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Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut

Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut Connecticut's Innovative Leader in Environmental Learning. ELCCT is comprised of the Indian Rock Nature Preserve, the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center & 10 sanctuaries in Bristol, Burlington and Southington, CT.

Operating as usual

ELCCT is now accepting applications for our open Sustainable Garden Intern position.This is a PAID position. Approximate...
03/28/2022

ELCCT is now accepting applications for our open Sustainable Garden Intern position.

This is a PAID position. Approximately 20 hours a week, May - August. School credit must be coordinate by the college advisor.

If you enjoy working with your hands, getting out into the sun and soil, and learning about how to grow fresh, beautiful produce, then this could be a great fit for you.

The Gardening for Good intern will gain:

👉Experience with small scale, sustainable and eco-friendly vegetable growing techniques
👉Opportunity to make connections with environmental professionals
👉Management and leadership experience working with diverse populations and a variety of ages
👉Independent planning and ex*****on of specific tasks under the guidance of the ELCCT staff

Visit https://elcct.org/facilities/internships/ for a complete description of the position.

Interested applicants should email or mail a cover letter, resume, and two letters of reference to Lauren Prior by April 30th.
[email protected]
Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc.
501 Wolcott Road
Bristol, CT 06010

ELCCT's annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser is coming up fast! When ➡️ Saturday, March 12th, 8AM to 12PM.Where ➡️ Indian...
03/04/2022

ELCCT's annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser is coming up fast!
When ➡️ Saturday, March 12th, 8AM to 12PM.
Where ➡️ Indian Rock Nature Preserve, 501 Wolcott Road, Bristol
How ➡️ Register online following this link - https://elcctpublic.campbrainregistration.com/

Adult and Child-size “To Go” breakfasts include: Pancakes, bacon or sausage patties, and beverage. Pancake flavor options: Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip or Plain. Beverage options: Coffee, Decaf Coffee, Milk, or OJ. Pure maple syrup included with each order PLUS a special “thank you” treat!

Pre-Registration is required. Your breakfast is scheduled as a pick-up, but we do have limited indoor seating.

Before breakfast you can stop by our Maple Sugar Shack to experience how we make our syrup compared to methods of days past.

03/02/2022
We'll be at Lyman's Orchard this Sunday, starting at 9am! Stop by to learn how maple syrup is made from our locally coll...
02/24/2022

We'll be at Lyman's Orchard this Sunday, starting at 9am! Stop by to learn how maple syrup is made from our locally collected sap, purchase a bottle of ELCCT Maple Syrup, and grab a great breakfast at the Pub and Grill.

Make your reservations now for our Maple🍁Sugaring and Pancake Breakfast Party with Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut! They will be at the 1741pubandgrill this Sunday from 9am - 1pm doing demonstrations on how to tap a tree and the tradition of maple sugaring! Then come inside for a delicious pancake menu!🥞
Call 860-349-6033 to make your reservation. Can't make it on February 27th? There will be another chance to come on March 6th!

01/11/2022

With the high rise in COVID numbers and our strive to keep staff and visitors safe, The Harry C. Barnes Nature Center has closed for the winter.
We will see you all in the Spring! Thank you for understanding!

Christmas is next week! Still looking for that last minute gift? Shop local, the Barnes Nature Center gift shop has  Nat...
12/16/2021

Christmas is next week! Still looking for that last minute gift?
Shop local, the Barnes Nature Center gift shop has Nature themed puzzles and games, great selection of books, gift sets, and our very own Maple Syrup made at Indian Rock.
Members take 20% off and non-members 10% off all giftshop items, this weekend only.

12/11/2021

**ATTENTION** SANTAS WALKING WONDERLAND at Indian Rock, has been CANCELED for tonight (Saturday (12/11) due to the rain.
TOMORROWS Walking Wonderland (Sunday (12/12) is STILL ON!
We have added a 4pm and 7pm time slot to tomorrow’s reservations.

