Adult Programs

Program Options & Details

The New Canaan Nature Center provides a wide variety of programming for adults. Pre-registration is recommended.

Lake Naraneka Canoe Tour
Saturday, October 15th
10:00am
(Canoe Tours are approx. 2.5 hours in length)

Join us for guided canoe tours on scenic local lakes, each of which offers an abundance of birdlife and other wildlife, beautiful scenery, and a chance to paddle and relax. We provide the canoes, equipment, van transportation, and guide. You provide the paddling power.

NCNC Canoes: We provide the PFDs (must be worn), paddles, canoes. When you register for an NCNC canoe, you are registering for either a 2- or 3-person canoe. The registration fee includes all the people in the canoe. You are responsible for bringing the necessary people required to paddle your canoe.

Bring Your Own Kayak: A limited number of spaces are available. You must pre-register to participate in the tour. You must bring and transport your own boat, equipment, PFDs, and paddles to the launch site.

Pre-registration Required. No Walk-ins Permitted.

Gnome Workshop

December 5th at 9:30 am 

Join Faith Kerchoff,  a longtime NCNC volunteer will teach a Tabletop Gnome Workshop at the New Canaan Nature Center

Using live greens create an adorable 18″ tall gnome all decked out for the holidays with a festive hat and mittens.

The workshop will be held in the Greenhouse behind the Visitor Center….

Class Cost: $45 (includes materials)

Please register early, space is limited

Tom Turrentine will be leading the hikes. Tom has always enjoyed hiking, from his teen age years in Litchfield County to trips through national parks and Backroads treks in the Canadian Rockies. These days, he can often be found on the trails in Ward Pound Ridge or up in Washington and Kent with his Springer Spaniel Andy by his side. There are many trails within 90 minutes of New Canaan that reward hikers with good workouts and beautiful vistas!

MIANUS RIVER PARK

December 1st

We can meet in the NCNC parking lot at 9:15 and we should be back by 12:30-1pm 

Holiday Wreath Making Workshop

December 1st at 7:00 pm – $65 includes all your supplies 

Come join us and create a one of a kind, live green wreath, using a menagerie of nature’s bounty collected in part by our very own New Canaan Nature Center Preschool Students.

Our former Board Member, Lisa Kaine Dunn will be leading the workshop and showing us some of her special tips on wreath making. She designs & creates the Nature Center’s wreath each year for Deck the Walls a holiday exhibit & fundraiser for the Carriage Barn Arts Center.

FRANK GALLO, once our Director of Eco-travel and Field Studies, Frank rejoins New Canaan Nature Center as our new Senior Naturalist. Frank is a leading expert on where to find birds in Connecticut and has led birding expeditions all over the world. Prior to rejoining NCNC, he led tours for Sunrise Birding, LLC, an international birding tour company, and was the past Director, and Senior Naturalist of the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center. He is a member of the Connecticut Avian Records Committee and is a federally licensed master bird bander. Frank is also the author of two children’s nature books, Bird Calls and Night Sounds, and is a published freelance photographer. Frank’s newest book, Birding in Connecticut, a guide to where, when, and how to find birds in the state, came out May 1, 2018.

Walks with Frank, Our Senior Naturalist

Frank, will guide us around area parks, preserves, and open spaces this spring. Along the way, he will discuss the area’s natural history, pointing out birds, plants, and other species. These easy to moderate-level walks provide a great opportunity to learn about local parks, meet new people, and get outdoors.

Early Morning Bird Walks with Frank – At Bristow Sanctuary

Friday, September 16th  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Friday, October 28th  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Friday, November 18th  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Meet our Senior Naturalist and expert birder, Frank Gallo, for bird walks around the Nature center’s Grounds and Bristow bird Sanctuary. We’ll be keeping track of the birds we see as we generate a database and new bird list for Bristow Sanctuary. Bring binoculars or we have some available if needed.

Bristow Sanctuary walks meet by the ballfields near the concession stand.

Early Morning Bird Walks with Frank – At New Canaan Nature Center

Monday, September 26th  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Monday, October 24th  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Monday, November 21st  8:30am – 10:00am – Free

Meet our Senior Naturalist and expert birder, Frank Gallo, for bird walks around the Nature center’s Grounds and Bristow bird Sanctuary. We’ll be keeping track of the birds we see as we generate a database and new bird list for NCNC. Bring binoculars or they are available if needed.

NCNC – Meet in the lower parking lot.

The New Canaan Nature Center serves as a satellite site for the New York Botanical Gardens horticulture and flower-arranging classes.

Pruning: How, When, and Where

Saturday, 3/19/2022, 10:30am – 2:30pm

This one-day course covers the basics of pruning evergreens, deciduous trees, and shrubs, as well as how to maintain the woody plants in your garden. Bring your pruners! We will discuss tool selection and maintenance, while we practice techniques using potted plants. Class is held rain or shine. Please dress for the weather and bring lunch.

Artisanal Tabletop: Spring Bulb Centerpiece

Saturday, 4/30/2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Style a glorious spring centerpiece bursting with sweet hyacinths, daffodils, and ruffled parrot tulips. Discover where to source the best flowers and how to artfully add organic vegetables and herbs to your arrangement. You will leave with a table-top ready arrangement set in a rectangular wooden container for an artisanal look. $85 materials fee.

