Become a Friend of Great Mountain Forest

Please consider becoming a Friend of Great Mountain Forest by providing a gift to GMFC to help support our mission of education, research and recreation under a sustainable forest management program now and for future generations.

Education & Outreach

Many organizations have come to the Great Mountain Forest for a variety of programs. Below is a list of past events and programs various organizations have presented.

Housatonic Heritage Walk

Housatonic Heritage Walk

Hike is full – sorry, we cannot accommodate more people.

Join Jody Bronson, Forest Manager of Great Mountain Forest, for this walk on a woods trail that was a former highway. See a huge glacial erratic and a visit a beautiful view overlooking Crissey Pond. Topics will range from history, forestry and wildlife to amusing stories of GMF. Wear sturdy footwear and bring lunch & drink. 2.5 hours, 3 miles To register—jean@greatmountainforest.org or 860-824-8188

From the Norfolk green, at the intersection of Rts 44 & 272, go south on Rt 272 and take the first right onto Mountain Road. Follow Mountain Rd. for 1/3 mile, then take first left onto Westside Rd. Follow Westside Rd. for 1 mile, then take first right onto Windrow Rd. Follow Windrow Rd. for about 1 mile. Parking is on the left at the kiosk near the forestry office at 201 Windrow Rd. GPS 41.968267, -73.225086

This event took place on September 30, 2017.


Housatonic Heritage Walks

AMERICAN CHESTNUTS: LOST & FOUND

Join Star Childs for a walk into a 300-planting american chestnut orchard at Great Mountain Forest. Learn of the dramatic, sudden loss of this major tree and the ecological impact. Hear of the American Chestnut Foundation’s efforts to restore this iconic tree to our landscape. Wear sturdy footwear. 1 hour–1/4 mile To register– WML61@comcast.net or call 860-824-7454. Rain cancels this walk.

From Falls Village, and driving on Rt 7–turn onto Undermountain Rd. and drive about 3 miles to the grove. OR driving from Rt 63–turn onto Undermountain Rd. and drive about 1 mile to the grove. GPS 41.943218, -73.283060

This event took place on September 17, 2017.


Coverts Project

Connecticut Forest & Park Association has partnered with UConn over the last few years to coordinate the Coverts Project – -an educational program developed by UConn Cooperative Extension. Since 1983, The Coverts Project has been reaching out to Connecticut’s individual woodland owners and teaching them how sound management practices can make wildlife healthier, more diverse, and more abundant.

Education Through Demonstration

The Coverts Project began simultaneously in Vermont and Connecticut in 1983. Since that time it has spread to 11 other states across the northeastern U.S. The goals of the program are to teach forest owners how good forest stewardship can earn the woodland owner a long-term financial return, and improve the health and productivity of both the forest and the wildlife that live in it.

Actively managed demonstration areas are used as outdoor classrooms during our annual, in-depth Coverts Project training seminar and follow-up workshops. Each year, a select group of 30 woodland owners and/or environmentally concerned individuals are accepted to participate in the three-day training seminar, held at the beautiful and remote Yale Forestry Camp in Norfolk, CT. There they learn about different types of Connecticut forests and about where, how, and why they grow as they do. They learn about different wildlife species, their needs, and how to provide for them. They learn about the many natural resource professionals and organizations available to help them. And they learn how to put this knowledge to work on their own woodland.

The seminar (meals, lodging, training, and reference materials), periodic follow-up workshops, and the quarterly Coverts Project Newsletter are provided at a small cost to participants, as CFPA and UConn work to fund this program through grants and donations.

In exchange, participants agree to become Coverts Project Cooperators, to return to their communities and share what they’ve learned with others. Specifically, cooperators agree to:

Develop a sound forest and wildlife management plan for their own woodland and/or woodland which they are involved in managing;
Maintain for at least one year an up-to-date set of reference materials (provided by the Coverts Project) and be available to answer questions other landowners have;
Make an active effort to reach out to and motivate other woodland owners in their community.
Through this network of informed individuals, thousands of landowners are learning about and beginning to practice sound forest and wildlife conservation.
Join Us!

Each year, woodland owners and others involved with the care of wooded properties are invited to apply for one of the 30 slots available in the annual September seminar. We look for people who are, or who have the potential to be, informal educators in their communities: people who others will come to when they have questions about forests or wildlife; people who can find time in their busy schedules for the seminar and some volunteer activities during the coming year; people who want to get to know and to work with natural resource professionals from around the state; people who would like their own woodland to be healthy and productive; people who care about Connecticut’s forests and the wildlife that live in them.

Questions? contact CFPA’s Education Director, Emma Kravet, for information regarding 2017 Coverts Project Seminar! Email: ekravet@ctwoodlands.org
Connect with CT Coverts Cooperators on Facebook!

Coverts 2017
*The Coverts 2017 Seminar will take place at Great Mountain Forest from September 14 – September 17, 2017

This event took place on September 14, 2017.


Weekend in Norfolk Hike

Join GMF’s forestry intern Zach Jaminet for a guided hike on the Overlook Trail with views of Norfolk. Hikers should meet at the kiosk at 201 Windrow Road, Norfolk at 10:00 a.m. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. Plan on approx. 1.5 hours.

This event took place on August 05, 2017.


Turkish Marbling Workshop with Christina DiMarco

Turkish Marbling has been practiced in Turkey since around 1200. Watercolors are dropped onto water thickened by Irish moss seaweed extract and transferred onto paper. Flowers of spring can be beautifully created. Learn this ancient magical art inspired by earth, wind, water and fire elements.
Christina Di Marco has been marbling and bookbinding since the mid 80’s and loves to share this art form. Her works can be viewed in member shows at Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY and at Mill Street Loft, Poughkeepsie, NY through which she also teaches. She has been teaching young people and adults in the Hudson Valley area for over twenty-five years. christinadimarco@comcast.net

This event took place on June 03, 2017.


Connecticut Trails Day Hike up Canaan Mountain

Great Mountain Forest / Iron Trail. Take a hike to the summit of Canaan Mountain to see views of the Housatonic Valley, which was the heart of the Salisbury Iron Works 100 years ago. Distance: 3 miles. Meet at the Great Mountain Forest’s Childs Center at 200 Canaan Mountain Road in Falls Village (Canaan). Leader: Brandon Coleman. Sponsored by Great Mountain Forest. Rain cancels. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Questions and to register: contact Jean Bronson, jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on June 03, 2017.


Fly Tying Workshop with Doug McDevitt

Experienced fly tier and fly fisherman Doug McDevitt will teach a fly tying workshop at the Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village. Doug will teach the beginner and experienced fly fisherman the basics of fly tying patterns that are successful in northwest Connecticut streams and rivers. He has taught fly tying for the American Museum of Fly Fishing Tour and for organizations throughout Connecticut.
Pre-registration is required; contact jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on May 21, 2017.


How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife

GMF is co-sponsoring the Salisbury Forum’s lecture “How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife” by Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at University of Delaware and author of Bringing Nature Home.
As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity.
There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife – native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.
Come hear about Doug Tallamy’s practical recommendations and find out how you can make a difference.

This event took place on May 12, 2017.


Earth Day Camp Fire Poetry Reading

Join your GMF friends for a sunset campfire and poetry reading. Listen to words that celebrate the place that we call home, as the sun goes down and the stars come out. Celebrate how grateful we are to be able to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
We will reserve time after the scheduled readers for anyone who would like to share their favorite poetry or prose about the natural world.
Refreshments will be served. Bring your own camp chair.
Rain cancels.
To register, email jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on April 22, 2017.


Deep Travel: How to Journey Like Henry David Thoreau

Join David K. Leff for “Deep Travel: How to Journey Like Henry David Thoreau,” a slide illustrated talk that opens a window into the Concord naturalist’s way of approaching a trip, or what he would call an “excursion.” Learn how Thoreau prepared, why he chose particular means of travel, his technique for close observation of people and nature, and the impact of travel for life on return. Although Thoreau never used the term deep travel, it well describes his expansive and enriching way of experiencing places near and far. You too can travel like Thoreau. Learn how. Leff has written two books with a Thoreau travel nexus: Deep Travel: In Thoreau’s Wake on the Concord and Merrimack (2009) and recently Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash: Thoreau, Romance and Survival of the Wild (2016). Books will be available for sale and signing.
Essayist, poet, photographer, and sometime fiction writer David K. Leff works from his home office in the center of the old mill village of Collinsville, Connecticut. David’s writings focus on the connection of people to their communities and the natural environment. Dedicated to public service and the natural world, David had a 28 year career with the state of Connecticut as an agriculture and environmental policy adviser to the state legislature and as Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection where he was primarily responsible for parks, forests, fisheries and wildlife. He has recently been named Poet in Residence for the New England Trail for Oct. 2016-17. David is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Great Mountain Forest.
Reception to follow the lecture.
To reserve seats, please email jean@greatmoutainforest.org or call the Norfolk Library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on March 18, 2017.


Jerry Jenkins, The Northern Forest Atlas Project

Jerry Jenkins is an accomplished botanist, naturalist, and geographer with fifty years of experience working in the northern forest. An ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, he is the founder of the White Creek Field School and the director of the Northern Forest Atlas Project, created to document the current biology of the forests and to provide tools for the next generation of naturalists and conservationists who will study and protect them. Jenkins is the author of The Adirondack Atlas, Acid Rain in the Adirondacks, Protecting Biodiversity on Conservation Easements, and Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability.
Reception to follow.
To reserve seats, please call the Norfolk Library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on February 25, 2017.


High Tea in the Woods

Join GMF forest manager Jody Bronson and outdoorsman Tom Stansfield for a hike and spontaneous forest banter in the Camp’s Pond area of GMF. Meet at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village to car pool to the pond. Gather around a camp fire and bake biscuits in a reflector oven. Enjoy them with butter and maple syrup, tea or hot cocoa and beef jerky while you learn “The Ten Essentials of Hiking.”
Bring your own teacup.
Limit 12 people. Registration is required. To register, contact jody@greatmountainforest.org.
Rain or freezing rain postpones.

This event took place on February 04, 2017.


Resilient Forests in a Rapidly Changing World: Lessons from 25 Years of Research at Great Mountain Forest

Dr. Charles Canham of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, will review the forces that have created the current forested landscape of New England, and the myriad human impacts that will shape those forests in the future. Those impacts include invasive species, over-abundant deer, introduced forest pests and pathogens, air pollution, logging, and climate change. Despite this long and alarming list of potential threats, northeastern forests are remarkably resilient, and models predict continued regional recovery of forest biomass from a low point 100 years ago.
Dr. Canham is a forest ecologist who has done extensive research in the Adirondacks, at Great Mountain Forest and around the world. He has a BS in botany from Montana State University, a MS in botany from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Great Mountain Forest.
Reception to follow the lecture.
To reserve seats, please call the Norfolk library at 860-542-5075.

This event took place on January 22, 2017.


Wreath Workshops

Come join your GMF friends for this December tradition! Make a beautiful wreath with GMF greens, cones, berries, etc.
We offer morning or afternoon sessions on Dec. 3 and 4.

Sat., Dec. 3, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Adult session
Sat., Dec. 3, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Family session
Sun., Dec. 4, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Family session
Sun., Dec. 4, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Adult session

Family session info: Children under age 8 can make their own wreaths on folding frames with pre-cut greens. Children 8 and up can cut their own greens and wire them to a frame with their parents.

Fees: $35 per person, $50 per family – limit one wreath per person rate, 2 per family rate.
You are welcome to make an additional wreath for $20 more.

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
To register, please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on December 03, 2016.


Hunting Season

Hunting season takes place from Nov. 16 to Dec. 6, 2016. The forest will be closed to other recreation during this time except on Sundays.

This event took place on November 16, 2016.


Party for Director Hans Carlson

Join us for an open house in honor of GMF Director Hans Carlson on Sat., Nov. 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road in Falls Village. Hans will be leaving to take the position of Executive Director at Blue Hill Heritage Trust in Maine later this month. Stop in, enjoy some refreshments and wish him well!

This event took place on November 12, 2016.


From the Bedrock Uplands to the "Valley Train" and Beyond

Join Star Childs for a hike in the headwaters area of the Blackberry River watershed, covering forested bedrock uplands with views of the upper Housatonic watershed and the reforested and uniquely vegetated glacial outwash features and knob and kettle topography overlying the largest stratified drift aquifer in the state of Connecticut. Moderate to strenuous hike (depending on the group) on woodland trails and gravel roads. Wear sturdy footwear and bring lunch/drink.
Meet at 201 Windrow Rd., Norfolk CT. 3 hours, 5 miles. To register, email jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on October 01, 2016.


Housatonic Heritage Hikes

History & Ecology on Canaan Mountain

Join Hans Carlson for this Housatonic Heritage Walk that begins in the valley of one of the tributaries of Wangum Brook. There are several interesting historical sites along this section. We then climb up onto the Canaan Mountain plateau, where it crosses some of the few rock balds in this part of southern New England. These bald areas contain some interesting and locally rare ecological communities – moss and lichens that are hundreds of years old. The summer offers panoramic views of the Housatonic Valley and Great Mountain Forest.
Meet at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Rd. in Falls Village. 2 hours, 3 miles. To register, email jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on September 24, 2016.


