Category Archives: Program Highlights

to highlight various programs or themes

Master of Ceremonies: Moose Hill’s Shawn Moriarty

Shawn Moriarty, Moose Hill’s Education Coordinator and Camp Director, recently attended the Un-Conference in Colorado. Curious as to what that is? Read on and learn from Shawn!

view of the mountains from Boulder

My name is Shawn Moriarty and I am the Education Coordinator and Camp Director at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. Recently I attended a three day event in Broomfield Colorado called the NCCPS-The Un-Conference (formerly National Challenge Course Practitioners Symposium). I have been going to this conference fairly regularly since 2002 and have been there 15 times since 2002. This year, not only was I an attendee, I was also the Master of Ceremonies for the gathering.

This conference is rather unique in a couple of ways. First, it is run almost entirely in the framework of Open Space. And secondly, it draws people from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Open Space Technology is based upon work by Harrison Owen. The basic concept is that most of the conference is not created before the event actually starts. At NCCPS, the morning contains a brief 30 minute welcoming session to get people going for the day, followed by a 1-3 hour planning and organizing session to build the conference, and then some sessions. After lunch there are more sessions, dinner, and finally an optional evening program. On Saturday we end with a 2-3 hour sounding, or closing session, where people can speak about their experience at this conference.

the conference room is set

This year there were about 130 people in attendance. The number of participants fluctuates each year from about 130-190, so this year was a little smaller, but no less dynamic. There were high school students from a school in Denver that have an adventure based learning program at their school, therapists, corporate trainers, teachers, camp professionals, recreation specialists, professors, people from faith based programs, and environmental educators.

As the Master of Ceremonies, I ran the morning sessions where I brought people through a series of activities to get the brains and bodies moving and warmed up. Because we have both returning and first time participants, the activities provide a period of connection before content. These morning sessions have a mix of low and high energy to allow people to transition from their arrival to the conference space to getting into the learning of the day. I also facilitated and lead 2 fun evening events: Stay and Play, and The Talent Show. Stay and Play is an opportunity to come and play and/ or teach games with a goal of…playing. The best part is that often one game leads people to teach their own variation of that game. Time flies fast, and is filled with laughter. The Talent Show had jokes, poems, readings, a Taiko performance, original songs, and dancing. A nice evening of sharing skills and talents.

The process of creating the sessions for the conference begins with people stating the needs they have where they are looking for solutions. It could be anything from new activities, to safety concerns, to a new job. This lets people reach out and allows the community to know what people need. Opportunities for people with skills or backgrounds that might be able to help a need mentioned can connect directly with the individuals who are looking for that help. It also begins to build the ideas for session. Keep in mind that there are people who are brand new to this field of experiential education and folks who have been doing it for nearly 40 years. There are published authors in the group and people who frequently attend several national and international conference as presenters, as well as high school students. A wonderful range of people and backgrounds.

For me, it is always a joy to attend NCCPS and rewarding in a multitude of ways. I always get to reconnect with old friends, meet new people, learn new things and offer at least one session. This year I ran 2 sessions. The first was called Mindfulness through Nature Connection. In this session we shared thoughts on what mindfulness is, and several methods on developing it by engaging with the natural world. My second session was called Connection before Content. It focused on techniques to build connection between people in a group before you delve into delivering your content. In addition, I also lead a plenary session with 2 therapists, a corporate trainer, and a brain scientist on what we called Radical Empathy. Leading up to the conference, I had been talking with the hosts of the conference, Tom and Jen Leahy, about how to address the need for facilitators of groups to be more aware of the emotional and physical issues that they may or may not be aware of in the groups they work with. We wanted to look at how facilitators can be empathetic to people in their groups when they are working with them. We know that people might have gone through traumatic events in their past, they might not feel safe in their communities because of their age, gender identification, religious beliefs, political affiliation, or ethnicity. At this conference we work hard to create a space where every person can feel safe and welcome to speak their truth. It was a dynamic and rewarding session which lead to 2 other session being created to delve deeper into aspects of leading with radical empathy.

my gift for the participants

NCCPS is all about process. Exploring how to guide people through processes, and going through the process of creating a conference. And this year for me, there was an additional process. A tradition at NCCPS is to offer a gift of some sort, usually a book. I had my first book, Ropes of Ecology, published in October of last year, but it was not a broad enough topic for this group. So, in three weeks, I created and then self-published a book of readings called Around the Campfire for the conference. It was a tight turn around. The printed books arrived the day before the conference, and I had not actually seen the printed version before I arrived in Colorado. I think they came out alright!

