Woodcock Nature Center threw a party earlier this month to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The day offered an opportunity for the Woodcock team to introduce its new branding and logo, refreshing the organization’s public-facing identity.
Officials started working in 2019 on a strategic plan for Woodcock’s future, focused on defining the center’s objectives. They identified four areas that were core to its mission — creativity, education, place-making and conservation — and associated one color to each area, choosing hues found in nature: red for creativity; gold for education; sage for place-making; and aquamarine for conservation.
To develop a “look,” Woodcock formed a committee of staff, board members and volunteers to collaborate with designer Jeff James, a book illustrator and well-respected brand designer with clients that included Starbucks and Oribe Tea. Their aim was to create a logo and branding that captured Woodcock’s personality, voice and philosophy, and represented the quality of programming, creativity and fun offered by the Center.
They also wanted an image that would convey Woodcock’s role of reconnecting the community to nature and one another, as well as stand apart from prior logos, which featured a woodcock — even though the actual inspiration for the Center’s name was its founder, coincidentally named J. Mortimer Woodcock.
The team considered animals, plants and letters, eventually settling on a snake in the fitting shape of a ‘W’. Officials found the snake “resonated” on multiple levels, according to the Center’s website:
“First, snakes are an integral part of our Woodcock ecosystem (and animal teaching team!), and as a visual representation, we wanted something that captured the excitement and creativity that Woodcock represents — a vibrant, unique place to explore and learn. The curvature of the snake’s body suggests a path of discovery with the bands of color representing each of our brand pillars (creativity, education, place-making and conservation) as referenced by four earthly element hues.”
Woodcock’s website has been updated with the new look, and it’s already being incorporated into printed program materials as well as signage around the property.
To the Editor:
Woodcock Nature Center is thrilled to have celebrated its landmark year with a 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash last weekend. Not only did we honor 50 years of outdoor education, but we set the stage for the next half-century by sharing Woodcock’s new visual identity which is aimed at matching the nature center’s current vitality with its goals for the future.
On behalf of all of us at Woodcock Nature Center, thank you to everyone who celebrated with us! Lucky party-goers met some of our teaching animals: snakes Rocco and Indira; Storm, the baby snapping turtle; and Franklin, the spotted turtle. Kids did an amazing job painting rocks to create what is now a nearly 6-foot art snake by the Woodcock pond (stop by and check it out!); and, guests set out on an educational scavenger hunt and learned about nature-friendly birthday decorations, met a 50-year-old tree, measured lichen to find its age and so much more.
Special thanks to sponsors Boxed Water Is Better and Fairfield County Bank and to Jeff Fox and Joan Wallace for filling the air with music. Thanks to Daffodil Hill Growers of Southbury for the festive table décor and, because no party is complete without some sweets, thank you to the Painted Cookie in Wilton for our Woodcock-themed cookies! Our goodie bags were filled with special offers from Crystals & Cones in Redding and Wilton’s Outdoor Sports Center — we hope everyone is taking advantage of their generosity.
Founded in 1972 by former Ridgefield First Selectman J. Mortimer Woodcock, Woodcock Nature Center is beloved by both Ridgefield and Wilton for its nearly 150-acre preserve, educational programming, unforgettable events, and outreach into the community through deep connections to nature. Over the last 50 years, Woodcock has evolved but never wavered in its mission to creatively connect the community with nature and to one another.
We look forward to continuing to provide our community with more exceptional programming and outdoor events. And remember: our grounds and trails are open to the public from
dawn to dusk daily so, please visit often!