In celebration of Earth Day, Grace Farms Foundation and The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut today announced the two-day lineup of experiential programs, activities and expert-led discussions centered around the importance of restoring local native habitats. Taking place on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, the annual weekend of events, which includes a lecture and community day, serves as an opportunity for people across generations to reconnect with nature and learn about practical ways to restore biodiversity to their own backyards or communities.
“There are simple ways that we can all reconnect with and Restore Wild in our own backyards—like planting native and pollinator friendly species—by doing this we help the natural world and our communities thrive,” said Mark Fowler, Nature Initiative Director at Grace Farms Foundation. “Through our 80-acre landscape and program partnership with The Nature Conservancy, we hope to mobilize people to be part of the solution and take action to restore a healthy balance between people and nature.
“People ask me, ‘what can I do to help our planet,’ and one of my answers is we can start by restoring wild in our backyards by attracting pollinators like bees and birds,” said Dr. Frogard Ryan, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut State Director. “Whether here in Connecticut or across the globe, The Nature Conservancy is grateful to work with partners like Grace Farms Foundation in moving people to conservation action.”
On April 26 at 7:30 pm, Pascal Mittermaier, Global Managing Director of Cities at The Nature Conservancy, will present on how The Nature Conservancy is harnessing nature’s power to build resilient, livable, thriving communities. Mittermaier, alongside LaTresse Snead, Deputy Director of Global Cities at The Nature Conservancy, and Penn Marchael, Project Manager at Larry Weaner Associates will join the panel, “Restoring Wild in Urban and Suburban Areas,” moderated by Fowler, to discuss actions community members can take to further the restoration movement and learn about the positive impact that “restoring wild” has on local communities.
On Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Grace Farms and The Nature Conservancy will host a variety of free Earth Day-focused events, programs, nature walks, and more for all ages, including:
- Interactive Meadows Plaza10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Features native plants, children’s activities, and demonstrations from Pollinator Pathway about the importance of ecosystems to pollinators.
- Open Arts Studio for Families I Habitat and Home 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Offers facilitated workshops for children ages 3-10 celebrating the importance of restoring natural habitats with a focus on animal architects who build homes and communities.
- Native Bird Walk 10:30-11:30 a.m., 1-2 p.m., and 3-4 p.m.
Master Birder Frank Mantlik leads a guided tour of Grace Farms’ walking trails in search of our area’s native birds. On-site registration is required.
- Birds of Prey 12-1 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.
A falconry demonstration with Master Falconer Brian Bradley.
- Coexisting with Native Wildlife 1-2 p.m.
A demonstration on the beauty and diversity of the area’s wildlife featuring New Canaan Nature Center.
- The Benefits of Restoring Wild 1-2 p.m.
A conversation with Dave Gumbart, Director of Land Management at The Nature Conservancy, about the important relationship between native plants and the birds and insects that rely on them for food and shelter.
- Restoring Native Meadows 3-4 p.m.
A conversation with Penn Marchael, Founder of Pennington Grey, about planting and maintaining meadows.
More information can be found at www.gracefarms.org/calendar. Advance registration is suggested for April 26, “Restoring Wild in Urban and Suburban Areas.”