The aim of the Nature Initiative is to draw people into Grace Farms’ beautiful 80-acre preserve, allowing them to experience the awe and wonder of nature. By providing
exploratory opportunities, people are encouraged to connect with the outdoors and embrace stewardship of the natural environment.
"Initiating new collaborations and affecting increased stewardship of the natural world are two of the most important things that we do to preserve the imperiled species and wild lands around us."
—Mark Fowler, Nature Initiative Director
Grace Farms was designed to contribute to the public’s quality of life by providing a peaceful respite that inspires the exploration of wilderness, wildlife, and open space. Our Foundation has retained the property’s beauty as a rare piece of Fairfield County landscape, and approximately 77 of the 80 acres at Grace Farms are protected in perpetuity as open meadows, woods, wetlands, and ponds. Our stewardship of open land expands outside of Grace Farms in the form of partnerships, volunteer efforts, and thought leadership. Efforts this year have included helping to maintain Connecticut waterways, releasing rehabilitated birds, and writing about the importance of protecting wild lands.
Preserving Wild Lands
Grace Farms Foundation has retained the property's open beauty as a rare piece of Fairfield County landscape, with rolling topography; field trees; perennially wet meadows; and a mixed deciduous, hardwood, and conifer forest edge.
Our restored meadows have again become home to countless species of life, including over 60 species of birds, many different species of native bees and butterflies.
Maintaining Connecticut's Waterways
Each spring, volunteers from Grace Farms participate in a river cleanup. In 2018, the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), Mayor Harry Rilling, Keep Norwalk Beautiful, and Grace Farms Foundation volunteers joined forces to clean up a section of the Norwalk River.
Our programming emphasizes multigenerational engagement, encouraging the public to discover the wonders of the natural world through experiential, educational programs. During all seasons, we host experts and guides who present native wildlife (e.g., hawks, owls, falcons, and reptiles), teach wilderness survival skills, and guide walks for our guests. Grace Farms has also become a recognized birding enclave, hosting more than 60 species of birds on-site.
Grace Farms celebrates Earth Day each year with a special day of interactive programs for all ages. In 2018, our Earth Day programs centered around preserving open space, restoring wildlife, and exploring the natural world.
Grace Farms astronomy programs are presented for all ages. Our aim is to give guidance and information to those who want help in the pursuit of stargazing. Join us for one of our upcoming adventures to explore the summer sky!
Over the summer months, more and more of our guests have been spotted with cameras, capturing the landscape and aerial views, and, specifically, the beautiful birds that decorate them.
Our summer programs invite all ages to experience the wonder of nature at Grace Farms. These programs feature adventurous, hands-on experiences, including wilderness skills, native wildlife, orienteering, and Native American history.
We are committed to restoring endangered species and other wildlife at a local and international level by implementing solutions to protect them from overexploitation. As part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Justice Initiative, we seek to build a coalition of individuals, NGOs, and law enforcement experts that can play a vital role in the fight against wildlife trafficking.
Combatting Wildlife Trafficking
Representatives from Grace Farms Foundation traveled to the Republic of Congo to conduct training for police, customs, prosecutions, and wildlife officials on combatting and prosecuting transnational organized crime groups.
Earth Day 2018
Earth Day 2017
Grace Farms 2018 Earth Day celebration, featuring programs that celebrate the biodiversity of nature.
Grace Farms 2017 Earth Day celebration, featuring insightful programs tied to our five initiatives - nature, arts, justice, community, and faith - as well as the 80-acre landscape and its diverse habitats.
Fifty-five 500-foot-deep geothermal wells have been drilled on the property for natural, efficient heating and cooling.
35 trees on the property bear fruit of some delicious kind, including apple and plum.
16 Amphibian and Reptile species wander the grounds of Grace Farms, including the Spotted Salamander, Spring Peeper, and Painted Turtle.