If you HAVE reservations for Today and have not received a call from us giving you the option to reschedule for tomorrow or get a refund please call our office at (860)583-1234

12/11/2021
**SANTAS WALKING WONDERLAND!**Santa, Mrs. Claus and their favorite elf Kevin have arrived at Indian Rock again! They wil...
12/09/2021

**SANTAS WALKING WONDERLAND!**
Santa, Mrs. Claus and their favorite elf Kevin have arrived at Indian Rock again!
They will be here tonight through Sunday, you must pre-register, so reserve your spot now at www.ELCCT.org.
Spaces are filling up quick. Don’t miss your chance to meet and talk to Santa!

Right after a fresh snowfall is an excellent time to practice your tracking identification skills! Indian Rock Nature Pr...
12/09/2021

Right after a fresh snowfall is an excellent time to practice your tracking identification skills! Indian Rock Nature Preserve is covered with visible tracks.

Think you can ID the tracks below?

When going animal tracking, remember to bring your camera (if desired!), a ruler for scale, and an applicable guide. Check out our video below for more tips and tricks to identifying animal tracks in the snow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J0dGdaYPt4&ab_channel=EnvironmentalLearningCentersofConnecticut

Today and next week only!
12/04/2021

Today and next week only!

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO INDIAN ROCK?Santa’s Walking Wonderland!Friday, December 3rd from 5:30-7:30pmSaturday, December 4th...
11/28/2021

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO INDIAN ROCK?
Santa’s Walking Wonderland!

Friday, December 3rd from 5:30-7:30pm
Saturday, December 4th from 4:30-7:30pm
Thursday, December 9th from 5:30-7:00pm
Friday, December 10th from 5:30-7:30pm
Saturday, December 11th from 4:30-7:30pm
Sunday, December 12th from 4:30-7:00pm

Admission is $8 per person (12 months & under Free)
*BY RESERVATION ONLY

Location:
Indian Rock Nature Preserve
501 Wolcott Rd., Bristol, CT, 06010

Enjoy a visit with Santa, caroling, smores (extra fee), hot chocolate and a cookie while strolling around the farm all lit up for Christmas. Each family will have a chance to talk to Santa. Be sure to bring your own camera to capture the magic as no photographer will be on-site.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Environmental Learning Centers of CT’s education programs at Indian Rock Nature Preserve and Barnes Nature Center.

All reservations are non-refundable and non-transferable. In the event of severe weather, we reserve the right to cancel. Updates will be made on our website and on our page. In the event that we must cancel for severe weather, reservation holders will be able to change their reservation date if space allows or receive a refund.

To register for this event, please visit this website: http://elcctpublic.campbrainregistration.com

Some of the local residents living here on the Indian Rock Nature Preserve!
11/23/2021

Some of the local residents living here on the Indian Rock Nature Preserve!

Thanks to the Kids in the Middle group that came out to help clean up Joyce's Garden in front of the Education Center at...
11/19/2021

Thanks to the Kids in the Middle group that came out to help clean up Joyce's Garden in front of the Education Center at Indian Rock Nature Preserve yesterday. You did a great job, ladies!

Did you know you can rent the facilities at the Indian Rock Nature Preserve? Options include select rooms or the whole p...
11/02/2021

Did you know you can rent the facilities at the Indian Rock Nature Preserve? Options include select rooms or the whole preserve! Give Lauren a call at 860-583-1234 x 106 for more information and to schedule a tour.

Record crowd today at the Fall Family Festival! Thank you to all that came out to make such a fun day. Special shout out...
10/17/2021

Record crowd today at the Fall Family Festival! Thank you to all that came out to make such a fun day. Special shout out to all of our volunteers who make these events possible!

Fall Family Festival is THIS SUNDAY at Indian Rock Nature Preserve! $20.00 per Carload includes:HAYRIDES, PUMPKIN PATCH,...
10/05/2021

Fall Family Festival is THIS SUNDAY at Indian Rock Nature Preserve! $20.00 per Carload includes:
HAYRIDES, PUMPKIN PATCH, FARM ANIMALS, LAWN GAMES, FACE PAINTING. APPLE CIDER MAKING, APPLE PICKING, COLONIAL DEMOS, FOOD & DRINK FOR SALE, A VISIT TO OUR NATIVE AMERICAN WIGWAMS AND SHOP CRAFT VENDORS!

