Events

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Thursday, April 15, 5:30PM via Zoom. In honor of Earth Day, join the Norwalk Historical Society for “Conservation Norwalk: A Present Day History.”

Register here. 

This panel discussion will include guest presenters from Norwalk’s leading conservation organizations including the Norwalk Land Trust, Norwalk River Valley Trail, Norwalk River Watershed Association, Norwalk Tree Alliance and Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee. Discover each organization’s history in preserving land and open space in Norwalk, as well as their past, current, and future endeavors. The discussion will conclude with a Q & A moderated by Norwalk Historical Society Executive Director, Diane Jellerette.

Thursday, April 22, 7-8:30PM. Designing Biodiversity at McKeon Farm: Meadows and Hedgerows as Opportunities for Pollinators. REGISTER HERE. For the past year, the Ridgefield Conservation Commission and NRWA have worked in close collaboration with landscape designer Evan Abramson, Principal of Landscape Interactions, to transform McKeon Farm in Ridgefield, CT into a regional biodiversity hotspot for pollinator species. Join Abramson, Pollinator Systems Designer, and Ridgefield Conservation Commissioner and NRWA board member, Kitsey Snow for an in-depth exploration of the landscape design process at McKeon Farm. This program is presented by Ridgefield Library, The Norwalk River Watershed Association, and the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway Series.

Gardeners, farmers, landscape designers, conservation organizations, and local governments all play a vital role in strengthening, expanding and enhancing regional biodiversity, ecological health, and climate change resilience. On conservation properties, residential landscapes, farms, roadsides, schools, and solar projects, functionally diverse native pollinator habitats can serve as building blocks for linking intact natural areas across a fragmented landscape.

But what to plant, when to mow, where to focus on first and how to measure the results? Abramson of Landscape Interactions will present on methods and practices that lead to successful pollinator projects.

 

Nature-Centered Gardening Series co-hosted with Norwalk Library

Thursday, April 22. 12-1:30PM. Looking at Wildlife in the Early Spring! Nesting, Food, and Cover with Wildlife Biologist Peter Picone. Live on Zoom! Register here. Come learn about some interesting wildlife phenomena that occurs in the spring! Mr. Peter Picone, Wildlife Biologist with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), is going to share his insights on wildlife in our surroundings, and show us what we can do to create and enhance habitat in and around our gardens and yards for the spring and early summer! Peter has been working in the field of wildlife habitat enhancement for over 30 years. Questions? Email: snacker@norwalkpl.org

Saturday, May 15, 10AM-1PM. Trees for Bees! Volunteer Tree Planting Event. Oyster Shell Park, Norwalk. Join us to help plant trees and shrubs along the Norwalk River.  Bring shovel, water bottle, work gloves.  We will wear masks and social distance. Meet at the park near Ann Street on North Water, down from the Aquarium.

Thank you to KJ Tree for grant funding that is making this project possible.  KJ Tree and One Tree Planted, together, are funding the planting of over 3000 trees and shrubs in 6 of our watershed towns along with Darien and Westport.  This effort is part of the Pollinator Pathway Northeast and will help restore bird and pollinator habitat as well as protect water quality in the Norwalk River and Long Island Sound.  Questions and to register, contact Info@norwalkriver.org

Wednesday, May 26th, 4:00-5:30pm. Understanding the Fascinating Life Cycle of Native Plants with Heather McCargo. In this presentation, Heather McCargo, founder and Executive Director of the Maine Wild Seed Project, showcases the fascinating reproductive lifecycles of different plants native to New England, and explains how we can change our landscaping practices to support wild plants, their pollinators, and other wildlife. She will describe simple outdoor seed sowing methods that anyone can do to help increase native plant populations. This practice is a great way to protect the genetic diversity of our native flora and produces an abundance of plants inexpensively. Be part of a grassroots movement to sow native seeds!

Wild Seed Project is a Maine-based nonprofit organization that works to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaptation in the face of climate change, safeguard wildlife habitat, and create pollination and migration corridors for insects and birds. This organization sells seeds of locally-grown native plants and educates the public on seed sowing so that a wide range of citizens can participate in increasing native plant populations. Visit the Maine Seed Project

Heather is an educator with 30 years of expertise in plant propagation, landscape design, and conservation. She was the head plant propagator at the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods during the 1990s, worked at several landscape architecture and planning firms specializing in ecological design, and has been a contributor to several research projects with USAID, the National Gardening Association, and MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Horticulture and American Nurseryman. Locally, Heather designed the master plan for the medicinal gardens at Avena Botanicals in Rockland and was the creator and lead teacher for the Bay School’s Agricultural Arts program. Heather has a B.A. in plant ecology from Hampshire College, and a M.A. from the Conway School of Landscape Design.

This program is part of the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway series and is presented by the Ridgefield Library, Norwalk River Watershed Association and Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway.

This program is part of the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway Series and is presented by the Ridgefield Library, NRWA, and the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway.

Tuesday, June 8, 6-7PM. Restoring Wild: A Panel Discussion. Register here. Join us for this presentation and panel discussion with Mark Fowler, Grace Farms Nature Initiative Director, and Penn Marchael, Land Manager, that will be moderated by Louise Washer, President of the Norwalk River Watershed Association. This program will focus on the big picture comeback story of the resilience of forests and woodlands in New England. This presentation will also focus on native pollinator-friendly pesticide-free plants as the solution to “restoring wild” in our own communities. 

 

At first glance, suburbia may look sanitized and neatly ordered by man, but Mother Nature quickly adapts and learns how to thrive again. Today, in much of the Northeast, nature has reclaimed forests which had nearly been completely cut down, and wildlife has followed. Animals, which had nearly disappeared by the early 20th century are now found all over suburban areas, and are even found in urban parts of New York City. 

This incredible comeback story of resilience of nature in suburban areas requires us to re-frame what “wild” means in our modern world in order to value – and care for – the incredible wild lands that exist in our own yards.

Wednesdays & Saturdays 10-11:30AM. Restoring the Gardens & Riverbank at Oyster Shell Park. Volunteers Needed for safe, outdoor, socially distanced, masked habitat restoration work for birds and pollinators! Join us along the Pollinator Pathway and the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Norwalk to help restore the riverbank and the gardens at Oyster Shell Park. Learn how to identify invasive plants and also the beautiful natives that support our native pollinators. Bring gloves, clippers, and a spade or shovel if possible. Meet at the playground on North Water Street near the intersection with Anne Street, between the Aquarium and the new mall. Make sure to register so we can notify you in case of cancellations. To register email Nancy at theperennialgardener@gmail.com.

Volunteers Needed for Masked, Socially Distanced, Outdoor Project
The Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway is working on a 3-year meadow restoration project at town-owned McKeon Farm. Contact us at info@pollinator-pathway.org to join!
NRWA programs highlight the importance and features of the river and its watershed and ways people collectively and individually can improve the region. Programs are free, unless specified, but space may be limited; reservations are suggested. Call the leader listed or NRWA toll free at 877-NRWA-INFO (877-679-2463) for information, directions, and reservations. Hikers should always wear hiking shoes and bring water.