Author Archives: Danielle Lanson

Holiday Shopping at Your Local Gift Shop

If you are looking for unique gifts this Holiday season, be sure to come check out our ever growing and changing gift shop right up at the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Center. We are proud to support a wide range of local artists with items such as handmade jewelry, wood burned art, cement garden art, hand poured soy candles, greeting cards, nature and vegetable prints, wool dryer balls, ornaments, hand knit and crocheted hats, and more! Keep checking back throughout the season as new products, including some of those pictured below, arrive in the shop.

On top of all of the lovely local art items, we also have Moose Hill branded items like shirts, hats, water bottles, and bags – most of which were printed locally at Inkd in Mansfield!

We are also getting restocked with plenty of nature themed items that make excellent stocking stuffers! These will be arriving at the shop towards the end of November – keep an eye out on our social media pages for our announcement of their arrival.

At Moose Hill, we strive to support our community and offer as many local items as possible, even down to the soda and bird seed that we sell. So you know that when you shop with us you are not only supporting a local conservation organization, but also a local business or artist. And don’t forget – if you are a member then you get 10% off of most things in the shop, including the bird seed!

We hope you are all having a lovely transition into winter as the sun sets earlier, the nights get colder, and the landscape changes once again. Our 25 miles of trails are beautiful year round with something new to see in every season so be sure to keep us in mind as you plan out your weekends!

Gift Shop – Artist Feature

Our featured artist this week is Cilla Kitay of Cilla’s Creations. You can find her creative cement art in our Gift Shop year round. You will also be able to see an expansive inventory this Saturday at our Nature Center from 9 am-4 pm at our First Annual Artisan Fair!

Cilla Kitay started Cilla’s Creations from a simple desire to to make garden pots for her many plants. Little did she know that quest would lead her to fall in love with the unusual medium of cement. Her adventure in creating cement art and sharing her passion through teaching began in 2016. Cilla creates cement art for gardens, gifts and decor, and holds classes for children and adults in her studio. Having always loved nature, she sees it as a challenge to incorporate elements from the natural world into her art, often using large leaves, buds, and blooms in her creations.

Cilla lives and creates her art in Sharon, MA. For more information, visit Cilla’s Creations on Facebook.

Gift Shop – Artist Feature

Our Featured Artist this week is Rita Stuopis of Catbird Design. You can find her nature themed cards and gifts in our Gift Shop and you can come see her full inventory on June 8th at our First Annual Artisan Fair!

An Interview With Rita

What is Catbird Design’s mission:

To evoke an appreciation for nature and to educate about the beauty of our natural world, through my images of birds, insects, plants and animals;

To bring awareness of the important role that all species have within their ecosystems and how dependent they are on each other and on their habitats;

To inspire people to support conservation efforts.

How did you get started?

Throughout my life, I’ve always needed to express my creativity: through architecture, graphic art, silk screening, gardening, illustration and photography. In 2015, I completed a series of cat and penguin (cat and bird) illustrations, which I combined into a calendar, then started really getting into nature photography – and my small business – CatbirdDesign was born. Although I’ve felt a connection and a respect for nature since childhood, the more time I spent observing, photographing, and researching her creations, the more aware I became of how amazing yet fragile the habitats that support our fellow creatures really are…I soon developed an emotional attachment to my subjects and felt compelled to share their stories, their beauty, and their struggle to survive through my photography and through educational, interesting articles and images on social media.

What are your current products?

Nature themed cards, prints, jewelry, and gifts – all created using my photographic images.

Where people can find you online?

What upcoming events will you have a booth at?

Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Artisan Fair – Saturday, June 8th, 9 am-4 pm. 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon, MA

Amazing Things Brick Market – Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10am-4pm. 160 Hollis Street, Framingham MA 01702. Market takes place in the parking lot behind the Firehouse.

2019 Blue Hills Boosters Holiday Fair – Saturday, December 7th, 2019 10am-3pm. Blue Hills Regional Vocational High School, 800 Randolph St., Canton, MA 02021

Blue Hills Trailside Museum Fall Festival (early October) 1904 Canton Ave, Milton, MA 02186

Amazing Things Holiday Market (Late November) 160 Hollis Street, Framingham MA 01702

Gift Shop Updates and Artisan Fair

If you have been up to visit us recently, you may have noticed that the Gift Shop has undergone some changes. We have been diligently working on adding more Moose Hill branded merchandise along with a large amount of consignment. We love supporting our local artists and are proud to showcase their hard work in our shop. If you are looking for that perfectly unique gift that was made with love, look no further! We have new items coming in all the time so be sure to check out what’s new every time you visit.

With that, I am excited to announce that this year we will be hosting our First Annual Artisan Fair! On Saturday, June 8th, from 9 am-4 pm, we will have vendors set up alongside our Annual Native Plant Sale. So come on down and meet the artists behind the beautiful work in our shop. They will have a larger inventory with them than we typically carry in the store so it is a wonderful chance to learn more about everything they offer and how each item is crafted.

Cilla’s Creations Cement Owl

Throughout the next couple of weeks we will be featuring some of our artists on the blog so stay tuned!

Volunteer Opportunities

Fall is here and there is so much to do – we are looking for some new volunteers to join us. Learn more about Moose Hill, our mission, and our programs and events!

Visitor Services 

For a rewarding opportunity to experience the many aspects of Moose Hill and interact with our visitors and staff, join us as a Visitor Services Volunteer. We currently have positions open on weekdays Monday-Friday. Applicants must enjoy working with visitors of all ages and be able to interact in a friendly and professional manner. Duties may include: welcoming and assisting visitors, providing information about the sanctuary, explaining regulations, answering telephone inquiries, processing memberships, and gift shop sales. Familiarity with the sanctuary is a plus. Nonsmoking environment. We offer ongoing training and support. Minimum age 18.