"Forty Years and a Saw", Storyteller Bill Torrey

In conjunction with the exhibit “Shedding Light on the Working Forest,” Bill Torrey, logger and award winning storyteller, will perform “Forty Years and a Saw” at the Norfolk Library. Bill is a sixth generation Vermonter and logger. He will tell true to life stories about growing up in Vermont through the 60’s, and of a logger working in the woods of Vermont for 40 years. In 2013 he retired from logging with almost all of his fingers and toes. Then he began working as a writer and storyteller. He is a winner of the NPR Moth Story Slam competitions, and has performed by invitation at the Flynn Theater in Burlington VT, Middlebury College and the Vermont State House.
To reserve seats, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on September 04, 2016.


"Shedding Light on the Working Forest" Art Show

Now through Sept. 28, the art and poetry exhibit “Shedding Light on the Working Forest” will be on display at the Norfolk Library and on weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Battell Stoeckel Art Barn at the Yale School of Music and Art adjacent to the library.

This exhibit celebrates the landscape of the working forest and the voices of those who have honed skills into a livelihood there. Shedding Light draws on the artistic friendship of a painter and a poet who are committed to subjects that have been largely overlooked by the arts.

Kathleen Kolb evokes what is solid, luminous, yet ephemeral in the scenes she gathers and painstakingly paints. She talks about how a moment of “emotional ignition” kindles a work of art. As a writing partner, Verandah Porche befriends, questions and listens, to unearth and preserve the poetry embedded in lived experience. She calls this process “finding the verse in conversation.”

THE PROJECT: Painter Kathleen Kolb and poet Verandah Porche have narrowed their focus to those who harvest timber in the rural northeast. The images and the accompanying narratives honor the workers and open their environment and their insights to the viewer. The artistic intent is neither critique nor sentiment, but to shed light on beauty and sensitivity, amid the danger and the din of machines. Kolb’s visual art spans a twenty year period and includes many pieces that are in private and public collections. Porche’s work distills and amplifies the voices of people engaged with the working forest.

THE NEED: This exhibition engages the community with a vital interest in the forest as a work place, a home, a field of study, and a playground, as well as viewers who have never set foot in the woods. This work matters because everyone depends on the forest for oxygen, clean water, wildlife habitat, soil stability, timber, fuel, recreation, and for inspiration. Consider the forest products that are taken for granted: the frame of a home, intimate paper products, treasured photographs, the pencil and shopping list, the frame of an easy chair, the match, the kitchen cupboard, the coffee table and the books it holds. This is only the start of a thoughtful inventory. Viewing these paintings and poems can enrich an appreciation of the working of our forest landscape. It provokes conversations about stewardship and how we care for our home places and our community.

This event took place on August 31, 2016.


Crissey Pond

Weekend in Norfolk Hike at GMF

Hans Carlson will lead a 3-4 mile hike along the old Chattleton Road at Great Mountain Forest. Along the way we will look at remnants of the farming and charcoal history of GMF, visit some old growth hemlock and glacial erratic boulders, and visit one of the forest’s best scenic overlooks. Please bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes. The terrain is moderate, with a few steep places. We will be on dirt roads and old logging traces.

This event took place on August 07, 2016.


Leaf Printing for Kids - Weekend in Norfolk

As part of the “Weekend in Norfolk” events, GMF is hosting a leaf printing activity for kids on the Norfolk green from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Come learn to identify leaf shapes from various local trees, and use them to make beautiful prints!

This event took place on August 06, 2016.


Plants as Teachers: A Weekend with Robin Kimmerer

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL.
Spend a weekend with plant ecologist Robin Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. The focus of this workshop will be Plants as Teachers: How We Can Be Better Students of Plants. Lectures, reading, writing and field walks.
Friday evening, June 3 through 1:00 p.m. Sunday, June 5.
All meals and lodging at the Yale Forestry Camp at Great Mountain Forest included.
Limit 25 people. $475 per person.
Details:
Many indigenous cultures view plants as among our oldest teachers, carrying lessons on how we might live. If plants are our teachers, what are they teaching us? And how might we become better students?

Braiding together indigenous and scientific knowledge, we will enjoy a weekend of plant encounters from close observation of mosses to wide ranging reflections on our cultural relationships with plants. The weekend includes natural history walks in field and forest, reading, writing and sampling of wild plant teas as we enjoy the spring woods.

Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the Founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her books include Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses.

This weekend workshop will take place at the Yale Forestry Camp, a rustic lodge in the center of Great Mountain Forest’s 6300 acres. All meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch are included, as well as overnight accommodations. $475 per person.

To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on June 03, 2016.


Of Forests and Birds Field Walk

As a follow-up to his “Of Forests and Birds” lecture on April 16 at the Douglas Library in Canaan, Michael Corcoran will lead a bird walk at Great Mountain Forest. Learn to identify migratory songbirds by sight and sound, and how diversity in forest type (age, structure and composition) create “ecological niches” which support a dizzying array of songbird species in our state.

This event took place on May 21, 2016.


Stream Monitoring

Every year, Riffle Bioassessment Volunteers participate in a ‘treasure hunt’ to find Connecticut’s healthiest streams. Participants explore their local rivers and streams, and collect and identify the invertebrates that live at the bottoms of the water habitat. The Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers program (RBV) is a volunteer water quality monitoring protocol developed and administered by the CT DEEP Bureau of Water Protection & Land Reuse. This assists the DEEP in keeping track of the state’s 5,400 miles of rivers and streams.
Together, by documenting the location and condition of these streams, CT DEEP and volunteers can work to better protect and preserve them for generations to come. No prior monitoring experience is necessary. As an RBV volunteer you will be trained to use benthic macro invertebrates (the bugs that live on the bottom of the stream) to screen local stream segments for excellent water quality. Volunteers should come prepared to go outside and wade in the streams, so be prepared for the weather, wet feet and hands. Once we have collected our samples, we spend time back inside to sort and identify what we have found. Our collections will be recorded, and samples sent to the DEEP for their records.
Your trainer, Tom Fahsbender, has been an RBV volunteer for over 9 years, and has worked with kids and adults in rivers and streams, big and small, all over Litchfield County. Adults and children welcome; children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information on the program, visit the DEP’s RBV website at: http://www.ct.gov/deep/rbv

To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188

This event took place on May 14, 2016.


The Future of Oak Forests Forum

On Saturday, May 7 join the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies for a special forum
exploring the future of oak forests. Oaks are in decline throughout the Northeast because
many of our forestlands lack the young oaks needed for successful regeneration. Mature
oaks are lost through harvest, age, or disturbance, and are often replaced by other tree
species. Discover how absence of fire, deer proliferation, shade-tolerant maples, logging
practices, and climate change threaten oak regeneration. Explore the importance of
oaks to wildlife and how land use practices set the stage for oak declines. Through an
interactive panel, gain firsthand knowledge about how private forest owners and land
managers can make a difference.
…Hike the Cary Institute grounds or the Great Mountain Forest
…Box lunch provided for a fee of $15 (optional)

The Future of Oak Forests – May 7, 2016, Cary Institute Auditorium, Millbrook, NY

9:00am – 9:05am
Welcome Joshua Ginsberg, President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

9:05am – 9:45am
The Deep Roots of the Oak Regeneration Problem
Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

9:45am – 10:30am
Acorns and Habitat: Oaks Support a Diversity of Forest Wildlife
Mike Fargione, Field Research and Outdoor Programs Manager, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

10:30am – 10:45am
Break with light refreshments

10:45am – noon
Oak Stewardship: A Panel on Best Management Practices (5-10 minute intro from each panelist, then open for questions and discussion) (Charlie and Mike will join the panel, and Charlie will moderate)

Jody Bronson, Forest Manager, Great Mountain Forest

Anne Osborn, Consulting Forester, and Director, Lower Hudson Chapter, New York State Forest Owners Association

Jeff Wiegert, Regional Forester, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 3

Noon
Optional lunch ($15 fee)

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Optional field excursions (registration required)
(1) Cary Institute grounds, led by Mike Fargione, limited to XX participants
(2) Great Mountain Forest, led by Jody Bronson and Charlie Canham, limited to 20 participants. Jody Bronson will lead a tour of harvests conducted at GMF over the past 25 years, illustrating different approaches to oak forest management and silviculture. Participants will need to provide their own transportation to/from Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk, CT (45 minutes from the Cary Institute). Participants can choose to carpool from the Institute, and can plan on returning to the Cary Institute by 4:00 pm.

This event took place on May 07, 2016.


Gimme Shelter: Creating Habitat for Rabbits and Birds

Join us for a field walk led by Richard and Debbie Martin to observe New England cottontail and bird habitat at GMF. Afterward, have some coffee and pastry at our visitor center while you watch an informative and entertaining slide show of their story of implementing a New England cottontail project at Boyd’s Woods. Enjoy an art show of Debbie’s amazing nature collages while you are here.
You’ve probably noticed large forested areas throughout Connecticut being clearcut, and the trees left lying haphazardly on the ground or piled into messy mounds. Seeing these lovely woodlands destroyed in our state forests, nature preserves and on private lands, you can’t help but wonder, “Why in the world are they doing this?” At first, Debbie and Rich Martin, chairpersons and land stewards for the 106 acre Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary in Litchfield, CT., were strongly opposed to these unsightly cuttings. But as they learned about the benefits to wildlife that these clearings provide, they and fellow Litchfield Hills Audubon Society members decided to ‘give up’ a 12 acre woodlot to create this new habitat. Although the clearcut was done primarily to attract the threatened New England Cottontail, many birds, which had been absent for years, were soon observed in the area, thanks to shrubby vegetation that was sprouting there. Other animals began using this area as well. Delighted by this success, the Martins wanted to share the sanctuarys’ experience with others, and created an informative and entertaining slide show for the 2015 CT. Land Conservation Conference. This 25 minute presentation takes the audience on a fascinating historic tour of Boyd Woods, beginning with the lands’ former use as a farm, to mature woodlands, and to its current use as a sanctuary being managed for wildlife. Debbie and Rich have combined their lifelong love of the outdoors, art and photography to create beautiful nature slide shows for adults and children, for many years. For their work with the New England Cottontail Initiative, and this educational slide show they received a certificate of recognition from the New England Chapter of the Wildlife Society. With colorful photography, insight, and humor, this program will help you to see how an ‘unsightly’ clearcut can become a much needed young forest habitat for many wildlife species in our state. Rain date: Sat., May 7 at 8:00 a.m.

This event took place on May 01, 2016.


Kid's Spring Vacation Hike

For school spring break in Region 1, elementary school age children are invited to come for a hike exploring the springtime woods at Great Mountain Forest. Find bird’s nests in bare branches, look at trees budding out. Turn over rocks to see what’s hiding underneath. Check for animal tracks in the mud. Jump from rock to rock to cross a stream. Collect some nature treasures.
Return to our visitor center for an art activity using treasures you found on the hike.
Be sure to bring a snack and wear your mud boots.
For elementary school children. An adult must accompany children under age 8.
This program is free thanks to a generous donation from Susan Sheehan and John O’Callaghan.

This event took place on April 18, 2016.


Nature Hike for Kids Ages 6-7

Come explore the springtime woods at GMF. Look for wildflowers, birds, frogs, worms, mud, sticks, rocks…collect some nature treasures. Balance on a log, build with sticks and mud, make designs with twigs and cones. Come back to our visitor center for a guessing game and nature craft activity. Bring a snack and wear your mud boots.
A adult must accompany children.
To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.
This program is offered free thanks to a generous donation from Frank Christinat.

This event took place on April 16, 2016.


Of Forests and Birds

Join friend of Great Mountain Forest and avid birder, Michael Corcoran for a presentation highlighting some of Connecticut’s forest bird species.
As spring approaches and the days lengthen, our forests will soon be filled with a chorus of bird song. Our migratory bird populations will return for a few short months to nest, rear their young, then prepare for the return journey to tropical climes.
Mr. Corcoran will discuss how diversity in forest type (age, structure and composition) create “ecological niches” which support a dizzying array of songbird species in our small state. Come help us celebrate the arrival of spring, the spectacle of bird migration and time spent in the great outdoors!
Michael will return to GMF on Saturday May 21, to lead a morning bird walk. Please join us!

This event took place on April 16, 2016.


Kid's Spring Vacation Exploration at the Norfolk Library

GMF and the Norfolk Library will co-host a spring vacation activity exploring the Norfolk Library’s backyard. Discover what’s in a wooded area right in town. We’ll find some nature treasures and create a weaving with them . For ages 6 and up, rain or shine. To register, call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on April 13, 2016.


