By Joshua Palmes
April 22 was first designated as “Earth Day” in 1970, and has been celebrated on that date every year since then. The environmental-minded in Connecticut will join others across the country and around the world in acknowledging the planet’s natural resources and animal and plant life, and how to protect them from the effects of climate change. If you are among them, here are some essential places in the state to get educated while having fun.
Audubon Center Bent Of The River
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488
One of the best ways to experience Connecticut’s natural beauty are on these 700 acres owned by the National Audubon Society. Explore the territory on 15 miles of scenic trails that are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. You are sure to observe many different species of birds on your hike, from sparrows and warblers to owls and hawks to wild turkeys and geese. And the center is always looking for volunteers – you can help out by maintaining trails and gardens, teaching students, conducting research and even taking photos.
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
www.brucemuseum.orgFor over a century, Greenwich’s Bruce Museum has impressed visitors with its ever-changing art and science exhibits. But its one constant is the permanent natural history exhibition “Changes In Our Land”, which shows the evolution of our planet over millions of years. Here you’ll see how the continents shifted and mutated over this span, learn how humans have adapted to changing environmental conditions, and view some of Earth’s natural minerals. The museum will also relate this history to Connecticut’s current landscape.
250 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06103
www.ctsciencecenter.org“Engineering Earth” is the latest featured exhibit at Hartford’s popular interactive science museum. It allows visitors to closer examine how soil and sand, and mud and clay have been used to build important structures in the past, and why they continue to be valuable source material today. There is another good reason to visit CSC on Earth Day. That is the day its rooftop garden open for the 2017 season. View a variety of plant species that are kept alive with a unique system that requires just half the water that comparable gardens use.Related: Top Ways To Utilize Connecticut’s Parks & Rec Department
170 Whitney Ave.
New Haven, CT 06520
www.peabody.yale.eduYale has been home to the state’s finest natural history museum for 150 years. Its three floors feature over a dozen permanent and temporary exhibits covering everything from ancient fossils to Native American artifacts to birds found in Connecticut. On April 21 the Peabody will host an Earth Day celebration with family activities, local environmental groups, and chances to glimpse rare animal and plant specimens from the museum’s collection. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is included in the price of admission.
5 Church Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
www.flandersnaturecenter.orgFlanders Nature Center and Land Trust preserves and manages over 2,000 acres of land in and around Woodbury. At its center are several educational buildings, including the North Barn which houses farm animals and a farm life museum, the Sugar House where maple syrup is made, and the Trail House that hosts nature programs. The property also includes several hiking trails where you will spot a variety of flowers, plants and wildlife. If you’re interested in volunteering Flanders has plenty of opportunities from maintenance tasks to helping out its events and programs.Related: Top Spots To See Spring Wildflowers In Connecticut