The Shangri-La Nature Preserve consists of 12.4 acres on Willis Street in Bristol, adjacent to the Eversource powerline ...
09/27/2021

The Shangri-La Nature Preserve consists of 12.4 acres on Willis Street in Bristol, adjacent to the Eversource powerline cut and 121 additional acres of forestland owned by ELCCT. Three years ago, 7 acres of the site were clear-cut to create young forest habitat through a grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. As a result, this property will continue to support species such as Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and Whippoorwill that are declining because of loss of shrubland habitat. The site was picked because of its proximity to the powerline cut which contains similar habitat already. This habitat management project also has additional benefits. With the competition of large trees removed, a few American Chestnut tree sprouts were given an opportunity to grow large enough to produce nuts. The American Chestnut tree was once the dominant tree in our forests. A century ago it was eradicated from our landscape by the Chestnut Blight and now typically only grows to the size of small saplings before it is overcome by the fungus. On Friday, September 24th Scott Heth, ELCCT Executive Director, Erin O'Connell, Volunteer Coordinator and Jack Swatt, President of the CT Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, hiked into the preserve to harvest burs from two producing American Chestnut trees. The burs are the spiky protecting covering of the nuts and each bur contains 3 chestnuts. These harvested nuts were taken to the American Chestnut Foundation and will be planted into a germplasm conservation orchard (GCO), which is an orchard collection of diverse wild American chestnut sources. To learn more about the American Chestnut and the work of The American Chestnut Foundation visit https://acf.org/ct/

Best Community, 2nd PlaceThank you Rob Vaughn, RBG Services And thank you to All who came out to help put this float tog...
09/26/2021

Best Community, 2nd Place
Thank you Rob Vaughn, RBG Services
And thank you to All who came out to help put this float together

A big Thank You to 3 employees of Clark Dietrich Engineering Services of Bristol, CT for volunteering in Indian Rock Nat...
09/22/2021

A big Thank You to 3 employees of Clark Dietrich Engineering Services of Bristol, CT for volunteering in Indian Rock Nature Preserves Garden for Good. This garden produces hundreds of pounds of produce that is donated to the Meals for Neighbors program. Ryan, Blake and Hart assisted with the harvest of 25 pounds of potatoes, the last of the potato harvest for the season, onions and helped clean up the garden plot. We

UPDATE: 12 Buff Orpingtons Left and ready for new homes!Looking to add to your chicken flock or start one? The farm at I...
09/09/2021

UPDATE: 12 Buff Orpingtons Left and ready for new homes!
Looking to add to your chicken flock or start one? The farm at Indian Rock has 25 adorable and friendly established chicks for sale. These breeds will lay large brown eggs, are cold-hardy and are curious, calm birds that would be a great addition to your backyard flock. Blonde colored- Buff Orpington. Black and White-Dominique.

08/27/2021
Gray Catbird

If you hear a cat-like mew coming from dense thickets you should keep your eye out for a small, grey, songbird. It's no other than the Gray Catbird. Look for a long, rounded, black tail and a narrow, straight bill - great for eating berries.

08/09/2021

UPDATE: The DEEP Wildlife Division continues to collect reports and submit samples for testing as the search for the cause of the songbird mortality event continues. Two more birds (a European starling and a chipping sparrow) were submitted to the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL) this week. Final results for the three cases submitted previously are still pending.

While we have received recent reports of dead birds, that is not necessarily unusual for this time of year. As young, inexperienced birds leave the nest, they frequently die from impacts with windows or are killed by housecats and other predators. Birds, especially fledglings, are also susceptible to known diseases like West Nile Virus and avian influenza. The birds submitted to CVMDL for testing have been consistent with symptoms of the mystery die-off reported in other states.

There has been a lot of speculation regarding what is causing this die-off. One initial thought was that the emergence of the Brood X cicadas and possible bioaccumulated toxins may have played a role since the early geographic extent of the disease was similar to the range of the cicada emergence. Expansion of the reported geographic extent of the songbird die-off and lack of detection of toxic agents to date, make this unlikely. Wildlife health labs are actively testing many hypotheses, looking for both toxins and pathogens, but have not found a causative agent. The cause of this illness remains unknown, but many typical avian illnesses have been consistently ruled out.