On Tuesday, April 2, join me for an interactive talk from 7-8:30 pm at Moose Hill, touching on some of the concepts presented at this conference and to learn more about ropes of ecology: connecting people to nature, community, and place. Both my books, Ropes of Ecology and Around the Campfire, will be on-hand to view and for purchase. I look forward to sharing more about my work with you!

Shawn also works with schools, groups, and companies both large and small on Team-building and Community-building programming. To learn more about how you can learn to take time-out from your daily routine to focus on what makes your group work more effectively towards your goals, you can contact Shawn at 781-784-5691. Every program is custom-tailored to your needs and can focus on topics such as leadership, communication, planning, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

March Happenings at Moose Hill

It’s hard to believe that is already March 7 – where did the time go? Don’t worry, there are still some great happenings and plenty to share this month.

Chickadees!

March, a time when most of us really start to think spring, getting outside, enjoying the days getting longer, a slow warming happening. Meteorologically speaking, March 1 was the start of spring…but…then we had our snow finally hit home in a big way this past weekend. So it feels like winter has actually just settled in. And yet, we do truly begin to see those freezing nights and those days warming above forty degrees and the sap is flowing!

So as you begin to enjoy the change of season, the up and down of weather, take time to get outside and explore Moose Hill. Check out what’s happening this month.

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme. We still have spaces in either the Tuesday or Thursday morning sessions. Come once a week or come twice – the activities on each day will complement the other day!

Exploring and having a little fun with Ms. Julia

Fledgling Fridays – spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them!

March 15: Maple Sugaring Behind the Scenes – during this 2-hour adult program we will have a maple syrup tasting, try some Mead made with our own honey and maple syrup, see our reverse osmosis machine and learn how it works, and get an up close tour of the evaporator in action.

March 16: Bag It – Is Your Life Too Plastic? – As part of Sustainable Sharon Coalition’s challenge to Bag the Bag in March, Moose Hill is excited to collaborate with this group and offer this free screening of the award-winning documentary. While this program is free, please register as space is limited.

March 20: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Shawn and Julia have been busy preparing the next round of trivia questions. Grab a friend or two, or sign up on your own and make some new friends on another Wednesday night at Moose Hill! This 21+ event is always full of laughter and learning.

tapped sugar maples

March 17, 23, and 24: Maple Sugaring Weekends – Moose Hill has shared the magic of turning sap into syrup with the community for 47 years! Join us to experience the sugaring process from tree to table and to learn how sugaring has evolved from Native American to colonial to our own current procedures. Spaces fill up quickly so grab your friends and register to secure your spot!

March 25: Moose Hill Mondays – not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists, a 15 week program but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly 2-hour drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! During the winter months use caution as trails, walkways, boardwalks, and play areas as they may be icy. The boardwalk in our red maple swamp on the Billings Trail is flooded and often icy – please avoid that section!

the Nature Center at Moose Hill

When you come, be sure to stop in the Nature Center and check out our Discovery Room – there are a number of touch tables to explore and the focus this month is around maple sugaring! I notice: what details do you notice about the items on the tables? I wonder: when you look at the items, what questions do you have? It reminds me of: do these items look like any other things you are familiar with?

Continue to the Blue Room where Mr. Turtle is just looking for visitors – this red eared slider has been a part of Moose Hill for 4 years now; read more about why we have him when you visit! On your way to the Blue Room, be sure to stop and take a selfie at the Moose Antlers – if you line yourself up just right, you can capture yourself with a great Moose rack (don’t forget to tag us if you get a great photo; we want to see how much fun you are having)!