Maple Sugaring: Keeping it Real in New England

Author and GMF board member David K. Leff will speak about his latest book Maple Sugaring: Keeping it Real in New England. The book gives readers an intimate look at the art and science of America’s favorite sweet. Its stories, told by real life sugarmakers, reveal how this ancient industry has persisted into the twenty first century. A former maple sugar maker and board member of the Maple Syrup Producers Assocaiation of Connecticut, David Leff takes us on a journey into the very heart of New England’s character. Come hear David share stories of the quirky characters he met while researching this book (including GMF sugar maker Jody Bronson), and the wisdom and science of maple sugaring. To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on March 05, 2016.


Winter Nature Journaling for Kids

This has been cancelled due to the weather forecast.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, children ages 8 and up are invited to join us for winter nature journaling. We will take a hike to explore the winter woods with horticulturist Debbie Munson and GMF program coordinator Jean Bronson, looking at plants in their winter habitat. We’ll look to see how animals use plants for shelter in the winter, and which plants birds seek out for food when it’s cold. We’ll look at plants that stay green in winter compared to plants that go dormant.
We’ll sketch outside as weather permits and then come inside for some hot cocoa and learn about drawing and writing techniques that will make your journal unique to you. Journals and art supplies are provided; the journal is yours to take home and continue to use.
Pre-registration is required; contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.
This program is free thanks to a generous donation from Susan Sheehan and John O’Callaghan.

This event took place on February 16, 2016.


“Two Weeks at Meekertown Cabin: Convenience and the Quest to Avoid It”

Photographer Hunter Neal spent two weeks at Meekertown cabin, deep in the woods of GMF. Without any modern conveniences except a camera, he survived, and produced some incredibly beautiful photographs. Come see his presentation, accompanied by music by Andrew Thomson.

This event took place on February 13, 2016.


Winter Woods Walk with Forest Manager Jody Bronson

Take a walk in the winter woods to Camp’s Pond with Forest Manager Jody Bronson.
Learn why he never complains about the cold or winter.
Camp fire and hot tea provided.
Bring a snack. Wear snowshoes if we have deep snow.
$10 per person. Limit 15 people. Please register by Jan. 28.

This event took place on January 30, 2016.


Wreath Workshops

Our annual wreath workshops will be held on Dec. 5 & 6, 2015 at Great Mountain Forest’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT. Come join your GMF friends for this December tradition!
Sat., Dec. 5, 9:00 a.m.-noon: Adult session
Sat., Dec. 5, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Family session
Sun., Dec. 6, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Family session
Sun., Dec. 6, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Adult session
Family session info: Children under age 8 can make their own wreaths on folding frames with pre-cut greens. Children 8 and up can cut their own greens and wire them to a frame with their parents.
Fees: $35 per person, $50 per family
Limit one wreath per person, 2 per family
You are welcome to make an additional wreath for $20 more.
Pre-registration and pre-payment required.
To register, please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on December 05, 2015.


Giving Tuesday

Help support our intern program with a donation on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1. All contributions made online that day will be used to fund our summer forestry intern program. Young forestry students will be so grateful to have an internship at GMF funded by your donation!

This event took place on December 01, 2015.


Land and Ethics: Aldo Leopold's Legacy in the 21st Century

Please join Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director of the Leopold Foundation, and Dr. Gene Likens, President Emeritus of the Cary Institute, for a conversation exploring the roots of Aldo Leopold’s prescient call for an ecological conscience.
They will discuss Leopold’s internationally renowned book A Sand County Almanac, and retrace some of the key experiences in Leopold’s life that shaped his thinking and philosophy. More importantly they will discuss the relevance of his vision, articulated nearly seven decades ago, and what a present-day land ethic might look like, in Norfolk and beyond.
Reception to follow.
Reservations required. Please call the library at 860-542-5075 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on November 14, 2015.


Dyes from Plants

Come join us as we make dyes from plants growing in the forest.
We’ll collect and chop various plants and put them on to boil to make dyebaths. We’ll mordant samples of wool, linen and other fibers to produce different results.

Jean Bronson, Alesia Maltz and Karin Gerstel will guide the process. Our emphasis is on experimenting, so you will have samples of each color to take home and follow up with your own dyeing.

Bring lunch, water and a notebook to record tips and techniques.

This event took place on October 31, 2015.


Snakes Alive!

Are there any dangerous snakes in Norfolk and Falls Village? Does a snake really feel slimy? Learn the answers to these questions and many more when Jay Kaplan, Director of Canton’s Roaring Brook Nature Center, brings his “Snakes Alive!” program to Great Mountain Forest. An introductory presentation will provide an overview of snake adaptations as well as information on the fourteen species that live in Connecticut. Of course, a good number of live snakes will also be on hand. There will be plenty of time for questions and some opportunity to touch and handle snakes following the presentation.

This program is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. To reserve seats, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This program is made possible thanks to a generous donation from Susan Sheehan and John O’Callaghan.

This event took place on October 25, 2015.


Nature Journaling for Children: Hike to Crissey Pond Lookout

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. For our fall session of nature journaling, we’ll meet at the Forestry Office at 201 Windrow Road in Norfolk, then hike Crissey Trail and Crossover Trail to Crissey Lookout for a spectacular view of Crissey Pond. At the lookout, we’ll spend time sketching and writing in our journals. Bring a snack and water bottle, as well as a small blanket or mat to sit on. Jean Bronson and Holly Torrant will lead the group. For children ages 8 and up.
If you’ve attended a nature journaling session before, bring your journal along; new participants will get a journal to begin.
Please note change of location.
Rain cancels.
$10 per person.
To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on October 17, 2015.


Edible Wild Plants

Adults and children are invited to join us to learn about edible wild plants growing all around us. Barbara Austin, a former science teacher and now an environmental educator with 20 years of experience, will teach this workshop once again. She will lead an exploration of the fields and forest surrounding the Childs Center and teach plant identification and harvest techniques. The plants will be used to make some delicious treats for us to enjoy! Bring a notebook to sketch plants and record tips and recipes. Adults and children ages 5 and up are welcome; under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. To reserve spaces, please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on October 03, 2015.


Housatonic Heritage Walk

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Join Great Mountain Forest’s manager Jody Bronson, along with GMF board member and forest ecologist Charlie Canham at Great Mountain Forest’s Childs Center at 200 Canaan Mountain Road in Falls Village. The walk will begin at a sugarbush management area, then pass through a pine plantation, upland hardwoods, a hemlock stand, old pasture, and end at a New England cottontail rabbit habitat cut area. We will discuss forestry, wildlife, forest ecology, invasives and rabbit habitat restoration, as well as historical points and past land use. Wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and bring water. Walk begins at 1:00 p.m., goes 1.5 miles and lasts 1 1/2 hours. To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on September 27, 2015.


Coverts Project Seminar

Are you a woodland owner or property manager who wants to learn more about your woods and the critters that call it home?
Join us at the 2105 Coverts Project, a volunteer training program in forest and wildlife management. Learn how well-planned forest management can improve wildlife habitat and provide other benefits as well. The goals of the project are two-fold:
1. to help you understand why and how management can enhance habitat and improve forest health and productivity;
2. to inspire and help you to pass your knowledge on to your peers.
Have a wonderful experience as you join a network of like-minded people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Plus you receive the Coverts Project reference materials which allow you to answer questions on forestry and wildlife or direct the inquiry to a professional who can.
This is a FREE program. All costs of the seminar are covered by the Coverts Project sponsors; including meals, lodging at the camp, and the Coverts Project reference materials. In exchange we ask you to return to your community and share what you have learned with others: to create opportunities for other landowners to get answers to their questions.
For Application, Contact:
Thomas Worthley, thomas.worthley@uconn.edu, 860-345-5232
The program is sponsored by private donations, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

This event took place on September 17, 2015.


CT Forestry Tour

When: Monday, August 3, 2015 (All day) – Wednesday, August 5, 2015 (All day)
Where: Wisdom House
229 East Litchfield Road
Litchfield, Connecticut 06759
See Google Maps for directions.
Event Type: Workshop/Training
Audience: Adults Educators
Event Description:
Summer camp is back! GMF is excited to be part of this event. This year teachers will join up with forest land owners and land trusts while we explore the great northwestern part of the state. Exciting field trips to see forest management plans in action including sawmills to the end products – a “forest to shelf” tour. Relaxing accommodations and scrumptious meals at the Wisdom House, Litchfield. $250/ea. For details and registration click here. Deadline to register will be Thursday, July 2, 2015.

Parking Information: Parking at the Wisdom House; field trips via vanpool
Inclement Weather: Rain or Shine
RSVP Requirement: RSVP required
For Questions, Contact:
Lori Paradis Brant
lbrant@ctwoodlands.org 860-346-2372

This event took place on August 03, 2015.


Nature Journaling

Summer Nature Journaling

For our summer session of nature journaling, we’re taking our cue from a list the kids made of things they’d like to do. We’ll be making boats from twigs, leaves and other things we find outdoors, and floating them down a stream.

We’ll also build an obstacle course at the brook and splash in the water as we work our way along it. Be sure to wear your water shoes or sandals and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet.
Bring a snack and water bottle, and if you’ve attended before, don’t forget your journal. New participants will get a new journal. We’ll come back to the barn to dry off and write and draw about our summer adventures at the brook. Holly Torrant and Jean Bronson will lead the group.

This event took place on July 25, 2015.


Connecticut Trails Weekend

Iron Trail Hike

Today’s hike to the summit of Canaan Mountain is full. If you have not already registered, come at 11:00 for GMF Field Day instead.
Hike will encompass views of the Housatonic Valley, which was the heart of the Salisbury Iron Works 100 years ago. Distance is 3 miles and the terrain is steep. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT. Return by noon. No dogs allowed. GMF Forester Russell Russ and Falls Village resident Brian Munson will lead the hike.
Rain cancels.
This hike is free, but registration is required.
To register, contact Jean Bronson at
jean@greatmountainforest.org
or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on June 06, 2015.


GMF Field Day & Canoe Raffle

Join us for an exciting day of outdoor activities at GMF, and see who wins our beautifully restored canoe this year!
Thanks to our sponsor Husky Meadows Farm for sponsoring GMF Field Day.

9:00 a.m. – noon: Hike is full. If you have not already registered, come at 11:00 for the activities below.
Guided hike from GMF’s Childs Center on the Iron Trail to the summit of Canaan Mountain for views of the Housatonic Valley, the heart of the Salisbury Iron Works 100 years ago.

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Camp fire cooking and reflector oven baking demonstration
Wildlife displays
Fly tying and casting lessons with Orvis fly rods
Sporting crafts displays
Vintage camping equipment display (weather permitting)
Demonstrations of GMF lumber being made into various forest products

2:00 p.m. Canoe raffle drawing!
GMF volunteers have restored another beautiful vintage canoe. Grand Prize: A Chestnut Canoe Co. 1950s era 16’ Ogilvy model canoe and two ash paddles.
Tickets are SOLD OUT!
Proceeds will be used for educational and outreach programs at Great Mountain Forest.
The original canoe was donated by Fran & Billy Goodsell of Kent, Connecticut.

Bring a picnic lunch, and enjoy the exhibits and demonstrations. Adults and children are all welcome free of charge. Don’t miss this exciting day!

This event took place on June 06, 2015.


Songbirds and the Working Forest

By late May, Connecticut’s migratory songbird populations have returned from warmer tropical climes, to find a mate, establish a nesting territory and produce a new generation of young songbirds. The relative silence of our forests’ winter months is replaced with a bustle of activity and bird song.
Join GMF Forester Jody Bronson and Connecticut birder Michael Corcoran for a morning bird walk and discussion of the relationship between our forests and our birds. The walk will include a number of stops through various forest habitats and is designed to illustrate how sound forestry management techniques provide for both a healthier, more sustainable forest and an increased diversity in our birdlife.
Michael Corcoran is the winner of the 2012 Environmental Excellence Award from the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury. He has been an active Audubon Society volunteer since 1994. He is also a 2011 Coverts Cooperator with the UConn College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Forestry Extension. For more information about Michael’s environmental interests and accomplishments as a conservationist, environmentalist and migratory songbird enthusiast, see 2012 Environmental Excellence Award. .
Pre-registration is required.

This event took place on May 31, 2015.


CAT Scans for Trees: The Role of Forests in Combating Climate Change

Researcher Robert E. Marra, Ph.D., of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, will discuss how he uses tomography in his tree research at Great Mountain Forest to assess the extent of internal decay in northern hardwoods. He will also interpret why it matters to our understanding of the role that forests play in combating climate change.
The lecture begins at 3:00 p.m., and will be followed by a demonstration of tomography by Dr. Marra. Stay for a wine and cheese reception afterward.
Reservations required.

This event took place on May 30, 2015.


Game of Logging Chain Saw Safety Training Level II

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
Bill Girard will follow the May 22 Level I training with Level II on May 23.
The Game of Logging (GOL) is widely acknowledged as the premier chainsaw safety and productivity training program in the country, offering hands on chainsaw safety training in a competitive environment. Top instructors across the country combine demonstration with participation to teach chainsaw safety, productivity, conservation and cutting techniques.
Level 2 focuses on maximizing chainsaw performance through basic maintenance, carburetor setting, and filing techniques. Limbing and bucking techniques are introduced, spring pole cutting is covered and more felling is practiced.
To register, contact Bill Girard at girardhardwood@hotmail.com. If you don’t have access to email, call Bill at (413)446-8700.