The New Canaan Nature Center serves as a satellite site for the Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization. This cooperative relationship provides adults with a wide array of first-class programs focused on conserving and promoting New England’s native plants and landscapes.

See below for upcoming class descriptions.

Native Plants for Native Birds

Date: TBD

Join Frank Gallo to explore diverse habitats in southern Connecticut and learn to identify plants and the birds that depend on them. Through classroom discussion and field application, we will address ways to create landscapes with both aesthetic and ecological value to attract wildlife. The fall session concentrates on berry-producing shrubs and trees and on seed-producing perennials and annuals.

Program Options & Details

The New Canaan Nature Center provides a wide variety of programming for adults. Pre-registration is recommended.

The next NCNC Hiking Group hike date is TBD.
Please stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Members: Free / Non-Members: Free
ALL ages are welcome!

Saturday, July 7th 
9:15am-10:15am
*Pre-registration by Thursday, July 5th at 12pm is required.

Saturday, July 21st
9:15am-10:15am
*Pre-registration by Thursday, July 19th at 12pm is required.

Calling all adults! Join preschool teacher and certified yoga instructor, Lisa Socci, for a pop-up morning yoga class right here at NCNC. Did you know…? Not only does morning yoga help you feel good, it can also help you sleep better at night, set a positive tone for your entire day, and encourage health habits. These FREE classes will be held in the Visitor Center’s Sturgess Room – donations are greatly appreciated and will go to benefit the New Canaan Nature Center.

No experience or toe-touching flexibility required. Please bring a yoga mat or towel. Bring a water bottle too!

The New Canaan Nature Center serves as a satellite site for the New York Botanical Gardens horticulture and flower-arranging classes.

This cooperative relationship provides close to 300 adults each year with a wide array of first-class programs including NYBG’s widely regarded certification classes.

See below for upcoming class descriptions.

Pruning: How, When, and Where

Saturday, 3/3/2018, 10am – 3pm, Ann Perkowski
This one-day course covers the basics of pruning evergreens, deciduous trees, and shrubs, as well as how to maintain the woody plants in your garden. Bring your pruners—we’ll discuss tool selection and maintenance, then spend the afternoon outdoors analyzing proper techniques. Class is held rain or shine. Please dress for the weather and bring lunch.

Intro to Landscape Design

3 Thursdays: 3/8, 3/15, & 3/22/2018, 10am – 1pm, Sheri Forster
Gain an introduction to the terminology, concepts, and basic principles of landscape design through lectures and simple two-dimensional exercises. This course is recommended for students with little or no background in design who want to design for their own home or who are considering a Certificate.

Weekend Garden Design Workshop

2 Saturdays: 3/17 & 3/24/2018, 10am – 2:30pm, Daryl Beyers
Good garden design isn’t easy, but for anyone with a passion for plants, a little imagination, and proper guidance, it is possible to succeed. Learn the basics of garden design, review examples that work for different architectural styles and site conditions, and develop a go-to plant list for your home landscape. In the second session, you will develop and draw a basic design plan for your garden that you can take home to refine and implement come spring.

The New Canaan Nature Center serves as a satellite site for the New York Botanical Gardens horticulture and flower-arranging classes.

Join us on Saturday, February 24th for three Saturday Gardening Workshops to Wake Up Your Garden! Sign up for one workshop or stay the entire day and enjoy all three!

Spring is just around the corner, and with a little advance preparation you will be ready to start the growing season right. Gain insights into getting the soil prepped and ready to go, best pruning practices, and waking up the garden after winter. Have the healthiest, best-looking garden in your neighborhood!

See below for workshop descriptions.

Spring Gardeners Task List

10am – 12pm, Daryl Beyers
Spring cleaning in the garden can be fun. Get shrub and herbaceous borders spruced up and looking good! Review a checklist of tasks to be performed during spring maintenance, ranging from raking off winter mulch to looking for signs of winter injury and noting where gaps in the garden can be filled. All this gives your garden a head start on a great growing season.

Soil Basics: Get it Right!

12:45pm – 2:45pm, Richard Rosiello
If you get your soil right from the start, your garden will explode in lushness. Rich, nutritious soil makes for large, healthy plants and reduces the need for regular fertilization. Learn the difference between soil structure and texture; how these differences affect plant growth; and how you can modify your soil to improve its qualities. Give your garden a solid foundation, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

Pruning: Shape-Up For Spring

3pm – 5pm, Michael Ruggiero
Are you intimidated by the idea of pruning? March is a great time to get your woody plants in shape by thinning out overgrowth to create open, healthy, beautiful trees and shrubs. Learn how and when to prune, the tools needed for the job, why pruning is necessary, and the difference between maintenance and rejuvenation pruning.

Pre-registration recommended for adult programs

Hiking Group

Make friends and enjoy the outdoors during our adult hiking programs. Check program options and details for where and when the next hike will take place!

New York Botanical Garden

The New Canaan Nature Center serves as a satellite site for the New York Botanical Gardens horticulture and flower-arranging classes. This cooperative relationship provides close to 300 adults each year with a wide array of first-class programs including NYBG’s widely regarded certification classes.