And be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – honey from our fields, rocks and minerals, local artist pictures and products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. We also have a new collection of items as we welcome some new artists and their works on sale here at Moose Hill. Stop in and see the selection.

fresh, organic vegetables

Are you daydreaming about summer? The Farm at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary runs a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with fresh, organic vegetables over 18 weeks. Registration for this program is now open! Pick-up options available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evenings from 4-7 pm.

Thinking about summer camp? Registration is open for our 70th summer of day camp fun. It will be another great summer with a few new programs!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Already looking ahead to what’s next? Check out all our upcoming programs starting in March and beyond – there’s always something happening. And, remember, March is sugaring month. Register early to secure your spot in our Sugaring Weekends and check out the new programs developed as we celebrate our sweetest season! Wishing for a particular program? Tell us, we might be planning it for the future!

Want to be sure you know what’s happening at Moose Hill? Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/MassAudubonMooseHill or on Instagram: instagram.com/massaudubonmoosehill Learn about programs, see the beauty of Moose Hill and experience the fun we have!


It’s Sugaring Time!

Trees are tapped and now we have the hardest job of all…waiting. We watch the temperatures so closely this time of year looking for temperatures to drop below freezing at night and days that warm above 40 degrees. That formula is the key to our sugaring season and signals our collection of sap to begin the process of creating maple syrup.

George and Martha, our 250+ year old sugar maples are tapped and ready to go

This year we will once again host our Sugaring Weekends, but we are adding a variety of new programs to help you enjoy, and learn, about the sugaring season with us. Oh, how sweet it is! Be sure to register early so that you can enjoy any, or all, of the fun.

Fledgling Fridays – designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult(s), this program focuses on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities. In March, we will focus 2 sessions on our sugaring season:

  • March 1 – this session will focus on maple trees and sap with an art activity and a hike to our sugar shack to see what is happening!
  • March 15 – this session will focus on maple syrup with an art activity and a hike to the sugar shack to check out the evaporator in action!

Maple Sugaring: Behind the Scenes – this adult program will focus on learning a bit more about the sugaring process. We will taste maple syrup; try some Mead made from honey from the hives here and our very own maple syrup; learn about our reverse osmosis machine; and enjoy an evening in the sugar shack under a maple cloud. There are two evenings to choose from: March 1 or March 15.

The maple cloud begins as water evaporates

Sugar-on-Snow – This sweet treat of hot syrup quickly cooled over snow (or ice if snow is lacking) is a true sign of the season. This program on March 3 is designed for anyone over the age of 6 and celebrates an iconic maple sugaring tradition!

maple syrup – a New England tradition

Cooking with Maple Syrup – Wondering how to incorporate maple syrup into your cooking? Looking for a healthy alternative to processed sugar in your kitchen? Curious about the different grades of maple syrup and how that can be important? During this adult program, we will do a tasting, learn about the benefits of maple syrup, make a few recipes and more!

Maple Sugaring Weekends – Moose Hill has shared the magic of turning sap into syrup with the community for over 45 years! Join us to experience the sugaring process from tree to table and to learn how sugaring has evolved from Native American to colonial to our own current procedures. Great for families, individuals, or scout groups! Pick your time slot and register for March 17, 23, or 24.

sugaring during colonial times

Maple Sugaring Season – are you a small group looking for a Friday afternoon activity? Visit Moose Hill’s maple sugaring operation during this magical time as winter turns to spring. Learn first-hand that trees make sugar and the process needed to create syrup! This one and a half hour program will be offered March 1 or March 15 with a start time of either 3:30 pm or 4:00 pm. Please call 781-784-5691 extension 8102 to learn more or to schedule.

School Groups – want your students to learn more about the sugaring operation? Check out our varied sugaring programs offered in February or March, or call to let us help you find the program that best fits your curriculum!

the sugar shack at Moose Hill

And while you are here, don’t forget to stop in the Gift Shop. We have a number of season-related products and gifts, and beginning mid-March, we will have our maple syrup on sale!

