Woodcock Nature Center is working to create and install new educational signage along its nearly four miles of trails. The project’s organizers are calling on the community to join this initiative by donating to a crowdfunding campaign or volunteering in the effort. All community donations will be doubled by Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund, which is an innovative funding resource for public, community-led sustainability projects.
Educators at Woodcock have plans for 15 brand new, engaging and informative signs along its nearly four miles of publicly accessible trails. Professionally designed and printed, these signs will provide a unique way for visitors to learn more about diverse habitats as they enjoy the preserve. Not only will the signage be colorful and easy to read but, in an effort to make the trails friendly for a wider audience, they will be printed in two languages, English and Spanish.
“Our mission to connect people of all ages to the natural world has never been more relevant as evidenced by the huge increase in visitors we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” noted Woodcock Executive Director Lenore Herbst. “With more visitors than ever, we are eager to increase our opportunities for on-site, independent learning about local habitats and animals. We are grateful for this timely opportunity made possible by Sustainable CT.”
If the campaign reaches its $2,000 goal by its fundraising deadline of Wednesday, Sept. 23, the project will receive a matching grant of $2,000 from Sustainable CT, an initiative of Eastern Connecticut State University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy. Project details and the link to donate are available online.
Each year, thousands of CT residents visit Woodcock Nature Center’s 150-acre preserve for walking, hiking, learning, and spending time with loved ones. The grounds are open year-round from to dawn to dusk at no charge and include the trails, a large pond, and outdoor aviaries. A recent grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation helped Woodcock to add signage near the aviaries, which has provided hands-on learning about the center’s incredible birds. The new planned signage will expand this effort by broadening on-site educational information for visitors.
Sustainable CT is an initiative that inspires, supports, and recognizes sustainability action by towns and cities statewide. The Community Match Fund–supported by the Smart Seed Fund, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and the Connecticut Green Bank–provides a dollar-for-dollar match to donations raised from the community, doubling local investment in projects.
“Through the Community Match Fund, we aim to put residents at the forefront of creating positive, impactful change,” said Abe Hilding-Salorio, community outreach manager for Sustainable CT. “Match Fund projects are community-led and community funded, demonstrating the power of people working together to make change in their communities.”
Located on 150 acres of state-protected land, the Woodcock Nature Center includes a pond, wetlands, and publicly accessible woodland trails. The Center is home to a variety of living local and exotic creatures including snakes, frogs, and lizards. The Center also houses three non-releasable birds of prey.
The preserve is a haven for aquatic life and a remarkable variety of birds. Along the trails are historic stone walls and stands of old maple, beech, oak, and hickory trees. An Everglades-style boardwalk allows rare access through part of the rich, abundant wetlands nestled in the woods. In these graceful surroundings, visitors young and old can experience the rich, renewing world of nature. Woodland trails are open to all, sunrise to sunset, every day of the year.
The Center staff works with the local protected wildlife to serve as a resource for educating the community about our natural surroundings through public outreach, school field trips and visits, on-site birthday parties, after-school programs, and an extremely popular summer camp. For a complete schedule of activities please visit Woodcock Nature Center online.