At this time, we do not have data to support a change in our recommendation on bird feeding. Please continue to refrain from feeding birds, including hummingbirds, and temporarily remove bird baths. Thank you for helping to keep our songbirds safe. More information is at https://today.uconn.edu/2021/08/uconn-lab-helps-track-and-manage-new-songbird-sickness/

Thank You to all that came out to support ELCCT's programs and listen to some great bands!
07/27/2021
The Bristol Press - Music returns to Indian Rock

Thank You to all that came out to support ELCCT's programs and listen to some great bands!

BRISTOL - People who came up to the Indian Rock Nature Preserve Sunday were treated to blues and j...

07/25/2021

Music on the farm is live! Wanda Houston and friends are performing under the tent at the Fuller Barnes Education building. Up next is Cajun Ray and the Steamers. Followed by Shaded Soul. Come join us, tickets sold at the door!

Music on the Farm today at Indian Rock Nature Preserve, Rain or Shine!  We are on the patio under the tent and inside th...
07/25/2021

Music on the Farm today at Indian Rock Nature Preserve, Rain or Shine! We are on the patio under the tent and inside the Fuller F. Barnes Education Center. Doors open at Noon, Music starts at 1:00pm. Ticket available at the the door 😁

Sunday, July 25th on the farm! Information and Tickets available at https://elcct.org/event/music-on-the-farm/ in advanc...
07/15/2021

Sunday, July 25th on the farm! Information and Tickets available at https://elcct.org/event/music-on-the-farm/ in advance or at the door.

The setting for the event will be on the teaching farm of the 280-acre preserve. This event is rain or shine. Please, no outside food, beverages or coolers will be allowed.

**No need to worry about the weather! After having to cancel last year’s event because of Covid, Music on the Farm is alive and well, rain or shine in 2021! In the event of rain, the event will be moved to Indian Rock’s Fuller F. Barnes Education building and the music will be held on our newly constructed covered patio which can hold upwards of 200 people. Additional tents will be set up outside the patio for even more seating. Beer and wine will be served in the beautiful Great Hall complete with indoor waterfall. Vendors will be located there as well, and our food trucks will be on site as planned.**

⁠Beer provided by Firefly Brewing and Counter Weight Brewing. Wine provided by Thirsty Owl Wine Co. Proceeds from this event will benefit Environmental Learning Centers of CT (Indian Rock Nature Preserve and Barnes Nature Center).

Proceeds from this event will benefit Environmental Learning Centers of CT (Indian Rock Nature Preserve and Barnes Nature Center).

Address

501 Wolcott Road
Bristol, CT
06010

General information

The Indian Rock Nature Preserve, located at 501 Wolcott Road in Bristol, Connecticut, is ELCCT’s environmental education facility. With 280-acres of varied habitat, a lake, streams and miles of nature trails, this is where the majority of the school programs are taught and is the home of the famous Indian Rock Summer Camp. Indian Rock Nature Preserve is named after Indian Rock, a protected historic rock formation that purportedly provided shelter for the Tunxis Indians and early colonial settlers as they traveled the hunting trail which is now route 69. Please note: Indian Rock Nature Preserve is open for scheduled groups and programs only and does not have public open hours. Open Thursday through Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4. Admission is free and donations are encouraged. Located at 175 Shrub Road in Bristol, Connecticut, the original 40-acre parcel, purchased in 1969, and where the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center now sits, was the first landholding of ELCCT. The Nature Center was built in 1972 and additional property was acquired in 1974 increasing the property to its current 68 acres.

Telephone

(860) 583-1234

Website

www.ELCCT.org

Products

Nature Gift Shop at the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, Gift shop for school programs and summer camp at the Indian Rock Nature Preserve. Farm Fresh Eggs and Apples from Indian Rock Nature Preserve's farm and orchard. For sale at both locations.

Alerts

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Videos

Inspiring the appreciation and enjoyment of nature!