February Happenings at Moose Hill

Are you starting to notice any changes? Groundhog Day marked the halfway point between the winter solstice and the the vernal equinox. The winter solstice, for us here in Massachusetts and in the Northern Hemisphere, is when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun and we experience our shortest daylight of the year. The vernal equinox is when the center of the sun is directly above the equator and usually marks the beginning of spring.

No matter how you look at this month, we are starting to see changes. Some birds are beginning to establish their territories and we hear an increase in some song chatter. The days have been getting longer, and here at Moose Hill, the sap has begun to flow for the sugaring season!

Regardless of the temperature – be it cold or a warm snap – we always look forward to getting outside and exploring Moose Hill. Check out what’s happening this month.

busy squirrels still finding nuts!

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme. We still have spaces in either the Tuesday or Thursday morning sessions. Come once a week or come twice – the activities on each day will complement the other day!

Fledgling Fridays – spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them!

February 10: Brunch with the Eagles – travel with sanctuary directors Doug Williams and Karen Stein as we head to the Connecticut River in Essex. This day trip is all about the eagles and brunch at the historic Griswold Inn. Last year was an amazing year for spotting eagles (and lots of other birds), plus we had great conversations along the way.

looking for eagles

February 10: Sunday Saunter – experience Moose Hill with staff Teacher Naturalist Michael. Your curiosity, along with Michael’s knowledge and energy, will make for a great day exploring!

February 13: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Shawn and Julia have been busy preparing the next round of trivia questions. Grab a friend or two, or sign up on your own and make some new friends on another Wednesday night at Moose Hill! This 21+ event is always full of laughter and learning.

February 18-22: February Vacation Days – sign up for one day or the whole week. Each day has a topic of focus and, weather permitting, we will spend as much time outside exploring as we can!

creating our own nests for ice eggs

February 25: Moose Hill Mondays – not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! During the winter months use caution as trails, walkways, boardwalks, and play areas as they may be icy. The boardwalk in our red maple swamp on the Billings Trail is flooded and often icy – please avoid that section!

When you come, be sure to stop in the Nature Center and check out our Discovery Room – there are a number of touch tables to explore. I notice: what details do you notice about the items on the tables? I wonder: when you look at the items, what questions do you have? It reminds me of: do these items look like any other things you are familiar with?

Continue to the Blue Room where, coming soon, you can see pictures taken by sanctuary staff as they have been out and about exploring and teaching at Moose Hill. On your way to the Blue Room, be sure to stop and take a selfie at the Moose Antlers – if you line yourself up just right, you can capture yourself with a great Moose rack (don’t forget to tag us if you get a great photo; we want to see how much fun you are having)!

And be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – honey from our fields, rocks and minerals, local artist pictures and products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. We also have a new collection of items arriving near the end of the month as we welcome some new artists and their works on sale here at Moose Hill. Stop in and see the selection.

just a few of the treasures to be found in the Gift Shop at Moose Hill

Are you daydreaming about summer? The Farm at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary runs a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with fresh, organic vegetables over 18 weeks. Registration for this program is now open; register before February 28, 2019 and take advantage of early bird pricing!

early season harvest

Thinking about summer camp? Registration is open for our 70th summer of day camp fun. It will be another great summer with a few new programs!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Already looking ahead to what’s next? Check out all our upcoming programs starting in March and beyond – there’s always something happening. And, remember, March is sugaring month. Register early to secure your spot in our Sugaring Weekends and check out the new programs developed as we celebrate our sweetest season! Wishing for a particular program? Tell us, we might be planning it for the future!


January Happenings at Moose Hill – Happy New Year!