This event took place on May 23, 2015.


Game of Logging Chain Saw Safety Training Level I

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
Bill Girard returns again to teach Game of Logging Chain Saw Safety.
The Game of Logging (GOL) is widely acknowledged as the premier chainsaw safety and productivity training program in the country, offering hands on chainsaw safety training in a competitive environment. Top instructors across the country combine demonstration with participation to teach chainsaw safety, productivity, conservation and cutting techniques.
Level 1 focuses on introducing the participant to open face felling and the development of techniques to safely use it. Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell, and understanding hinge wood strength.
To register, contact Bill Girard at girardhardwood@hotmail.com.
If you don’t have access to email, call Bill at (413)446-8700.

This event took place on May 22, 2015.


"Children's Literature and Nature" Project Learning Tree Professional Development Day

Use literature to bring your students into the woods and the woods into your classroom!

Children’s natural affinity for animals and nature provides a wonderful way to enhance their reading, comprehension, communication and other language arts proficiencies. This Project Learning Tree (PLT) workshop uses the forest as a window into the world to explore seasons, habitats, animal groups, trees, life cycles and other environmental topics. PLT teaches students how to think, not what to think, with ready-made lesson plans that can be used within existing curriculum or as thematic units. Literary works from Jean Craighead George, Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Eve Bunting, Robert Frost and others may be highlighted as exciting ways to engage students in books and natural history that will set them on the path of lifelong reading. PLT’s activities include read-alouds, stories, case studies and more.

Fee: $40/person; p.o.’s accepted

Receive:
• Activities that help students dive in to reading, language arts, science, and environmental education
• Certificate of professional development
PLT Activity Guide
• Eligibility to receive GreenWorks! grants from PLT
• Invitation to join the nationwide PLT professional online community

Register: Visit www.ctwoodlands.org/PLTatGMF2015 or call CT Forest & Park Association at (860) 346-TREE for a registration form. Dress comfortably for indoor and outdoor activities. Bring your lunch and travel mug.

Questions? Contact: Lori Paradis Brant ,CFPA Education Director & PLT CT Coordinator
(860) 346-TREE or lbrant@ctwoodlands.org

Project Learning Tree® is the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation and sponsored in Connecticut by Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA). http://ctwoodlands.org/environmental-education

This event took place on May 14, 2015.


Nature Wars Book Talk

Author Jim Sterba will speak on his book Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds. Sterba will discuss the effects of creation of wildlife sanctuaries, restoration of wildlife habitat, and the establishment of hunting and trapping regulations on wildlife populations. Coupled with suburban sprawl, the result is a mix of people and wildlife; an animal lover’s dream or a sprawl dweller’s nightmare?
To be held at the Norfolk Library, book talk at 4:00 p.m. followed by wine and cheese reception. Books will be available for sale.

This event took place on April 25, 2015.


POSTPONED TO APRIL 15:Woodland Fun for School Vacation

Children in K-8 are invited to come to GMF for some fun woodland exploring. Balance on a log, jump from stump to stump, and swing from a branch. See what plants are emerging from the forest floor, find a bird’s nest, and see where a woodpecker has been busy at work.
GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson and GMF neighbor Claire Munson will lead this workshop. We’ll gather materials outdoors, and using what we find – mud, twigs, cones, rocks, moss, etc., we’ll be creative and make some forest creatures for future hikers to find. Be sure to wear old clothes and mud boots!
Rain date: Wed., April 15
Cost of the workshop is $10.
Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Jean Bronson at jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on April 15, 2015.


Nature Journaling

Kid's Maple Syrup Day with Nature Journaling

Still on for today! For our winter session of nature journaling, we’ll be making some maple syrup! Come learn about how maple trees produce sap in the late winter. Then collect sap from our buckets and boil it down outside in a portable evaporator with help from Wayne Jenkins and Jeff Torrant.
Throughout the afternoon, Holly Torrant and Jean Bronson will be guiding children to sketch and write the steps of the process in their journals. Bring your journals along; new children will get a journal to start.
We’ll be outside and inside throughout the afternoon, warming up with hot cocoa as the sap boils. Enjoy a maple sundae or bring a snack along – something you can dunk in warm maple syrup might be fun! Take some syrup home to finish off on your stove and enjoy with pancakes.
Children must be 8 and up. Pre-registration and pre-payment required.

This event took place on March 21, 2015.


The Future of the New England Cottontail Rabbit

Join DEEP Wildlife Biologist Judy Wilson and GMF Forest Manager Jody Bronson for a field walk and discussion of New England cottontail rabbit habitat.
Judy will give a brief overview of GMF’s/DEEP Wildlife Divison’s cooperative project to create young forest habitat for the New England cottontail and a host of other young forest dependent wildlife such as ruffed grouse, blue-winged warblers and box turtles. Jody and Judy will highlight what the creation of young forest entails, why we are doing it and the expected benefits.
Weather permitting, DEEP Wildlife Biologist Lori Fortin will help us identify winter birds on the walk.
Please dress appropriately for the weather; snowshoes may be necessary.
Park and meet at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Canaan Mountain Road, Steep Road and Wangum Road in Falls Village, CT.
Please register for the walk by contacting jean@greatmountainforest.org
or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on February 28, 2015.


Winter Ecology Hike to Camp's Pond

Join us for a winter hike with leader Jay Aylward of UMass. We will meet at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT for an introduction to winter season changes, followed by a brief discussion about winter ID terminology and the physiological changes that plants go through to become dormant for the winter. We hope to go to the pond on snowshoes, but if we don’t have deep snow, we’ll hike. Adults and children ages 8 and up are welcome. Bring lunch to eat on the trail.
Jay is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst, and has been teaching the undergraduate Plant ID class in the Environmental Conservation. He has a real passion for winter bud and twig ID and is eager to share it with all who come on the hike.
$10 per person. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188.

This event took place on February 14, 2015.


POSTPONED DUE TO SNOWY FORECAST - CAT Scans for Trees: The Role of Forests in Combating Climate Change

Researcher Robert E. Marra, Ph.D., of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, will discuss how he uses tomography in his tree research at Great Mountain Forest to assess the extent of internal decay in northern hardwoods. He will also interpret why it matters to our understanding of the role that forests play in combating climate change.
The lecture begins at 4:00 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception.
This event is free and open to the public.
Reservations are required; click on link above to register by email or call the library at (860)824-7863.

Sponsored by Ackerly Brown, LLP, Attorneys at Law, Bantam and Sharon, CT

This event took place on February 07, 2015.


Photo by Hunter Neal

Nature Photography in the Snow

Have you ever had difficulty with getting your camera’s exposure right when taking photos of outdoor scenes in winter? Join Hunter Neal, professional commercial and nature photographer, for a 2 hour workshop to familiarize yourself with getting better results. Hunter will discuss metering snow scenes and winter lighting situations while creating a forum on artful composition.
Hunter is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Photography and received an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier in 2014.

Please re-familiarize yourself with your camera’s manual shooting capabilities, and bring your instruction manual if you bring a new piece of equipment.

Wear winter gear, bring your camera and tripod.

Registration is required; click on link above.

Inclement weather date: Sun., Feb. 1, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

This event took place on January 31, 2015.


The Great Mountain Forest and the Great River: Your Local Working Forest in a Global and Historical Context

Great Mountain Forest Director Hans Carlson will speak about the forest past and present. His remarks will cover some of the history of GMF, particularly the environmental history of conservation work, beginning in 1909. His research has been generously funded by CT Humanities. This lecture will also be aimed at understanding the forest in the present. History is one way of contextualizing GMF in the present, but the forest also exists in a global and community context, as both a conservation legacy organization and a non-profit, and this talk will be aimed at understanding those as well.
This lecture will be held on Sat., Jan. 17 at 4:00 p.m. at the Norfolk Library. Wine and cheese reception to follow. If you haven’t met Hans yet, please come by and say hello!
Reservations required; please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on January 17, 2015.


Make an Ice Luminary for New Year's Eve

Children of all ages are invited to to make an ice luminary to brighten your walkway or porch for New Year’s Eve. Join GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson, along with volunteers Emily Bronson and Julia Munson for this fun activity.
We will also make a garland of winter treats to hang on evergreen trees for birds and other animals. We’ll explore different types of conifers growing nearby, then come in to read a winter story by the fire with hot cocoa.
Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration is required; please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on December 29, 2014.


Wreath Workshops

Our annual wreath making workshops are just around the corner!
The barn will be toasty warm and smelling of Christmas greens and spiced cider. Come join your GMF friends for this December tradition.
Sat., Dec. 6, 9:00 a.m.-noon: Adult session
Sat., Dec. 6, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. : Family session
Sun., Dec. 7, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Family session
Sun., Dec. 7, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Adult session

Family session info: Children under age 8 will have their own area to work in without sharp tools. Greens will be pre-cut and kids will be able to make their own wreaths on special frames without needing to use wire. Children 8 and up can make a wreath with their parents or on their own.

Fees: $30 per person – limit one wreath. $40 per couple or family – limit 2 wreaths.
You are welcome to make an additional wreath for $20 more.

Pre-registration and pre-payment required.
To register, please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188

This event took place on December 07, 2014.


Hunting Season in Progress

Notice to all visitors: Deer Hunting Season (shotgun / rifle) is in progress at this time.
Access to Great Mountain Forest for non-hunters is restricted to Sundays only from November 19th – December 9th. Please respect the rights of our deer hunters and the rules and regulations of our well-managed deer management program. Thank You.

This event took place on November 29, 2014.


The Nature of my Backyard

Rick Roth of Creature Teachers will present an exciting and educational look at the creatures that share our space. This is a fascinating live animal program that will intrigue both children and adults. Rick will bring along some delightful animals to see and touch. You’ll learn lots of interesting details about wild animals who may be living right in your own back yard.
Reservations are required.

This event took place on November 16, 2014.


Nature Journaling for Children

Come join our autumn session of nature journaling for children ages 8 & up.
Horticulturist Debbie Munson, artist and teacher Holly Torrant and GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson will lead a hike to see signs of the season.
We will check in with our “adopted” trees and note the changes as they prepare for winter. Children joining the group for the first time can choose a favorite tree to adopt and follow its changes through the seasons.
We’ll bring back samples of leaves, needles, dried flowers, berries, feathers and cones to sketch. Then we’ll spend some time with writing prompts to add words to our journals.
Journals are provided to new children; returning children please bring yours along. All supplies are provided and the journals are yours to take home and continue to use.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

This event took place on November 08, 2014.


American Canopy
Great Mountain Forest Lecture Series

American Canopy Book Talk

Author Eric Rutkow will be our guest at the Norfolk Library to speak on his fascinating book American Canopy. He will discuss how trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country’s rise as both an empire and a civilization. Among American Canopy’s many captivating stories: the Liberty Trees, where colonists gathered to plot rebellion against the British; Henry David Thoreau’s famous retreat into the woods; the creation of New York City’s Central Park; the great fire of 1871 that killed a thousand people in the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin; the fevered attempts to save the American chestnut and the American elm from extinction; and the controversy over spotted owls and the old-growth forests they inhabited. Rutkow also explains how trees were of deep interest to such figures as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt.
Rutkow is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School who has worked as a lawyer on environmental and corporate issues. He currently splits his time between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, where he is pursuing a doctorate in American history at Yale. American Canopy is his first book.
Come for the 4:00 p.m. book talk and stay to meet the author at the reception afterward. Books will be available to purchase.

Seating is limited and reservations are required; please email jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on November 01, 2014.


Nature Photography Workshop

Join Hunter Neal, professional commercial and nature photographer, for a 2-3 hour instruction and field trip in GMF. Hunter is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Photography and earlier this year received an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
The seminar will include a brief presentation in the barn followed by a visit to some of GMF’s most inspiring sites.
Bring your cameras, tripods, and please wear comfortable walking shoes and outdoor clothing.
Please re-familiarize yourself with your camera’s manual shooting capabilities, and bring your instruction manual if you bring a new piece of equipment.

Rain date: Sun., Oct. 19, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

This workshop is free, but donations to GMF are welcome.

This event took place on October 18, 2014.


Nature Poetry Writing Workshop for Adults

Join poet and essayist David K. Leff for a nature poetry writing workshop. There will be lively readings, discussion, a walk outdoors with acute observing, and a writing assignment with feedback. Participants can expect an emphasis on sharpening all the senses to better perceive the world around them and more readily translate that experience into words. Come dressed to go outdoors for a period of time regardless of the weather. Beginners and well published authors are equally welcome for a supportive learning experience.
David is a former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the author of three volumes of poetry, three non-fiction books, and a novel in verse. He has taught nature poetry for the famed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in Farmington, Connecticut and elsewhere. For more about David go to www.davidkleff.com.