ELCCT offers a diversity of hands-on experiential programs using a variety of resources and facilities. Our programs are offered at the Barnes Nature Center, Indian Rock Nature Preserve, and in the schools of Connecticut. In 2017, we provided our environmental educational programs to over 25,000 children and families from over 70 Connecticut communities! In addition to our education programs, ELCCT also serves as a land trust and has protected over 730 acres of land in Bristol, Southington and Burlington, Connecticut.

We encourage you to get involved. Join a program, visit our facilities, make a contribution, or become a volunteer. Learn what nature and ELCCT has to offer.

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Comments


It was a perfect morning for a St. Patrick hike & seek.
This weekend! Make your reservations now for our Maple🍁Sugaring and Pancake Breakfast Party with Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut!They will be at the 1741pubandgrill this Sunday from 9am-1pm doing demonstrations on how to tap a tree and the tradition of maple sugaring! Then come inside for a delicious pancake menu!🥞
Call 860-349-6033 to make your reservation!
During our Mantels for the Season display, we asked visitors to vote for their favorite mantel.

And the winner is....
the Memorial Military Museum's mantel -- "I'll be home for Christmas... if only in my Dreams." Congratulations!!!

Thank you to all of the decorators this year -- Bristol Historical Society, Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, The New England Carousel Museum, The Museum of Fire History, and the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut -- for your wonderful designs!

Thank you also to Bristol Health and the City of Bristol Arts and Culture Commission for their support of this event.
Week four of TACF's 2021 End of Year Appeal is approaching, and chestnut harvests prosper in the New England region! On September 24th, CT-TACF Chapter President Jack Swatt joined Scott Heth and Erin O'Connell of the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, hiking into the Shangri-La Nature Preserve to harvest burs from two American chestnut trees. These harvested nuts were given to the CT-TACF Chapter to be planted at a Germplasm Conservation Orchard (GCO). Your valued contribution strengthens partnerships like this, ensuring future generations may venture through thriving stands of this magnificent tree.
Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut
"Helping area youth connect with nature in a way that cultivates appreciation and respect through the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut is a rewarding way to donate my time. The programs offered through this organization not only bring immense value to those participating but help to preserve and protect over 750 acres of land." - John Scarritt, Environmental Learning Center Supporter | VP, Senior Commercial Loan Officer & Small Business Manager

At Thomaston Savings Bank, we’re .
THIS SUNDAY at the 1741pubandgrill!
Get ready for Maple Sugaring Sunday and Pancake Breakfast Party! There's a Maple Syrup Sugar Shack demonstration during brunch on March 7. Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut's traveling sugarhouse will be onsite for families to learn about the tradition of maple sugaring. Kids and adults can try their hand at tapping a “tree” before or after you indulge in our delicious 'Pancake Party' brunch menu.

A delicious pancake menu awaits, strawberry, blueberry, apple or chocolate chip. Enjoy this outdoor demonstration with your paid brunch reservation. Limited reservations available. COVID guidelines strictly enforced.

Reservations can be made by visiting https://bit.ly/3kaLrbw
to summer camp! In 2019, the Women & Girls' Fund awarded the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut a $3,000 to support summer camperships for girls from the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.

This year, the Fund awarded ELCCT a $4,000 grant for unrestricted operating support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fall, the Men & Boys' Fund awarded five grants totaling $7,000 to organizations serving local men and boys. One of the grants was awarded to the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut to support camperships for boys.

This is a photo of the campers' harvest from the Garden for Good educational program.
to summer camp! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Learning Centers of Connecticut was able to safely hold their annual summer camp at Indian Rock Nature Preserve in Bristol. Children are able to participate in a variety of environmental and educational programs. Here a boy learns the art of smithing!

In 2019, the Men & Boys' Fund awarded ELCCT a grant to support camperships for boys, and just last month, the Fund awarded them another grant for the 2021 camp season!
The staff at the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut have sent a heartfelt thank you all the MSCF donors and volunteers who make every grant awarded possible!

In 2019, Main Street Community Foundation awarded ELCCT a $3,500 grant from the Bristol Brass General Grant Fund and the James R. Parker Trust to purchase a two-way radio communication system for Indian Rock summer camp. This improved communication system was critical to ensuring camper safety.
Happy Earth Day! Had a lot of fun completing this challenge!
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