It’s that time when we cannot help but reflect back on the year and all that happened. Who can forget the three back-to-back storms of March and the impact that they had on us and our natural spaces? Then we dove into a summer of heat and heavy storms although that didn’t stop our campers and counselors from having fun and exploring Moose Hill. And as we come to a close on this year the story has certainly been the rain. It’s odd to walk about the property and see our vernal pools at their spring levels (without the lovely sound of spring peepers and wood frogs) and our Billings Loop boardwalk flooded. But we have navigated through it all – both nature and people are more resilient than we think and while there has been work to clean it all up, we still see visitors enjoying the beauty of Moose Hill – from the flowers to the views to the mosses and leaves, we are so grateful to see you here enjoying Moose Hill and sharing your love of this land with your friends and family!

As we enter 2019, why not make a New Year’s resolution to spend more time outside, with us, learning about Moose Hill, enjoying the trails, and continuing to share your experiences with friends and family? In case you need a little inspiration, here are our January offerings; most programs require registration at least 3 days ahead of time so we can best plan for the day. Make sure those programs that you love run, sign up early and grab a friend of two to join you!

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme.

exploration happens in every season – there’s always something to discover!

Fledgling Fridays – spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them! Programs begin at either 1:30 pm or 4:00 pm!

January 5: Saturday Morning Hike – Hike Moose Hill the first Saturday of each month! Led by our newest addition to the staff, Teacher Naturalist Julia Signorella, the hikes will focus on the changing seasons, local geology, conservation at Moose Hill, and Mass Audubon Quests. The program is great for individuals or families – everyone is welcome. Come for one or all of them!

January 16: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Do you think you know nature? Can we stump you? This is a fun evening – gather friends to square off against or just come and we will divvy up the tables. Snacks and drinks will be provided for this 21+ event! These trivia nights have been a blast – from random questions (we literally pull from every possible source including nature, science, literature, and even art) to random, and sometimes very funny, answers.

January 22: Full Moon Hike – Discover the beauty of Moose Hill under a shining full moon. We will call for owls, test our night vision, search the skies for constellations, and experience the sanctuary after hours. Great program for families with kids age 6 and older as well as adults!

Nothing like a hike under the full moon!

January 27: Tracks and Traces – There are many animals that call Moose Hill home, but where are they? Start with the basics of animal track patterns and then head outside to look for evidence of our resident winter wildlife. This program is designed for families with children ages 6 and older, but all are welcome!

January 28 – Moose Hill Mondays – Not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! During the winter months use caution as trails, walkways, boardwalks, and play areas as they may be icy.

When you come, be sure to stop in the Nature Center and check out our Discovery Room – there are a number of touch tables to explore. I notice: what details do you notice about the items on the tables? I wonder: when you look at the items, what questions do you have? It reminds me of: do these items look like any other things you are familiar with?

Continue to the Blue Room where you can see pictures taken by sanctuary staff as they have been out and about exploring and teaching at Moose Hill. On your way to the Blue Room, be sure to stop and take a selfie at the Moose Antlers – if you line yourself up just right, you can capture yourself with a great Moose rack (don’t forget to tag us if you get a great photo; we want to see how much fun you are having)!

And be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – honey from our fields, rocks and minerals, local artist pictures and products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. Wish we were carrying something else? Leave us a suggestion!

Are you daydreaming about summer? The Farm at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary runs a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with fresh, organic vegetables over 18 weeks. Registration for this program is now open; register before February 28, 2019 and take advantage of early bird pricing!

early season harvest

Thinking about summer camp? Registration will open for our 70th summer of day camp fun in mid-January! It will be another great summer with a few new programs!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Already looking ahead to what’s next? Check out all our upcoming programs starting in February and beyond – Vacation Weeks, Tap-a-Tree, Maple Sugaring, Weekend Hikes – there’s always something going on. Wishing for a particular program? Tell us, we might be planning it for the future!

Mass Audubon Photo Contest Winning Images Arrive at Moose Hill

Mass Audubon’s annual statewide photo contest Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, again attracted photographers from across the state and beyond. Each one of their images is an invitation to connect with the nature of Massachusetts.

