Education and Outreach Newsletter
December 2017 / January 2018

CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
State Parks & Public Outreach
Winter solitude -
In a world of one color
the sound of wind.
A Reason for Celebration
Winter's official start is December 21st at 11:28 a.m.
Solstices come two times in the year, summer and winter, and are marked by a longer day or longer night. The Winter Solstice marks the time when we have the longest night and the shortest period of daylight. The Summer Solstice marks the opposite, highlighting the longest day and the shortest night. The Winter Solstice is recognized by many cultures with the commonality of celebrating the coming of light. As with many holiday celebrations, activities are centered around agrarian roots, linking us to the seasons and natural phenomena. In German and Scandinavian cultures the winter solstice was marked by burning oak logs, greens and wood throughout the night and spreading the ash the following days to promise a successful crop for the coming year. From this the Yule log, Christmas tree, wreaths and many holiday traditions evolved. Likewise, in other cultures the celebrations of the importance of light and coming of crops shaped traditions.

Yule in the Northern Hemisphere ( Neopagan ); Ziemassvētki (ancient Latvia )

The importance of the winter season is sometimes lost in the aversion to shoveling snow or dealing with ice. But we need to recognize the wonder of natural phenomenon and take some time to observe it. Without this period of time seeds could not reset for growth, water systems would not be able to recharge, wildlife would not redistribute and regroup, and the availability of maple syrup would be lost. In the course of changing conditions we are seeing less and later snowfall, warmer winter days, quicker springs and early rains and floods. Our ability to support seasonal activity is based on our ability to know how to reduce impacts. There are many ways for students and individuals to take action. Becoming involved starts with observation. Winter is a great time to take part in some citizen science opportunities honing your skills in observation and research. Enjoy the season and learn more about your natural community.

Citizen Science and Education Resources
Great ways to get out and take part in winter. Educators in schools are welcome to take part in these programs. Many centers offer opportunities for individuals to help with these projects as well. Contact us to see how we can help you get started

CT DEEP Wildlife Division is inviting volunteers to take part in two new programs of Citizen Science. Help the state in counting the midwinter eagle populations and bobcats. Information on these and other wildlife studies can be found at Wildlife Division Citizen Science/ Volunteer Opportunities
Free Educational Lesson Plans and Resources
Project WET has designed a collection of activities and resources related to the Lego League Challenge that is based on a real-world scientific topic. Access and download the free lesson plan on the human water cycle . You will be asked to set up an account to complete the download for free. Contact if interested attending a Project WET workshop and receiving the complete resource guide for Project WET.
Featured Workshops: These are but a few of the offerings this season at the Kellogg Environmental Center, James L. Goodwin Conservation Center and other locations throughout the state. View a complete list of Upcoming Educator Workshops.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Resource Awareness Through Investigations
Looking for ways to provide students with real world applications to energy conservation? This workshop will help bring awareness to action through integration of audits, surveys and solution development processes. Great for working with Green Teams, after school projects and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Register

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Project WILD & English Language Arts (ELA)
This special workshop will use various literature (nonfiction, fiction, songs, graphic novels) and visual media (movies, cartoons) to learn about environmental and wildlife issues. This workshop is appropriate for all grade levels, especially middle school and high school. Formal and Non-formal educators of all experience levels welcome.    Register

Thursday, February 1, 2018
3:30 p.m.
Webinar: Seed Surprises  FREE
It is bird feeding month. Let’s take a close look at seeds and seed science as it applies to NGSS and diversity. Learn interesting facts and surprises as you see how seeds can add to the classroom. Participants will be sent seed packets following participation. Register.

General Public Programs
First Day Hikes Offered at CT State Parks
This year there are 14 different hikes to choose from throughout the state.
Enjoy family oriented programs and welcome in the New Year!
To find a park hosting a hike go to America's State Parks or

No Child Left Inside® Winter Festival
Saturday, February 2, 2018
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Burr Pond State Park, 384 Burr Mountain Road, Torrington, CT 
FREE No registration required. Ice fishing, fish fry, ice safety, search & rescue dogs, bonfire, marshmallow roasting, snowshoeing, winter games, ice sculptures, winter hikes and more!! For more information please contact:
James L. Goodwin Conservation Center , 23 Potter Rd., Hampton
regularly offers long distance guided hikes, a book club, senior walks and a
monthly gardener's roundtable. It is located within the 2,000 acre Goodwin Forest and offers youth group camping .

500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby
adjacent to Osbornedale State Park , the museum offer a
special holiday celebration 2017 holiday theme, "Holiday at the Opera", Friday, November 24 - Sunday, December 17, Thursdays thru Sundays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Teacher workshops, general public programs and student field studies are
offered at Kellogg Environmental Center year round.

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.

For more information and additional programs visit
Scout Programs
Webelos badges Into the Wild and Into the Woods

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.  

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.
Recommended Reading
Judy Moody Saves the World! , ages 6-9, after learning about the destruction of our environment, Judy Moody works to save it - Megan McDonald

Walden Warming , uses conservation icons Thoreau and Walden to track the effects of climate change on Concord, MA - Richard B. Primack

SNOW , ages 1-3, discover the sights and sounds of playing in the snow - Carol Thompson

WIND , ages 1-3, explore the sights and sounds of having fun in the wind - Carol Thompson

Sugarbush Spring , ages 4-8, a timeless story that invites children to the pleasure of making maple syrup - Marsha Wilson Chall

Snow Crystals , a catalog of over 2,000 unique, beautiful snowflakes - W.A. Bentley and W.J. Humphreys

The Snow Speaks , ages 4-8, the story of children exploring the wonder of snow on a winter's day - Nancy White Carlstrom

Dear Children of Earth , ages 4-8, a beautifully illustrated letter from Mother Earth asking for the help of children everywhere - Schim Schimmel

Annie and the Wild Animals , ages 4-8, the young Annie goes on a snowy adventure to find her lost cat and meets other animals along the way - Jen Brett

Song of the Swallows , ages 4-8, the famous story of the return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano through the eyes of a child - Seo Politi

Alaska's Three Bears , ages 4-8, explore fun facts about three bears trying to find their home in Alaska - Shannon Cartwright

Cocoa Ice , ages 4-12,  explore the story of two girls, one whose family grows cocoa and another whose family packages ice, and how their two very different world's connect - Diana Appebaum

Life Under Ice , through words and stunning photography, explore the frozen world of Antarctica - Mary M. Cerullo
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.