Available Shifts: weekdays either 9 am-12:30 pm or 12:30-4 pm, Monday-Friday


Halloween Prowl Volunteers

We are looking for volunteers to help with our popular Halloween Prowl scheduled for October 26, 27, and 28, 2018. Volunteer one, two, or all three nights. We appreciate any and all help.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Portraying a character: Characters perform their 5 minute skit 12 – 20 times per night (depending on which night you are volunteering). Costume and script are provided. Friday, volunteers are needed from 5:30-9 pm; Saturday, volunteers are needed from 4:15-9 pm; and Sunday, volunteers are needed from 4:15-8:30 pm. This is an outdoor task at an assigned station.
  • Leading the campfire sing-a-long: Lead songs around a fire after participants enjoy the guided walk. Guitar helpful, but not necessary. Volunteers are needed on Sunday from 5-8:30 pm. This is an outdoor task in our side yard, near the Visitor Center.
  • Leading groups along the trail: Guides lead two, hour-long walks per evening along our Prowl trail. Training and a daytime walk thru provided. Volunteer hours are varied according to our needs and your schedule. This is an outdoor task, walking along candlelit paths, sometimes over uneven ground with limited to no flashlights.
  • Carving pumpkins: help us carve LOTS of pumpkins on Thursday, October 25, 2018 anytime between 1-8 pm; stay as little or as long as you wish to carve. This is an indoor task unless the weather is amazing! A great opportunity for scouts and other community groups; we supply the pumpkins, you bring your favorite carving tool (we have a limited supply to share). Stop by after the event weekend – beginning Monday after 9 am and up to noon on Tuesday to claim your pumpkin for your own Halloween celebration.
  • Serving refreshments: bag pre-popped popcorn and make hot chocolate for participants to pick up after their tour. Friday, volunteers are needed from 6:45-9 pm and Sunday, volunteers are needed from 5-8:30 pm. This is an indoor task.
  • Checking in participants: Greet and check-in arriving participants/groups. Friday, volunteers are needed from 6:45-9 pm and Sunday, volunteers are needed from 5-8:30 pm. This is an outdoor task at an assigned station; table and chair provided.
  • Keeping the candles lit: Help us light all the candles before the event starts. We will provide clicker lighters. Initial lighting: Friday, volunteers are needed from 5:00-6:30 pm; Saturday, volunteers are needed from 4-5:30 pm; and Sunday, volunteers are needed from 4-5:30 pm. If you are available to stay throughout the event we greatly appreciate the help relighting candles and blowing out candles at the end of the night. This is an outdoor task, walking along candlelit paths, sometimes over uneven ground.
  • Helping set up the luminaries: We set up the luminaries on Friday, October 27, 2017 beginning around 1 pm. Typically this takes an hour or so to complete; you are walking on our trails following the truck of supplies over uneven ground.
  • Help with the S’more fire: Help at the S’mores fire by managing the fire and offering extra marshmallows should one drop into the fire pit. Parents are responsible for helping their child make their S’mores. It’s a gooey fun time! Sunday, volunteers are needed from 5-8:30 pm. This is an outdoor task in our side yard, near the Visitor Center.
  • Taking pictures during the event: Help us capture images of the costumed characters, the event stations and groups of participants. Looking for photographers who have experience with night photography; hours are flexible during each night of the event.


Sugar Shack – Fall

Though our sugaring season doesn’t start up until early spring, the sugar shack crew always needs volunteers to help split and stack wood in the fall so that it can properly dry throughout the early winter and be ready to boil sap in February.

Typical hours are Wed & Thurs from 10 am to noon.

Sugar Shack – Spring

We need volunteers to help collect sap from the sugar bush, boil the sap in the evaporator, and share maple knowledge with program participants. Most volunteer hours are weekday mornings and training is provided. Start date will be updated as we near spring.

Maple Sugaring Weekend Events – Spring

Lead groups along the event trail, portray a character, pop popcorn, manage indoor activities at the Visitor Center, help in the sugar house, and/or sell maple-related treats. Training is provided. Specific dates and times will be updated as we near spring.

Want to learn more about any of these opportunities? Please contact Danielle Lanson, Volunteer Coordinator, for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Gift Shop Changes

You may have noticed some changes afoot in our Gift Shop at the Nature Center. We are in the middle of a complete revamp so the selections have been a little on the leaner side but that is all soon going to change! We have plans for a grand re-opening in the fall that we will be announcing soon.

The first major change that we are making involves bottled water. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary will no longer be selling bottled water in order to continue Mass Audubon’s efforts in lowering our carbon footprint. We will instead have an assortment of Mass Audubon and Moose Hill water bottles that you can easily fill at our filtered bottle filling station next to the public bathrooms in the Nature Center. We will have a few different styles and sizes to fit everyone’s needs.

Next, in addition to the Moose Hill honey and maple syrup that we offer seasonally, you will soon start seeing a lot more Moose Hill branded hats, shirts, pins, and other smaller gifts. Our book selection will also be expanding with more options for young and old alike. We will be a great stop come this gift giving season with plenty of novelty options that your friends and family will enjoy for years to come. As we are building up our inventory over these next couple of months, drop in and let us know if there is anything you want to see us selling in the shop. We have a suggestion box next to the cooler in our shop and appreciate hearing your recommendations.

The shop will be closed for the first week of September in preparation for the grand re-opening, so we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. But once we get everything all cleaned, painted, and organized, we will be having sales every weekend in October on different select items such as bird feeders and books so be sure to stop by!