Cost of the workshop is $25.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

This event took place on October 11, 2014.


Housatonic Heritage Walk - Afternoon Session

Once again, GMF is taking part in the annual Housatonic Heritage Walks. This year, we are sponsoring two hikes.
1:30 p.m. Hike: Join GMF Forest Manager Jody Bronson and Forest Researcher Hans Carlson on a trail walk that passes through areas that were harvested for charcoal in the early and mid 19th century and are now currently managed for wildlife and timber production. This hike is 2.5 miles, moderately hilly and takes about 2 ½ hours. Please wear hiking boots and bring water. Park and meet at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT.

This event took place on September 20, 2014.


Housatonic Heritage Walk - Morning Session

Once again, GMF is taking part in the annual Housatonic Heritage Walks. This year, we are sponsoring two hikes.
10:00 a.m Hike: Join Forester Star Childs, GMF Board President and adjunct professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science, for a 2-hour (or so) hike through the ancient landscape of the Norfolk woods, exploring the glacial terrain of eskers, erratics and kettle holes. Please wear hiking boots and bring water. Park and meet at GMF’s east entrance, 201 Windrow Rd., Norfolk CT.

This event took place on September 20, 2014.


Guided Hike and Nature Journaling for Adults

Star Childs will led this afternoon trek, which will be a 30-45 min walk through the North Forty woods. We will explore the secrets of an old growth forest; in this area 400 year old Hemlocks are mixed with 200 year old northern hardwoods. Also, we will visit the black spruce quaking bog and view the pitcher plants and discuss special plant adaptations in acidic and water logged locations. Meet Star Childs along Windrow Road (near 100 Windrow Rd.) to convoy to the trail head. Hike is free but donations to GMF are accepted.
An option to stay for nature journaling with Leslie Watkins afterward is available.

For more information and to register for Leslie’s journaling, see http://www.lesliewatkins.com/class.html.

This event took place on August 30, 2014.


Leopold Bench Workshop

You may have seen Leopold benches (above) built by forest technician Wes Gomez in some scenic resting places at GMF. They are based on a design by conservationist Aldo Leopold. Wes has been making Leopold bench kits and will teach a workshop for adults on how to assemble them. Boards will be pre-cut from GMF lumber and all hardware is supplied. Come and make your own bench for a resting place in your garden or yard. Fee for this workshop, including the bench kit, is $100. Pre-registration and pre-payment required.
Contact jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on August 23, 2014.


Housatonic Heritage Walk

1:30 p.m. Hike: Join GMF Forest Manager Jody Bronson and Forest Researcher Hans Carlson on a trail walk that passes through areas that were harvested for charcoal in the early and mid 19th century and are now currently managed for wildlife and timber production. This hike is 2.5 miles, moderately hilly and takes about 2 ½ hours. Please wear hiking boots and bring water. Park and meet at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT.

This event took place on August 20, 2014.


Edible Wild Plants

Adults and children are invited to join us to learn about edible wild plants growing all around us. Barbara Austin, an environmental educator with over over 30 years experience teaching, will lead this workshop. Barbara will lead an exploration of the field and forest surrounding the Childs Center and teach plant identification and harvest techniques. The plants will be used to make a delicious dip, stir-fry, and both hot and iced teas. Bring a notebook to sketch plants and record tips and recipes. Children ages 5 and up are welcome; those under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required; contact Jean Bronson at the register/email link above.

This event took place on July 12, 2014.


Game of Logging Chainsaw Safety Training

Bill Girard, certified instructor of Game of Logging chain saw safety training workshops, will present a Level 1 workshop on Thurs., June 19 at GMF. The Game of Logging is widely acknowledged as the premier chainsaw safety and productivity training program in the country, offering hands on chainsaw safety training in a competitive environment.
Level 1 focuses on introducing the participant to open face felling and the development of techniques to safely use it. Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell and understanding hinge wood strength.

This event took place on June 19, 2014.


Raptor rehabilitator Julie Anne Collier

Raptor Presentation

Raptor rehabilitator Julie Anne Collier returns to GMF to present an educational program on North American Birds of Prey. Along with Jim Parks, Ms. Collier cares for injured birds of prey, some of which can be released back into the wild, but others are left permanently handicapped. They are licensed to provide a home for the non-releasable raptors and to use them for educational programs. Ms. Collier will bring several birds to the presentation, as well as part of their collection of artifacts which show a strong connection between Native Americans and birds of prey.

Reservations are required. No children under age 5 per request of presenter.

This event took place on June 08, 2014.


The Future of Planet Earth: A Changing Biosphere - Humans and Global Stewardship

Come join us at the Norfolk Library for a lecture by geologist and conservationist G. Warfield “Skip” Hobbs. Since its creation 4.5 billion years ago, the earth has experienced constant change. Geologic change, however, takes time – usually tens of thousands of years, if not hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Human civilization has made, and continues to make, profound changes to the earth, both to the benefit and the detriment of mankind and all other inhabitants of earth’s biosphere. This now includes changes to the chemistry and physical state of the atmosphere and oceans. Life forms have adapted to geological change through natural evolution, or have become extinct. With the exception of several cataclysmic events, the rate of global change occurring today has not previously occurred in geologic history. As the global population surges past the 7 billion mark and more and more people enter the “consumer age”, natural resource extraction, energy supply, food and water are being stretched to the limits of sustainability. What will the future bring? Distinguished geologist Skip Hobbs will discuss how the earth’s biosphere is transforming; the importance of sustainability in natural resource extraction; climate change and the human factor; and what we can and must do as responsible citizens to deal with and mitigate these changes. The 45 minute talk is illustrated with some very dramatic PowerPoint images and supporting scientific data.
Norfolk Library, 9 Greenwoods Road East, Norfolk CT.
Reception 5:00 p.m.
Lecture begins promptly at 5:30
This event is free, but reservations are required. Contact the library at (860)542-5075 or jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on May 10, 2014.


Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling for Children

Come join our spring Nature Journaling session for children ages 8 and up. Children who attended the winter session will find the tree that they adopted and observe its changes. If you were unable to attend our winter session, you can adopt a tree this time, and follow its changes through the seasons. We’ll check our trees for new growth and see if there are any birds nesting in them. We’ll look for animal tracks in the mud and plants that are budding and flowering. We’ll sketch outdoors as weather permits, and do some spring poetry writing in our journals.

Returning students, please bring your journals. New students will receive one. All art supplies are provided and the journals are yours to take home and continue to use. Holly Torrant and Jean Bronson will lead the group.
Location: GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT.
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Workshop fee is $10 per child. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.

Contact: jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860) 824-8188.

This event took place on May 03, 2014.


Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree "STEM in the Forest " Professional Development Workshop

STEM IN THE FOREST
A Project Learning Tree (PLT) Workshop

Thursday, May 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
K-5 educators

Great Mountain Forest’s Childs Center
200 Canaan Mt Rd, Falls Village, CT

Use STEM to bring your students into the forest and the forest into your classroom!

Looking for activities in which your students apply:
• cooperative learning,
• hands-on experiences,
• science, technology, engineering and math PLUS
• relevant, real-world problem-solving?
PLT professional development workshops provide teachers and curriculum planners with a wonderful tool to address these and many other demands of today’s classroom and 21st Century learner.

Goals of STEM IN THE FOREST WITH PLT:
• Use the forest for meeting STEM objectives
• Specify the process skills students will practice in the activity, such as analyzing or predicting
• Offer suggestions for authentic assessment of skills and content
• Provide step-by-step procedures for leading investigations
• Include student pages to support data collection and analysis
• Enable students to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills to resolve environmental problems
• Connect with a forester to bolster teacher understanding of sustainable forest management in CT

Fee: $40/person; p.o.’s accepted

Receive:
• Activities that help students dive in to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
• Certificate of professional development
PLT PreK-8 Activity Guide
• Eligibility to receive GreenWorks! grants from PLT
• Invitation to join the nationwide PLT professional online community

Register: Visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/PLTCTregistrationform to register online or call CT Forest & Park Association at (860) 346-TREE for a registration form.

Questions? Contact:
Lori Paradis Brant ,CFPA Education Director & PLT CT Coordinator
(860) 346-TREE or lbrant@ctwoodlands.org

Project Learning Tree® is the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation and sponsored in Connecticut by Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA). www.ctwoodlands.org/PLT_CT

This event took place on May 01, 2014.


Birds & Nests

Come learn about common spring birds in our area and how they build their nests in spring. We’ll take a hike and gather some nesting materials. Then you can build your own nest. We will also do a project that will help you discover where birds are building nests in your yard! Jean Bronson and parent volunteer Leslie Battis will lead the group, and Susannah Wood will lend her bird expertise to help with bird ID and bird songs.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at GMF’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village.
This workshop is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Pre-Registration is required. Contact Jean Bronson at (860)824-8188 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on April 16, 2014.


Braiding Sweetgrass

Braiding Sweetgrass Book Discussion

Many of you attended Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book talk “Braiding Sweetgrass” at the Douglas Library a few weeks ago, and were captivated by her words. If you’ve been reading the book, please join us for a book discussion led by Jean Bronson. Mark your favorite passages and make notes of anything you’d like to share. A common remark from people waiting in line to have their book signed was that after listening to Robin’s lecture, it changed the way they think about nature – we’ll discuss how and why as we look at nature through both scientific approaches and indigenous teachings. We’ll also discuss the book’s themes of gratitude and reciprocity. Come have a glass of wine or cup of tea and make some new friends with other fans of Robin Kimmerer.

Location: Great Mountain Forest’s Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT. 7:00 p.m.
Please RSVP to Jean Bronson at (860)824-8188 or jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on March 26, 2014.


CCC camps
The Forest Lyceum

The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942...2014?

Paul K. Barten, Ph.D., Executive Director of Great Mountain Forest and Professor of Forestry and Hydrology at UMASS Amherst will speak on the Civilian Conservation Corps. Widely regarded as one of the most successful New Deal programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps helped our nation recover from the Great Depression. A novel collaboration of the US Army, US Forest Service, and State Forestry Agencies, the CCC reached a peak enrollment of 550,000 young men in 2,600 camps across the country. Their impact on the American landscape (tree planting, soil erosion control, park infrastructure, etc.) and the American lexicon (“Another day, another dollar”) is with us still. Successful programs like AmeriCorps and the California and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps—along with a familiar litany of social and environmental challenges and opportunities—have led many to call for a full-scale national CCC program adapted to the 21st century.
Location:Norfolk Library, 9 Greenwoods Road East, Norfolk CT.
Reception 4:00 p.m., lecture 4:30.
Reservations required – call the library at (860)542-5075 or email Jean Bronson
The Trustees, Staff and Friends of Great Mountain Forest gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of the 2014 Forest Lyceum by Ackerly Brown, LLP, Attorneys- at-Law and Alexandra Walcott.

This event took place on March 08, 2014.


Civilian Conservation Corps
Forest Lyceum

The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942....2014?

Paul K. Barten, Ph.D., Executive Director of Great Mountain Forest and Professor of Forestry and Hydrology at UMASS Amherst will speak on the Civilian Conservation Corps. Widely regarded as one of the most successful New Deal programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps helped our nation recover from the Great Depression. A novel collaboration of the US Army, US Forest Service, and State Forestry Agencies, the CCC reached a peak enrollment of 550,000 young men in 2,600 camps across the country. Their impact on the American landscape (tree planting, soil erosion control, park infrastructure, etc.) and the American lexicon (“Another day, another dollar”) is with us still. Successful programs like AmeriCorps and the California and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps—along with a familiar litany of social and environmental challenges and opportunities—have led many to call for a full-scale national CCC program adapted to the 21st century.
Location: David M. Hunt Library, 63 Main St., Falls Village CT.
Reception 4:00 p.m., lecture 4:30.
Reservations required – call the library at (860)824-7424 or email Jean Bronson
The Trustees, Staff and Friends of Great Mountain Forest gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of the 2014 Forest Lyceum by Ackerly Brown, LLP, Attorneys- at-Law and Alexandra Walcott.

This event took place on February 22, 2014.


Robin Kimmerer
Forest Lyceum

Braiding Sweetgrass Book Talk

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D.,professor of environmental biology,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, and founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, will speak on her book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.”
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return. (Milkweed Editions, 2013; books available for purchase). This will take place at the Douglas Library, 108 Main St., Canaan CT. Reception 4:00 p.m., Book Talk 4:30. This event is free but reservations are required. Contact the library at 860-824-7863 or jean@greatmountainforest.org
More information.
Complete Forest Lyceum Schedule

This event took place on February 08, 2014.


Nature Collage Workshop for Adults

Come be creative with us on a winter afternoon! Join UMass student Mae Knowles, a Natural Resources Conservation major and Visual Arts minor, who will lead the group. Mae is focusing on environmental education in her studies. She will take us on a short walk to gather some materials from nature to use to make collages. Along the way, we’ll have a lesson on plants in winter. We’ll return inside for hot drinks and art materials to work with. Mae will guide us in using objects found in nature combined with cut paper, watercolors or colored pencils and writing. If you have some favorite or specialty art supplies, please bring them. We will provide basic supplies.
Workshop fee is $10 per person. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Contact Jean Bronson or call (860)824-8188.
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT

This event took place on February 01, 2014.


Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling for Children - Winter 2014

Children ages 8 and up are invited to join us for our winter Nature Journaling session. We will do some outdoor exploring followed by hot cocoa and journaling indoors. This session’s theme will be Adopt a Tree. Each child will choose a favorite tree to “adopt” as they make observations about the tree and its habitat in winter. They will sketch their tree, map its location, learn some facts about it and record their observations. In subsequent Nature Journaling sessions, they can observe their tree in all seasons and document its changes. All art supplies are provided and journals are given to new children. Returning children, please bring your journals along. Workshop meets from 9:00 a.m. to noon at 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village.
Fee is $10 per child; pre-registration and pre-payment required. Please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call 860-824-8188 to register.

This event took place on January 25, 2014.


John Burroughs
Forest Lyceum

Signs & Seasons Book Talk

Please join us for a book talk by Jeffrey R. Walker, Ph.D., professor of Earth Science and Geography at Vassar College and president of the John Burroughs Association. Dr. Walker will discuss a new edition of “Signs and Seasons” by John Burroughs, 1886, with an introduction and commentary by Jeffrey Walker, 2006. This introduction makes Burroughs’ work relevant to the twenty-first century, not only through Burroughs’ excellent natural history writing but also through his beliefs about community, sustainability and social justice. Books will be available for purchase. Reception 4:00 p.m. , Book Talk 4:30, at the Norfolk Library, 9 Greenwoods Rd. East, Norfolk. This event is free but reservations are required; contact the library at 860-542-5075 or jean@greatmountainforest.org.
Reservations required:
Please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org
or call the Norfolk Library at (860)542-5075.
More information.
Complete Forest Lyceum Schedule

This event took place on January 18, 2014.


Fly Tying

Fly Tying Workshop for Kids

Kids ages 10-16 are invited to learn to tie flies for fishing in local streams and rivers. On Jan. 11, 2014, from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m., experienced fly tyer and teacher Doug McDevitt will teach basic fly tying patterns at GMF’s 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village location. No experience is necessary, and all materials are provided. There is no charge for this workshop; it is made possible by a generous donation from the Foley family. To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on January 11, 2014.


Hiking and Hunting Season

GMF’s deer hunting season for muzzleloader is from Dec. 11-31, 2013. You are welcome at the forest for recreational activities during this time under these conditions:

  • Hikers must wear blaze orange (vests are provided in our kiosks).
  • Hiking is allowed on forest roads only.
  • Dogs must be kept leashed.

Hunting is a long standing tradition at GMF and a necessary part of the forest management. Hunters serve as monitors of the wildlife population and they keep a daily log of all their sightings which aids in monitoring wildlife population densities. Please be safe and allow our hunters to help us to maintain a healthy deer population. Thank you.

This event took place on December 31, 2013.


Wreath Workshops

Our wreath workshops will take place this year on Dec. 7 & 8 in the barn at our 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village location. Come smell the fresh greens and spiced cider, and join your GMF friends as you make a beautiful wreath for your home.
New this year: 2 adult sessions and 2 family sessions.
Sat., Dec. 7, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Adult session
Sat., Dec. 7, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Family session
Sun., Dec. 8, 9:00 a.m. to noon: Family session
Sun., Dec. 8, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Adult session
Family session info: Children under age 8 will have their own area to work in without sharp tools. Greens will be pre-cut and kids will be able to make their own wreaths on special frames without needing to use wire. Children 8 and up can make a wreath with their parents or on their own.
$25 per person – limit one wreath
$35 per family – limit two wreaths
You are welcome to make an additonal wreath for $10 more.
Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.
Contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on December 07, 2013.


Wapato lookout

A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest

Lecture by GMF’s Executive Director Paul K. Barten, Ph.D at the Scoville Library, 38 Main St., Salisbury CT, Sat., Nov. 2 at 4:00 p.m. The Great Mountain Forest (GMF)—in Norfolk and Canaan, Connecticut—was established in 1909 when Starling W. Childs and Senator Frederic C. Walcott purchased 3,000 acres of cut-over land from Hunts Lyman and Barnum Richardson Companies. For more than a century the forests of northwestern Connecticut produced charcoal to fuel blast furnaces at foundries that manufactured pig iron for a growing nation. In the late-1800s, competition from more efficient firms in Pennsylvania and Midwest led to gradual decline of Connecticut’s iron industry. This coincided with Progressive Era movement to conserve and restore forests and wildlife habitat. A century later, it takes a knowing eye to recognize that more than 300,000 cords were cut from this now-verdant forest and frequent wildfires had reduced the landscape to brushy fields. The founder’s son, Edward C. (“Ted”) Childs, 1905-1996, graduated from the Yale Forest School in 1932, added another 3,300 acres to GMF, and hired dedicated foresters to help him realize his ambitious vision for the land. In 2003, Ted’s wife, Elisabeth Calder Childs, placed a conservation easement on GMF to permanently protect 6,300 acres. In 2008, the Board of Trustees and professional staff initiated an innovative and integrated program of: (1) experiential learning, (2) ecological and historical research, (3) arts and humanities, and (4) community service to usher in our second century of forest conservation. Our goals are to foster strong ties to GMF as well as a heightened awareness of the global imperative for individual and community-centered forest conservation.
For more information please contact the Scoville Library
or Jean Bronson, Program Coordinator,
Great Mountain Forest, 860.824.8188

This event took place on November 02, 2013.


Nature Journaling
Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling Fall Session

Our fall 2013 session of Nature Journaling will be held on Sat., Oct. 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village. Children ages 8 and up are welcome to join horticulturist Debbie Munson, artist and teacher Holly Torrant and GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson. We will take a hike to explore leaves changing color, fall wildflowers, plants going to seed and signs of animals getting ready for winter. Afterward, we will return to the center to sketch and write. Returning students, please bring your journal; new students will receive a new one. To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call (860)824-8188.

This event took place on October 12, 2013.


Hiking Tamarack Trail

Housatonic Heritage Hike

GMF will take part once again in the Housatonic Heritage series of hikes in the area. Ours will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 22 and will have 2 options for a short or a longer hike.
Join Paul Barten, Exec. Director, for a 1-mile hike on a gently sloping loop trail. An optional 3-mile hike on a steeper & rockier trail will include a broader array of landscape features of the forest. Learn about forest management, wildlife habitat and the forest’s charcoal history.
NOTE—Wear hiking boots or sturdy footwear & suggest bringing drink/snack. 1 mile—1 hour or 4 miles—3 hours. Meet at the East Gate of GMF, 201 Windrow Road, Norfolk. From the Norfolk green at the intersection of routes 44 and 272, go south on Route 272. Take the first right on Mountain Road. Go 0.4 miles to a 4-way stop and turn left on
Westside Road. Go 1.1 miles on Westside then turn right on Windrow Road; up the hill to the end of the road and parking at the GMF Shop, Sugar House,
and Sawmill.
To register, please call the GMF adminstrative office at (860)824-8188 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on September 22, 2013.


GMF Day

Great Mountain Forest Day

The theme for this year’s GMF Day is “Goods from the Woods” and we’ll have interesting displays and demonstrations including: a portable saw mill, fine furniture, wooden boats and canoes, snowshoes and Cree crafts, longbows and black powder rifles, photography, painting, nature journaling, maple syrup, wreath making, Shaker chair seat weaving, wood carving and turning.
Featured artists include Pete Anderson, Jim Bettini, Jody Bronson, Hans Carlson, Gus Dellaghelfa, Frank Grusauskas, Brenda Hall, Wayne Jenkins, Christopher Little, Doug McDevitt, Mary Ann McGourty, Michaela Murphy, Jim Nash, Russell Russ, Susan Stien, Holly Torrant….and others!
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Harney & Sons Fine Teas
W.G. Dobbins Wealth Management, LLC
The Forestland Group, LLC
Garside Group, LLC
National Iron Bank
Action Signs, LLC
Aija, LLC
Louis E. Allyn & Sons, Inc.
A. B. Bazzano Fuels, Inc.
Connwood Foresters, Inc.
Consolini & Tonan Landscape Design
George’s Norfolk Garage
Ginger Creek Nursery
G. B. Green Company, LLC
Hawley Morton Productions
Johnston Construction
Ledgebrook Spirit Shop/State Line Wine & Spirits
Betsy Little Real Estate
Mountain Spirits Liquor
Nature’s Own Tree Specialists, LLC
W. F. Torrant Co.
Village Wine Imports
Please support these local businesses who are making this event possible!

This event took place on September 21, 2013.


Wing Masters, A Raptor Presentation

On Aug. 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center, raptor rehabilitator Julie Anne Collier will present an educational program on North American Birds of Prey. Ms. Collier is dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of North American birds of prey. Along with Jim Parks, she cares for injured birds of prey, some of which can be released back into the wild, but others are left permanently handicapped. They are licensed to provide a home for the non-releasable raptors and to use them for educational programs. They will bring several birds to the presentation, as well as part of their collection of artifacts which show a strong connection between Native Americans and birds of prey.
Reservations required. Suggested donation is $10 adults, $5 children and students, $25 per family. No children under 5 per request of presenter. To reserve seats, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on August 25, 2013.


Forest Lyceum

A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest

Executive Director Paul Barten will present a lecture entitled “A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest” at the Bushnell-Sage Library in Sheffield, MA. Join us for a 4:00 p.m. reception followed by the lecture at 4:30. For more information, click here.

This event took place on August 25, 2013.


Nature Journaling
Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling Summer Session

Children ages 8 and up are invited to GMF for the summer session of our Nature Journaling series on Monday, July 22 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT. Artist and teacher Holly Torrant, horticulturist Debbie Munson and GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson will lead the group as we explore summer signs of nature. We’ll smell some wildflowers, chase some butterflies, listen for songbirds and splash in the brook. We’ll sketch and write outside or inside as weather permits. Those who attended a previous session, please bring your journals; new children will receive one. All art supplies are provided and the journals are yours to take home and continue to use. $10 per student. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Contact jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on July 22, 2013.


Chasing Dragons

Children ages 8 and up are invited to participate in a dragonfly study at GMF. Teenagers from Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT, under the guidance of Director Jay Kaplan, are coming to GMF on July 3 for a field trip in their 4 day “Chasing Dragons” program. This is Connecticut’s only program on our fastest-flying insects, and it combines natural history, physical fitness and hand-eye coordination as the group attempts to “catch” these prehistoric creatures in order to identify and census them. Great Mountain Forest is the only location in Connecticut where several particular dragonfly species are found. Children ages 8 and up can mentor with these teenagers for the day to learn about dragonflies and damselflies of Connecticut. Parents or guardians will need to come along to shuttle children to various locations throughout the forest. Car pooling is recommended. The day begins at the GMF forestry office at 201 Windrow Road, Norfolk. Bring water, lunch, and wear old clothes and water sandals or rubber boots. An insect net is recommended, and a towel and change of clothes might also come in handy – kids tend to get wet!
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fee is $10 per student, payable in advance.

This event took place on July 03, 2013.


Canoe Raffle

On Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Shelter, 90 Golf Drive, Norfolk, CT, GMF will raffle a restored Old Town 1924 HW (Heavy Water) CS (Common Sense) 17’ canoe and two ash paddles. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $20 each. Winner need not be present. Proceeds will be used for recreational opportunities and educational programs at Great Mountain Forest.
To purchase tickets, contact:
Jody Bronson: jody@greatmountainforest.org / (860)542-5422
Jean Bronson: jean@greatmountainforest.org / (860)824-8188
By mail: Send checks to Great Mt. Forest, 200 Canaan Mountain Rd., Falls Village CT 06031, attn. Jean Bronson. Please include a stamped, self addressed envelope. Checks should be made payable to Great Mountain Forest.
Tickets will be available at the raffle drawing as well. Maple sundaes will be served also!
Original canoe was donated by Craig Nelson of Warren, Connecticut. GMF Forest Manager Jody Bronson and a group of volunteers restored the canoe, with special thanks to Schuyler Thomson.
Restoration photos

This event took place on June 15, 2013.


Forest Lyceum

Meet Your New Neighbors - Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

Dr. Stephen DeStefano, UMass and USGS Unit Leader, will present a lecture on black bears at the Norfolk Library. Deforestation and unregulated hunting extirpated black bears from southern New England in the mid-1800s. In the 1980s, a few breeding pairs wandered south and established the current population of several hundred bears in Connecticut. Black bears are intelligent and opportunistic omnivores that live about 20 years. Their size (up to 250 lbs. for females and 450 lbs. for males) and shuffling gait belies their ability to run at up to 35 mph. They also are agile climbers and strong swimmers and possess an incredible sense of smell. The bear population is expected to double every five to seven years so now is a good time for us to learn how to be good neighbors with this denizen of the North American forest.
Many of you heard Steve’s previous lectures “Coyote at the Kitchen Door” (2011) and “The Life and Habits of the North American Beaver” (2012), so be sure to reserve seats for this one! Reception 7:00 p.m., lecture begins promptly at 7:30

This event took place on June 01, 2013.


