(formerly Nature Center for Environmental Activities)
PO Box 165
10 Woodside Lane
Westport, CT 06881
(203) 227-7253

Places Nearby:

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Lockwood-Matthews Mansion Museum

More in:

Other States:

Founded in 1958, this 62-acre sanctuary includes woods, fields, streams and wetlands to provide a peaceful setting for the study and enjoyment of native plants, animals, and other natural resources.

Family and group activities include hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing, workshops, events, guided nature walks, and hands-on activities.

The Nature Center's Main Exhibit Hall features the Discovery Room, as well as 13 permanent dioramas, depicting regional animals and / or natural communities.

The Discovery Room is an interpretational learning area that encourages children to use all five senses to expand their base of knowledge about local environmental subjects. Seasonal themes, natural science games and books, and a variety of hands-on activities make the Discovery Room popular throughout the year.

The Center also provides a number of interesting hands-on School Programs for all ages, such as:

Animals with Backbones (pre-K to 1): uses live animals to demonstrate both the diversity and commonality of vertebrates

Birds of Prey (4 and up): live raptors (when available) introduce students to their special world; endangered species are discussed and what we can do to protect them

Hands-On Marine (all levels): teaches first-hand about crabs, snails, mussels, starfish, and other marine creatures

Introduction to Ecology (grades 4 and up): a slide presentation introducing such basic concepts as succession, the food web, the community, and the niche

Pretty but Poisonous (3 and up): illustrates identification and even the benefits of many local poisonous plants. Safety factors are stressed.

The above programs take place indoors. Following are a few of the ten Outdoor Programs offered:

Nature's Autumn Splendor (all grades): seed, cone and berry production, bird migration and more is introduced

Winter Animal Tracking (4 and up): the story of animal tracks in the snow, as well as other animal signs

Freshwater Stream Exploration (4 and up): explores the life cycles and adaptations of invertebrates, fish and amphibians

Canoe the Saugatuck River (6 and up): explores river ecology and wildlife during an exciting 3-mile canoe trip.

Many other programs are available, both indoor and outdoor. Programs are also adaptable for any type of group -- school, scout, camp, or adults who are interested in our natural world.

Before and after a program, groups (and individuals) may tour on their own and enjoy the many exhibits and trails. A group may also visit without taking a program.

Most programs for grades 3 and up last an hour. For younger children programs last 30 to 40 minutes. Maximum class size is 30 students, 15 for some programs. Some programs are seasonal.

Hours: Monday thru Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 1 - 4pm. Call to confirm times. Grounds open daily from dawn to dusk. Discovery Room hours may vary. Call for info.

Adults $7.00
Seniors $5.00
Children 1-12 $5.00
Admission to grounds is free.

Call for pricing on canoe trips.

Groups: School Group programs cost $100 - $125.00 each.

Group Reservations: At least 4 weeks in advance. Group reservations must be made by submitting a form. 

Lunch: Picnic area available.

Handicapped Access: Accessible.

Directions: From I-95: take Exit 17 and turn north onto Route 33. Go a little less than a mile and turn elft onto Sylvan Road South. After about a mile, Sylvan Road becomes Stonybrook Road. Continue another 3/4 mile to Woodside Lane and turn left.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.