Moose Hill is happy to present all 20 winning photographs from December 7 through December 31, 2018 in our Blue Room. The 2017 contest produced remarkable photographs that revealed the immeasurable beauty of the Bay State, from a hummingbird mid-flight and porcupine sleeping tree, to spectacular vistas and dramatic close-ups of animals.

“Putting the exhibit up, staff were already arguing over which is their favorite,” said sanctuary director Karen Stein, “Every photo is great; we are lucky to live in Massachusetts where there are so many different kinds of habitats to explore and these photographers captured why we all work to protect these special places.”

Photographers could enter a total of five images among six categories: People in Nature, Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Plants and Fungi, and Landscapes. All photos for the contest – divided into “18 and Older” and “Under 18” age levels – were to be taken only in Massachusetts or at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp in Rindge, NH.

Make sure to stop on by the Nature Center to see these beautiful photographs. The Nature Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-4 pm. While you are here check out the Discovery Room with lots of things to touch and explore. Still looking for that last minute gift or a little stocking stuffer? Stop by the Gift Shop for honey from the hives at Moose Hill, water bottles, hats, mugs, bird feeders, seed, and so more!

You can check out the winners of the 2018 photo contest here. Make sure to take your camera (or phone) the next time you are out exploring Mass Audubon – you never know, you might take the next winning picture!

December Happenings at Moose Hill

It is hard to believe that December is just around the corner and soon we will say goodbye to 2018 and ring in 2019! But, December isn’t over yet and you may find that you need to take a breath, immerse yourself in nature, or give yourself the gift of time with family and friends.

Here are a few of the programs and happenings this December at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you at programs or on the trails!

Moose Hill Walkers – join Patti on Mondays for a walk on our trails as we watch autumn arrive and fade into winter at Moose Hill. This is a great way to learn more about our trails for future explorations on your own – you can register for the series (the best deal!) or pay each time you come along.

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme.

Fledgling Fridays – spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them! Programs begin at either 1:30 pm or 4:00 pm!

December 1: Saturday Morning Hike – Hike Moose Hill the first Saturday of each month! Led by our newest addition to the staff, Teacher Naturalist Julia Signorella, the hikes will focus on the changing seasons, local geology, conservation at Moose Hill, and Mass Audubon Quests. The program is great for individuals or families – everyone is welcome. Come for one or all of them!

December 1: Star Gazing Night – if you have never joined us for this FREE program for all, you have been missing out! This program is ongoing so stop in anytime between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. We’re already watching the forecast and hoping for clear skies.

December 12: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Do you think you know nature? Can we stump you? This is a fun evening – gather friends to square off against or just come and we will divvy up the tables. Snacks and drinks will be provided for this 21+ event! Our last two trivia nights were a blast – from random questions to random, and sometimes very funny, answers.

December 16: Sunday Saunter – take a gentle saunter along the trails at Moose Hill and experience nature through the seasons. Teacher Naturalist Michael leads these saunters where your curiosity and sense of adventure leads to an hour of fun exploration!

December 17 – Moose Hill Mondays – Not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! Have younger kids? Bring them for a little unstructured play time in Cookie’s Garden, our nature play area, or go for a hike along the UnNatural Trail. Just stop in the Nature Center and our Visitor Services staff will point you in the right direction.

While you are in the Nature Center, check out our Discovery Room – there are a number of touch tables to explore. I notice: what details do you notice about the items on the tables? I wonder: when you look at the items, what questions do you have? It reminds me of: do these items look like any other things you are familiar with?

Continue to the Blue Room where you can check out the Picture This 2017 Traveling Exhibition – see all the winning images from the 2017 photo contest at our wildlife sanctuaries across the state! This exhibit will be up from December 8-31, 2018! On your way to the Blue Room, be sure to stop and take a selfie at the Moose Antlers – if you line yourself up just right, you can capture yourself with a great Moose rack (don’t forget to tag us if you get a great photo; we want to see how much fun you are having)!

And be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – honey from our fields, rocks and minerals, local artist pictures and products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. Wish we were carrying something else? Leave us a suggestion!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Already looking ahead to the new year? Check out all our upcoming programs starting in January and beyond – Vacation Weeks, Maple Sugaring, Weekend Hikes – happy planning for the New Year.