The Forest Lyceum

The Catskill Forest Preserve: Template for Public Land Conservation

Dr. Paul K. Barten, Executive Director of Great Mountain Forest and Professor, UMass Amherst, will present a lecture on the Catskill Forest Preserve. This preserve was established in 1885 and protected as “wild forest, forever” with an 1894 amendment to New York’s Constitution. This designation represented a major change in public opinion and political will as well as an early success for the fledgling conservation movement. The landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and other Hudson River School artists, the stirring fiction of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper, and the writings of George Perkins Marsh and John Burroughs had a dramatic and formative influence on societal values and attitudes. This opened a new era in which the damage to forest ecosystems by tanbark peelers, “cut and run” loggers, and market hunters could no longer be reconciled with the “the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run” and a thriving tourism industry.
There are two opportunities to hear this lecture; one at 2:30 p.m. at the Hunt Library in Falls Village (860)824-7424 and another at 7:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Library (860)542-5075). A wine and cheese reception will be held 30 minutes prior to each lecture. Reservations are required; please call the libraries or contact jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on May 11, 2013.


Nature Journaling for Children

Nature Journaling for Children - Spring 2013

Children ages 8 and up are welcome to join us for a morning of indoor and outdoor activity for inspiration to create a nature journal. Join horticulturist Debbie Munson, artist and teacher Holly Torrant and GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson as we take a hike to explore what’s happening in nature now that it’s spring. We’ll look for birds and signs of other animals, as well as plants that are emerging. If we have the opportunity, we’ll explore some puddles, too.
We’ll sketch outside as weather permits and then come inside for snack and learn about drawing and writing techniques that will make the journals unique. Children who attended the winter session, please bring your journals; new children will receive one. Art supplies are provided; the journals are yours to take home and continue to use. This will take place at the Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village CT from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Fee is $10 per student. Pre-registration and pre-payment required;
Registration deadline is Fri., April 12.
Contact jean@greatmountainforest.org for a registration form.
Click here for more information Journaling Workshop flyer spring 2013

This event took place on April 17, 2013.


Forest Lyceum

The New England Cottontail Initiative in Connecticut

Please join us at the Douglas Library in North Canaan to hear DEEP Wildlife Biologist Judy Wilson speak on New England cottontails who were once abundant, but are now being considered for protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Largely due to dwindling habitat (brushy fields and young forests at least 10 acres in extent) this species range has been reduced by more than 80 percent. Learn about the collaborative efforts underway in Connecticut to prevent listing and how interested landowners can become involved in helping with this effort. Reception 4:00 p.m., lecture begins promptly at 4:30. Douglas Library, 108 Main St., North Canaan. Seating is limited and reservations are required; contact the library at (860)824-7863 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org
Click here for more information. Eng cottontail flyer

This event took place on April 13, 2013.


Forest Lyceum

Olana on a Timeline: Design, Art and the Environment

Mark Prezorski, Landscape Curator of the Olana Partnership in Hudson, NY will speak about Olana, Frederic Church’s Hudson River estate. Church, a key figure of the Hudson River School, is well known as a landscape painter, but his legacy transcends painting. As a conservationist involved with early wilderness and park ideas, Church created a three dimensional naturalistic landscape called Olana, which today serves as a focal point for preservation and protection of scenic vistas in the Hudson Valley.

This event took place on March 30, 2013.


Lecture Series

How Two Worlds Met: How the Fur Trade Shaped the Forests, People and History of North America

Dr. Paul K. Barten, Executive Director of the Great Mountain Forest, presented a series of three lectures this spring at the Norfolk Library. On April 10 and 17, “When Two Worlds Met: How the Fur Trade Shaped the Forests, People and History of North America” was the topic. This was followed by “Learning from the James Bay Cree” on June 12. Dr. Barten spent two weeks with the Cree in northern Quebec this past winter.

This event took place on March 30, 2013.


The Forest Lyceum

The Forest Lyceum 2013

Our 2013 Forest Lyceum series of lectures and book talks is scheduled for January through June 2013. There are seven lectures scheduled at our three participating libraries: Norfolk Library, Douglas Library (Canaan) and Hunt Library (Falls Village). See the attached schedule for details, and make your reservations. We are looking forward to having you join us in 2013!
Forest Lyceum Schedule 2013

This event took place on March 02, 2013.


Forest Lyceum

George Perkins Marsh: Pioneer Conservationist

Tim Maguire of the National Park Service, Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont will be speaking at the Norfolk Library on George Perkins Marsh, an American naturalist, lawyer, diplomat and businessman whose ecological insights brought awareness to humankind’s impact on the earth. Marsh left a lasting legacy with his book Man and Nature, published in 1864 (with the added subtitle of “Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action” in subsequent editions). The book was a product of his extraordinary life and is filled with astute observations of nature and cultures from around the world. This presentation will highlight his life and multidimensional career that led him on his world renowned journey, and, ultimately to the book that has been aptly called “the fountainhead of the conservation movement.”
Reception 4:00 p.m., lecture 4:30.
To reserve seats, please call the library at (860)542-5075 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on March 02, 2013.


Nature Journaling for Children

Children ages 8 and up are welcome to join us for a morning (9:00 a.m to noon) of indoor and outdoor activity for inspiration to create a nature journal. Join horticulturist Debbie Munson, artist and teacher Holly Torrant and GMF Program Coordinator Jean Bronson as we wander through trees, ramble along a stream and hop over stone walls. We’ll look for animal tracks, catch a glimpse of some birds and maybe some other wildlife, too. Along the way, we’ll learn some basic tree, plant and animal identification. We’ll sketch outside as weather permits and then come inside for some hot cocoa and learn about drawing and writing techniques that will make your journal unique to you. Journals and art supplies are provided; the journal is yours to keep as you continue to fill it up.
Location: GMF’s Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center, 200 Canaan Mountain Rd., Falls Village CT
Fee: $10 per student
To register, contact jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on February 18, 2013.


The Forest Lyceum

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Deep Traveler Explores Connecticut

Book talk and signing by essayist, poet and lecturer David K. Leff at the D.M. Hunt Library, 63 Main St., Falls Village CT. In the course of the mundane routines of life, we encounter a variety of landscapes and objects, either ignoring them or looking without interest at what appears to be just a tree, stone, anonymous building or dirt road. But the “deep traveler”, according to Hartford Courant essayist David K. Leff, doesn’t make this mistake. Instead, the commonplace elements become the most important. By learning to see the magic in the mundane, we not only enrich daily life with a sense of place, we are more likely to protect and make those places better.
Books will be available for purchase.
Reception at 4:00 p.m., book talk begins promptly at 4:30. Reservations required. Please call the D. M. Hunt Library at (860)824-7424 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org to reserve seats.

This event took place on February 02, 2013.


Fly Tying Workshop

Great Mountain Forest will host a Fly Tying Workshop taught by Doug McDevitt of Norfolk. Doug is an experienced fly fisherman and fly tyer and he will teach the beginner and experienced fly fisherman the basics of fly tying patterns that are successful in northwest Connecticut streams and rivers. He has taught fly tying for the American Museum of Fly Fishing Tour and for local libraries and organizations throughout Connecticut.
This workshop is from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village in the barn behind our administrative offices.
All materials provided. Workshop fee is $30 per person.
Pre-registration is required; contact jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on January 19, 2013.


Winter trees
The Forest Lyceum

The Forest Lyceum 2013

Our 2013 Forest Lyceum series of lectures and book talks is scheduled for January through June 2013. There are seven lectures scheduled at our three participating libraries: Norfolk Library, Douglas Library (Canaan) and Hunt Library (Falls Village). See the attached schedule for details, and make your reservations. We are looking forward to having you join us in 2013!
Forest Lyceum Schedule 2013

This event took place on January 12, 2013.


Hunting Season in Progress at GMF

Shotgun/rifle hunting season for white tail deer has ended. As in the past, a limited number of hunters are hunting at GMF during muzzleloader season from Dec. 5 thru Dec. 31.
For your safety:
Hike on forest roads only.
Wear blaze orange clothing.
Keep your dogs on a leash.
Hunting is a long standing tradition at GMF and a necessary part of the forest management. Hunters serve as monitors of the wildlife population, and they keep a daily log of all their sightings which aids in monitoring wildlife population densities.
Thank you for your cooperation.

This event took place on December 01, 2012.


Wreath Workshops

Our wreath workshops were held the weekend of Dec. 1 & 2, 2012. Over 80 people joined us and made beautiful wreaths! This year’s workshops were held in a new location – the barn behind our new administrative offices at 200 Canaan Mountain Road in Falls Village. We had our usual collection of materials on hand – greens, cones, birch bark, bows, etc. – to make festive wreaths, along with carols, hot chocolate and cookies. This has become a tradition for many of our GMF friends, and it’s a great way to start the holiday season. Thanks to volunteers Wayne and Wendy Jenkins for all their help with this workshop!
More photos

This event took place on October 18, 2012.


Kellogg School Field Trip

Students from Lee H. Kellogg School (Falls Village) grades 5, 6 and 7 came to GMF for a field trip on Oct. 18, 2012 with art teacher Chris Hanley and language arts teacher Paula Rogers. In art class, students have been studying artist Andy Goldsworthy, a sculptor who uses natural materials. The Kellogg students made sculptures using twigs, rocks, ferns, pine needles, flowers, berries, etc. in Goldsworthy’s style. In language arts class, students have been studying nature poetry and epitaph writing. They spent time in a nearby cemetery writing nature poetry and epitaphs. It was a beautiful day and an excellent experience for the students!
Click here for more photos

This event took place on October 18, 2012.


A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest

A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest Read Executive Director Paul Barten’s speech “A New Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest” presented at the Norfolk Country Club on Aug. 23, 2012. He spoke about how GMF was established, how it evolved, and how these events and people inform a new century of management, research, education, and service centered on this unique community forest.

This event took place on October 13, 2012.


Forest, Fur & Feathers: A Housatonic Heritage Walk

GMF’s Executive Director Paul Barten led a hike from Great Mountain Forest’s west entrance to McMullen Pond in the center of the forest on Sat., Oct. 13. Hikers learned about forest management, wildlife habitat and the forest’s charcoal history. Everyone had a picnic lunch at McMullen Pond while enjoying the lovely view. This hike was part of Housatonic Heritage’s 11th Annual Heritage Walks Program.
Click here for photos of the hike.

This event took place on September 22, 2012.


Open Forest Day guests enjoying lunch on the porch
Open Forest Day

Open Forest Day 2012

Open Forest Day, our annual donor and volunteer thank-you day, was held on Sept. 22 at the Yale Forestry Camp. Guests were greeted with coffee, cider and muffins, then families with kids gathered at the Hiking Stick Workshop taught by Tom and Darlene Stansfield, while adults attended lectures in the tent. This year’s speakers were GMF’s Executive Director and UMass Professor Dr. Paul Barten speaking on “How Forests Influence the Flow of Energy and Water” and GMF Board Member and Yale Professor Dr. Xuhui Lee speaking on “Effects of Deforestation on Energy Exchange and Near-Surface Climate.” After a delicious lunch catered by Wood Creek Bar and Grill, door prizes were awarded and guests had a choice of afternoon activities:

  • A Tour of the GMF Weather Station with Russell Russ
  • Sugarbush Silviculture with Jody Bronson
  • Tamarack Pond Trail hike with Jess Wikle
  • Geology and Forest Ecology hike with Star Childs
  • An Informal Open House at the future Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center with Paul Barten
  • A screening of the film “Green Fire” at the camp.

The weather cooperated and it was a terrific day!

To see more photos, click on this link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greatmountainforest/sets/72157631607457302/

Thanks to all our sponsors:

Harney & Sons Fine Teas
Murtha Cullina
The Forestland Group
W.B. Dobbins Wealth Management
Garside Group, LLC
National Iron Bank
A.B. Bazzano Fuels
Action Signs
Betsy Little Real Estate
Consolini & Tonan Landscape Design
Elyse Harney Real Estate
Ginger Creek Nursery
George’s Norfolk Garage
Hawley Morton Productions
Johnston Construction
Ledgebrook Spirit Shop/State Line Wine & Spirits
Louis E. Allyn & Sons
Nature’s Own Tree Specialists
Village Wine Imports
W.F. Torrant Co.
Berkshire Springs

This event took place on September 20, 2012.


Tamarack Trail
Tamarack Trail

Tamarack Trail

Tamarack Trail has been completed with a kiosk, benches and interpretive signs. This 3/4 mile trail is just inside the east gate (Windrow Rd., Norfolk) and is short enough for children and anyone who wants a brief walk in the woods. Come hike the trail, learn about the forest from the interpretive signs and take a rest with a view of the pond on one of the Leopold benches along the way. Trail markers, interpretive signs, the kiosk and trail brochures were made possible through a generous grant from Housatonic Heritage.

