at approximately 10:00 a.m.

The 2018 Friends of Sessions Woods Annual Meeting will be on Sunday, April 29, beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the infamous Dessert Extravaganza Potluck. At 1:00 p.m., there will be a brief, 10-minute business meeting before the featured presentation “Live Birds of Prey” by wildlife rehabilitators from A Place Called Hope, a facility dedicated to returning wild birds to the wild and teaching people how to protect and respect wildlife. All are welcome and the program is free.

Join Natural Resources Educator Laura Rogers-Castro for a hike to the beaver marsh and back. We will learn about beaver habitat and search for signs of spring including migrating birds, blooming native wildflowers, early butterflies, and more! The hike will be approximately 2 miles round-trip. Participants should wear appropriate shoes and bring water. Meet in the lobby of the Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center.

Currently open Tuesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., in April hours will be extended to 5 p.m.

For more information and additional programs visit
Scout Programs

Webelos badges Into the Wild, Into the Woods at Kellogg &
Earth Rocks at Dinosaur State Park

500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby Each program will cost $5 per scout. Registration is required. To register, please call the Kellogg Environmental Center (203) 734-2513, then complete and return the form that will be provided to you.

Explore winter animals, signs, behavior and identification using bird feeding stations and natural food sites on the estate. Learn how wildlife research is carried out by participating in a citizen-science study with Cornell University. 

Learn about the ecosystem of a forest starting with the trees and building to the food webs that exist there. We will go into the many ways forestry products are used and the roles they play in helping maintain the health of the environment.  

Dinosaur State Park , 400 West St., Rocky Hill
The cost is $7 per scout and pre-registration is required. Attendance is limited to 60 scouts. More information and registration forms are available on the websites at or
Recommended Reading
A Salamander's Life, written and illustrated by CT resident John Himmelman, Ages 5+. Scientifically accurate peak at nature up-close. Follow the salamander as it hunts for food, faces its enemies and interacts with humans.

T he Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Ages 4-8
Follow a tiny seed though the hazards of dispersal. Discover how once it finds a suitable place it doesn't stop growing until it overtops houses and trees.

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott, Ages 4-8
Anasi sets out on a long dangerous journey only to be saved from terrible fates by his sons.

How to Choose a Field Guide for Kids, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

This NSTA Press book, co-edited by Cornell Lab of Ornithology educators, begins with real-life examples of middle and high school teachers who have successfully engaged their students in citizen science, and provides 15 innovative lessons that present specific ways to build data collection and analysis into your science teaching. 
Quick Links
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact us at 860-418-5910 or if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.