November Happenings at Moose Hill

November has arrived and we truly begin to see the difference in the amount of daylight – it begins to feel like we head out for work in the dark and we head back home in the dark. It’s easy to want to curl up with a good book and a warm blanket and just nestle in, but now is such a great time to get out and explore! Head outside on a crisp November morning and see the beauty of the frost on the ground, the lifting of the mist through the forest and the low angle of the sun just popping through the trees. Take a deep breathe and enjoy the beauty of the nature all around you. Need a little inspiration…

…Here are a few of the programs and happenings this November at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you at programs or on the trails!

Moose Hill Walkers – join Patti on Mondays for a walk on our trails as we watch autumn arrive at Moose Hill. This is a great way to learn more about our trails for future explorations on your own – you can register for the series (the best deal!) or pay each time you come along.

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme.

NEW program Fledgling Fridays: Spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them! Programs begin at either 1:30 pm or 4:00 pm!

NEW program: Saturday Morning Hike – Hike Moose Hill the first Saturday of each month! Led by our newest addition to the staff, Teacher Naturalist Julia Signorella, the hikes will focus on the changing seasons, local geology, conservation at Moose Hill, and Mass Audubon Quests. The program is great for individuals or families – everyone is welcome. Come for one or all of them!

November 3: Star Gazing Night – if you have never joined us for this FREE program for all, you have been missing out! This program is ongoing so stop in anytime between 7 and 9 pm. We’re already watching the forecast and hoping for clear skies.

November 4: Bird Banding – learn about the history of bird banding, the various bird banding stations within Mass Audubon, and about the saw-whet owl banding at Moose Hill. We will take a hike to our banding station and if conditions are right, we might even have a chance to see the process. This is an adult program.

November 11: Forest Regeneration – With global temperatures warming each year due to natural, and some not so natural processes, how are the native trees-shrubs-vines-herbaceous plants responding? Teacher Naturalist Michael leads a hands-on afternoon of observation and inquiry.

November 14: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Do you think you know nature? Can we stump you? join us for a fun evening – gather friends to square off against or just come and we will divvy up the tables. Snacks and drinks will be provided for this 21+ event! Last month’s very first trivia night was a blast – even some of the staff were stumped!

November 19 – NEW program: Moose Hill Mondays – Not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! Have younger kids? Bring them for a little unstructured play time in Cookie’s Garden, our nature play area or go for a hike along the UnNatural Trail. Just stop in the Nature Center and our Visitor Services staff will point you in the right direction. And while you are in the Nature Center, be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop -stop on by!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Autumn settles in at Moose Hill this October!

It is beginning to really feel like autumn out there – a coolness in the morning and the evening and warmth in the middle of the days. Everywhere you look you can see signs of the changing season – a few pops of color, the dropping of leaves, the busy activity of the squirrels and chipmunks as they store food for the coming winter. What a great time to be out and about at Moose Hill exploring our trails and enjoying this season.

Here are a few of the programs and happenings this October at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you at programs or on the trails!

Moose Hill Walkers – join Patti on Mondays for a walk on our trails as we watch autumn arrive at Moose Hill. This is a great way to learn more about our trails for future explorations on your own – you can register for the series (the best deal!) or pay each time you come along.

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme.

NEW program Fledgling Fridays: Spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them!

October 15 – NEW program: Moose Hill Mondays – Not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!

October 17 and 21: Bird Banding at Moose Hill – Did you know that the individual identification of birds provides useful information for both research and management projects? Information gathered during bird banding makes possible studies of dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. Join us for this adult program and learn about the bird banding at Moose Hill and within Mass Audubon. We will take a night walk to our banding station where we will have a chance to potentially see a saw-whet owl up close and learn about the whole process.