This event took place on September 11, 2012.


New GMF Administrative Offices
GMF NEWS

New Administrative Offices

GMF has recently opened new administrative offices at 200 Canaan Mountain Road in Falls Village, Connecticut. Executive Director Paul Barten and Business Manager/Program Coordinator Jean Bronson can be reached there at (860) 824-8188. Our forestry offices are still located at 201 Windrow Road, Norfolk, Connecticut. Foresters Jody Bronson and Russell Russ can be reached there at (860) 542-5422.

This event took place on September 10, 2012.


Newsletters

Summer 2012 Newsletter

Read our summer 2012 newsletter for a summary of our yearly events and activities at GMF.

This event took place on August 18, 2012.


Green Fire
Green Fire

Green Fire

The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land. This film will be shown at Doolittle Lake Club, 528 Doolittle Drive, Norfolk. Dr. Paul Barten, Executive Director of Great Mountain Forest will introduce the film. Open to the public.

This event took place on July 28, 2012.


Watercolor and Poetry Workshop

A Nature Workshop with Watercolor and Words

Children ages 8 and up are invited to spend a morning in a beautiful outdoor setting and learn to combine artwork and writing. In this workshop, teacher and artist Holly Torrant will teach some basic watercolor techniques including a wash, wet in wet, and dry brush. Then students will apply simple poetry (such as Haiku) to their paintings.
This workshop will be held at McMullen Pond. In case of rain, we will change the location to 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village (our future Ted and Elisabeth Childs Center).
Parents must provide transportation, and are welcome to bring a camp chair and read or take a walk.
Fee is $10 per student, $20 per family. To register, please contact jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on July 14, 2012.


Shaker Tree of Life
Forest Lyceum

The Shakers: Forest Conservation, Green Design, Sustainable Agriculture....200 Years Ago

Almost everyone recognizes Shaker furniture and folk art but not many people appreciate the lasting influence of this comparatively small group of people (6,000 members in 19 communities at their peak in 1840) on American life. This lecture and slide presentation by Dr. Paul Barten, Executive Director of Great Mountain Forest, will highlight the Shakers’ remarkable ingenuity and legacy and offer some observations about how we could more deliberately adopt the “sustainability” principles and practices they employed so successfully …two centuries ago. This event will be held at the Norfolk Library, reception at 7:00 p.m., lecture begins at 7:30. Reservations are required; contact jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075. If you missed this lecture at the Douglas Library in February, please join us this time.

This event took place on June 23, 2012.


Hiking Stick Workshop

Hiking Stick Workshop

GMF friend and Boy Scout leader Tom Stansfield of Troop 35 in Goshen, along with GMF Forest Manager Jody Bronson will teach a hiking stick workshop on June 23. Participants will learn to identify striped maple and how to strip the bark, attach a wrist strap and personalize their own stick with several different methods: wood burning, carving, and various coloring techniques.

This workshop is for adults and children ages 10 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. It will be the first workshop to take place at Great Mountain Forest’s future “Edward and Elisabeth Childs Center”
Location: 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village.

All materials provided. Suggested donation is $10 per person, $20 per family. Pre-registration is required; contact jean@greatmountainforest.org

This event took place on June 09, 2012.


Green Fire
The Forest Lyceum

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time

The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.
This film will be shown at the Norfolk Library at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required; please email jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075. If you missed seeing this film in October, here’s another opportunity, so please join us.

This event took place on May 12, 2012.


Stone by Stone: A Magnificent History of New  England's Stone Walls
The Forest Lyceum

Stone by Stone: The Magnificent History of New England's Stone Walls

“There once may have been 250,000 miles of stone walls in America’s northeast, stretching farther than the distance to the moon. Even though most of them are crumbling today, they contain a magnificent scientific and cultural story.” (Thorson)
UCONN Professor Robert Thorson will discuss his book Stone by Stone: A Magnificent History of New England’s Stone Walls. Books will be available for purchase. This lecture will be held at the Norfolk Library, reception at 4:00 p.m., presentation at 4:30. Reservations are required; please email jean@greatmountainforest.org or call the library at (860)542-5075.

This event took place on April 21, 2012.


Scarlet tanager-by Ed Gaillard
Forest Lyceum

Forests for the Birds

Habitat Needs and Management Options for Migratory Songbirds and Management Implications presented by Scott Heth, Connecticut Audubon, Sharon. Focusing on a representative suite of forest-obligate birds of conservation concern, this lecture will compare and contrast different habitat needs for breeding and foraging in a forested landscape. Forest management techniques that can be used to enhance songbird habitat will also be discussed. This lecture will be held at the Hunt Library, Falls Village, CT, reception at 4:00 p.m. and presentation beginning at 4:30 p.m. Reservations are required; please email jean@greatmountainforest.og or call the library at (860)824-7424.

This event took place on March 12, 2012.


Collecting sap
FIELD TRIPS

Botelle School Visits Sugar house

Botelle Elementary School came for a field trip to the sugar house with 1st, 3rd and 6th grades. All the students helped empty sap buckets and pour sap into the tank on the back of the tractor. Inside the sugar house, they learned about the evaporation process. They tasted sap and syrup, and learned about the history of maple syruping. They took part in a “sap to syrup” relay to learn that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. They were lucky to have a beautiful warm day for their trip!

This event took place on March 11, 2012.


Norfolk Congregational Church Senior Youth Group
Field Trips

Norfolk Congregational Church Senior Youth Group Visits Sugar House

The Norfolk Congregational Church Senior Youth Group visited the sugar house to see how maple syrup is made. They helped to empty all the sap buckets, and learned about the evaporation process. Afterward, they had maple sundaes out on the picnic tables. It was a beautiful warm day, so they took a hike with GMF Board President Star Childs before heading home.

This event took place on March 10, 2012.


Gray wolf
The Forest Lyceum

Wolves?...in New England?

Dr. Todd K. Fuller, professor at the Department of Environmental Conservation, UMASS Amherst, and his graduate students and post-doctoral associates have studied the life history, distribution and density of mammals throughout the world. Some of his earliest and most influential work centered on the gray wolf (Canis lupus). This lecture will explore the challenges and opportunities for this species in our region. Norfolk Library, reception 4 p.m., presentation 4:30.

This event took place on March 09, 2012.


Douglas Library story hour group enjoys maple sundaes
Field Trips

Douglas Library Story Hour Group Visits Sugar House

The Douglas Library story hour group visited the sugar house to see how maple syrup is made. Fifteen children and their parents helped empty sap buckets while exploring frozen sap droplets, mud puddles, rocks and streams. They returned to the sugar house to see the sap get pumped into the gravity fed tank and followed the pipe inside to the evaporator. They all enjoyed the sweet maple smell as they learned about the evaporation process. Afterward, they had lunch on the picnic tables outside and enjoyed maple sundaes – vanilla ice cream with warm maple syrup. One girl’s comment: “This is just like heaven!”

This event took place on February 11, 2012.


Shaker Tree of Life
The Forest Lyceum

The Shakers: Forest Conservation, Green Design, Sustainable Agriculture.....200 Years Ago

Almost everyone recognizes Shaker furniture and folk art (…like the “gift drawings” by Sister Hannah Cohoon shown above) but not many people appreciate the lasting influence of this comparatively small group of people (6,000 members in 19 communities at their peak in 1840) on American life. This lecture and slide presentation will highlight their remarkable ingenuity and legacy and offer some observations about how we could more deliberately adopt the “sustainability” principles and practices they employed so successfully …two centuries ago. Presentation by Dr. Paul K. Barten, Executive Director, Great Mountain Forest, and Professor of Forest Resources, UMASS Amherst. Douglas Library, 4 p.m. reception, 4:30 presentation. Repeated Feb. 18.

This event took place on January 14, 2012.


Beaver
The Forest Lyceum

The Most Interesting Animal Today Extant: The Life and Habits of the North American Beaver

Dr. Stephen DeStefano, Leader, U.S. Geological Survery, Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Research Professor, University of Massachusetts Amerherst, will discuss this fascinating animal and the many ways it has shaped – and will continue to shape – our forests, wetlands, history and culture. Norfolk Library, 4 p.m. reception, 4:30 presentation.

This event took place on January 13, 2012.


Resilient Forests
The Forest Lyceum

Resilient Forests in a Rapidly Changing World

Dr. Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York will present a lecture at the Norfolk Library on Sat., Jan. 12, 2013. Built on over 20 years of research at Great Mountain Forest, this presentation will highlight the resilience of northeastern forests in the face of the broad spectrum of human impacts, including climate change, invasive species and air pollution. Dr. Canham is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Great Mountain Forest.
Reception is at 4:00 p.m.; lecture begins promptly at 4:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Call the Norfolk Library at (860)542-5075 or email jean@greatmountainforest.org.

This event took place on January 12, 2012.


Liane and Mark Burke

Liane and Mark Burke Honored as Volunteers of the Year

Liane and Mark Burke were honored as GMF Volunteers of the Year at the recent GMF hunter’s dinner at the Coon Club. Liane and Mark made and donated a black cherry display stand for the Frank Arrigoni canoe that was raffled in June 2011, and a custom Great Mountain Forest sign for the Shelter on Golf Drive. They were awarded a Hudson Bay presentation axe by Forest Manager Jody Bronson.

This event took place on December 03, 2011.


Wreaths
Workshops

Wreath Workshops

Get in the Christmas spirit as you create a beautiful wreath with GMF greens, berries, pine and spruce cones, laurel, birch bark, etc. This is our most popular workshop – sign up early so you don’t miss it!

This event took place on October 22, 2011.


Orienteering group shot
Workshops

Orienteering

Joe Brien of Lost Art Workshops taught 20 adults how to navigate through the woods with a map and compass. Trails were set in the vicinity of the forestry barn and Tamarack Pond. It was a success – everyone found their way back!

View photos of this event

This event took place on October 19, 2011.


Green Fire
Films

Green Fire

The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land. This film was shown at the Norfolk Library. Leopold biographer Dr. Curt Meine and film producers Ann and Steve Dunsky were present for a question and answer period following the film. “ Read an intro to the film by our own Dr. Paul K. Barten.

This event took place on October 01, 2011.


Open Forest Day 2011

Open Forest Day

Our annual Open Forest Day was held at the Yale Forestry Camp featuring the theme of forest fire. Speakers included GMF’s Executive Director Dr. Paul Barten on “Forest Ecosystems and Wildfire” and Dr. David King of the U.S. Forest Service and UMASS Amherst on “The Birds and the Bees…in Fire Dependent Ecosystems”. An update on GMF activities was followed by a delicious lunch and a drawing for door prizes. Afternoon field sessions included an introduction to the Game of Logging by Bill Girard, Fire Suppression Tactics by Ralph Scarpino and Rich Schenk of the Connecticut Wildland Fire Fighters, Birding with David King and a hike to the fire tower with Paul Barten. Joe Brien’s Survival Bracelet and Fire by Friction workshops kept all the kids interested. In spite of the cold and rain, there was still a good crowd, kept happy with plenty of hot coffee, chili and roaring fireplace fires.

This event took place on September 20, 2011.


Filtering pond water
Forest Skills Workshops for Families

Survival Skills 1: Water and Shelter

Learn how to protect your body from the elements, to build a fort for an emergency shelter and to locate, carry and purify water. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Please bring folding chairs, sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks. Instructor: Joe Brien of Lost Art Workshops.

View photos of this event

This event took place on July 16, 2011.


Fishing lures
Forest Skills Workshops

Fishing Lure Workshop

Hand carve and paint your own custom-designed bass plug (floating lure) that you can fish with. All tools and materials provided. Please bring your own fishing gear to use in the pond, especially favorite lures and plugs to show and tell. Taught by Joe Brien of Lost Art Workshops.

View photos of this event

This event took place on March 25, 2011.


Mother Nature's Child
Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association

Mother Nature's Child Film and Discussion

On Friday, March 25th 2011 at the Douglas Library in North Canaan, GMF co-sponsored a film viewing of Mother Nature’s Child. This film, presented by the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association, explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development. It discusses why children need unstructured play time outside, the place of risk taking in healthy child development, play as a form of learning and educating the “whole” child.

View the Mother Nature’s Child movie trailer

This event took place on March 14, 2011.


Coyote at the Kitchen Door
Forest Lyceum

Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia

On Saturday, March 19 author Stephen DeStefano discussed his book Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia. An enthusiastic crowd attended this lecture at the Norfolk Library, enjoying DeStefano’s talk and photographs.

This event took place on May 22, 2010.


Completed bat boxes
Lost Art Workshops

Bat Box Building Workshop

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, a bat box building workshop was held at the Shelter on Golf Drive. Joe Brien of Lost Art Workshops instructed a group of children and adults in construction techniques using hand tools. By the end of the day, everyone had a completed bat box to take home, all hoping to help this important species in its struggle to survive.

View photos of this event

This event took place on April 10, 2010.