October 20 – NEW program: Saturday Morning Hike – Hike Moose Hill once a month! Led by our newest addition to the staff, Teacher Naturalist Julia Signorella, the hikes will focus on the changing seasons, local geology, conservation at Moose Hill, and Mass Audubon Quests. The program is great for individuals or families – everyone is welcome. Starting in November, these hikes will always take place on the first Saturday of the month – join us for one or all of them!

October 20: Star Gazing Night – if you have never joined us for this FREE program for all, you have been missing out! This month we are celebrating International Observe the Moon Night so the moon will be the feature event! We’re already watching the forecast and hoping for clear skies.

October 21: Fall 3-Week Forest Bathing Series at Moose Hill – Discover Mass Audubon’s oldest wildlife sanctuary and experience the healing benefits of Moose Hill in a whole new way on these slow-paced guided therapeutic combination of leisurely walking, sitting, and observation. This is a chance to unplug, slow down, and de-stress through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to deepen our connection with nature.

October 25: Carve a Pumpkin – Help us carve pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns for our annual Halloween Prowl. We will have plenty of pumpkins and a few design ideas, but we need your carving expertise. All abilities are welcome to help; please bring your own carving sets/knives.

October 26, 27 and 28: Halloween Prowl – Join us for Moose Hill’s annual Halloween tradition. For over 35 years this individual and family favorite has been delighting guests – what characters might we have on the trails this year? Reserve your time soon as space sells out quickly.

And, be on the lookout for our next Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Do you think you know nature? Can we stump you? join us for a fun evening – gather friends to square off against or just come and we will divvy up the tables. Snacks and drinks will be provided for this 21+ event! Last month’s very first trivia night was a blast – even some of the staff were stumped!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 7 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! Have younger kids? Bring them for a little unstructured play time in Cookie’s Garden, our nature play area or go for a hike along the UnNatural Trail. Just stop in the Nature Center and our Visitor Services staff will point you in the right direction. And while you are in the Nature Center, be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – new items have arrived and the first 3 weekends in October offer special sales – curious? Stop on by!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!

Autumn Happenings at Moose Hill in September!

As the hustle and bustle of summer camp ends on this last day of August and we begin to transition into a new season, it always seems so quiet here on the hill. But don’t worry, there is still a lot to do in September and hopefully the cooler breezes of Autumn will be upon us!

Here are a few things to explore at Moose Hill throughout September – we look forward to seeing you on the trails and at programs!

Moose Hill Walkers – join Patti on Mondays for a walk on our trails as we watch autumn arrive at Moose Hill. This is a great way to learn more about our trails for future explorations on your own – you can register for the series (the best deal!) or pay each time you come along.

Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme.

September 8: Mt. Watatic Hawk Watch – Join Stony Brook sanctuary director Doug Williams for our annual pilgrimage to North Central Massachusetts for a chance to observe some of the thousands of hawks that migrate south through the area each fall. If you have never been on a hike with Doug, you have missed out! Not only will we observe hawks but, as an exceptional naturalist and botanist, you will learn a bit about the northern hardwood and hemlock forest along the way.

September 15: Star Gazing Night – if you have never joined us for this FREE program for all, you have been missing out! We’re already watching the forecast and hoping for clear skies.

September 16: September Bug Count; Late Summer Choristers – Join naturalist and “bug guy” Michael for an early evening walk to learn about, listen for, and identify these chorusing invertebrates!

September 20 and 27: Birding the Farm Fields – Join Vin Zollo as we look at what birds are taken advantage of the open farm fields during fall migration.

September 26: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Do you think you know nature? Can we stump you? join us for a fun evening – gather friends to square off against or just come and we will divvy up the tables. Snacks and drinks will be provided for this 21+ event!

Plus, the Farm at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary has a Farm Stand, open on the weekends from 11:00 am-3:00 pm. Get your fresh, organic veggies right here!

Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 7 pm – make sure to have your bug spray, sunscreen, and water! Have younger kids? Bring them for a little unstructured play time in Cookie’s Garden, our nature play area or go for a hike along the UnNatural Trail. Just stop in the Nature Center and our Visitor Services staff will point you in the right direction!

No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!