Spring 2019

Registration is required for all programs (except where noted). Please call 860-439-5020 or email arbor@conncoll.edu. Please note that space is limited and most programs fill up quickly.

Programs are free for Connecticut College students.

Once you have confirmed your registration with the Arboretum office by email or phone, you can use our secure online payment for program registration fees.

Arboretum Garden Tours 

Select Sundays, May through November
Meet in front of the Olin Science Center at 10 a.m. Tours last 60 to 90 minutes.
Free; no registration required

Native Plant Collection: May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug 4, Sept 1, Oct 6, Nov 3

Caroline Black Garden: May 12 (Mother’s Day), June 9, July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8, Oct 13, Nov 10

New London Urban Forestry Talk

Wednesday, January 30, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Isabelle Smith, Conn Coll ‘19
Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington Street, Community Room (ground floor)
Free, no registration required
The Arboretum is hosting a public presentation of the results of the summer 2018 urban forest inventory. Connecticut College botany major, Isabelle Smith, was an intern for the City of New London over the summer documenting the municipal trees (streets, schools and parks). She has spent the fall semester mapping and analyzing the information and will share her results.

Winter Waterfowl Walk ***Program is FULL***

Saturday, February 2, 9 to 11 a.m.
Robert Askins, Professor Emeritus of Biology
Meet and park at the east end of Benham Avenue (Waterford) just before the railroad tracks.
$10 (free members + CT Audubon)
The section of the Thames River from Mamacoke Island to Smith Cove is one of the best spots in eastern Connecticut to see wintering waterfowl. The site includes three coves and two salt ponds that provide important habitat for a variety of ducks that spend the winter in Connecticut. Consequently this site, which is a natural area within the Connecticut College Arboretum, has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. During winter, the coves support several waterfowl species plus Bald Eagles, Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots. Dress for the weather. Scopes will be provided.

Great Backyard Bird Count

**Wednesday, February 13 (info session), 6:30 to 7:30**

**previously Tuesday, February 12 but rescheduled due to impending inclement weather
Meet at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, 90 Halls Road, Old Lyme.
Saturday, February 16 (field session), 9 to 11 a.m.
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration required
Since 1998, people all over the world have participated in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, the first citizen science project to collect wild bird data. Come learn about the history and background of the count, and how to conduct your own count, during our informational session at our center in Old Lyme. Following the informational session, we will conduct a field session later in the week at the Connecticut College Arboretum, a designated important bird area by the National Audubon Society. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a novice, this is a great opportunity to learn how to identify and count birds in the wild, and be a part of a worldwide citizen project.

Tap into Maple Syrup Production ***Program is FULL***

Saturday, February 23, 10 a.m. to noon
Jim Luce, Retired Supervisor of Grounds
Meet in Olin Science Center Lounge.
$10 (free members), registration required
Enjoy time outdoors making one of nature’s sweet treats. Maple syrup starts to run in late winter when temperatures climb above freezing during the day and drop back below freezing at night. Participants will learn how to identify different species of maple trees, install a spile and safely produce syrup.

The Art and Science of Pruning ***Program is FULL***

Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. to noon
Jim Luce, Retired Supervisor of Grounds
Meet in New London Hall, Classroom 101.
$10 (free members), registration required
Trees and shrubs thrive with judicious pruning. This workshop will cover what, when, how and why to prune. Topics covered will include training young trees and shrubs to avoid future problems, renovating overgrown shrubs and pruning hedges. After a brief lecture inside, participants will go outside to view pruning demonstrations on campus plantings.

Growing Plants from Seed

Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Maggie Redfern, Arboretum Interim Director and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$20 ($15 members), registration required
From annuals and perennials to trees and shrubs, success can be achieved if you understand what triggers germination and the growing process. This workshop is for beginners and those who have been frustrated in past attempts to transform seed to seedling. Students will leave class with a selection of potted seeds.

Bat Box Building

Saturday, April 6, 1 to 3 p.m.
Use Williams Street entrance to the Arboretum, meet at Buck Lodge.
$45 per group/bat house kit; registration required
Bats are critical animals of local ecosystems worldwide, and during the summer they actively consume night-flying insects. One little brown bat can eat 60 medium-sized moths or over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night! Learn all about our nocturnal neighbors and practice basic woodworking techniques as you build your very own bat box to bring home. Supplies will be provided. If you have a cordless drill, please bring it. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited.

Orchids for Beginners

Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Lydia Pan, Arboretum Volunteer and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$10 ($5 members), registration required
Growing orchids in your home can be easy and rewarding with their long-lasting flowers. Participants will learn about their light and water requirements, tour the Connecticut College greenhouse orchid collection, and take part in a repotting demo. Registrants are invited to bring in their own plants to learn how to repot or diagnose plant problems.

Full Moon Walk

Thursday, April 18, 8 to 9 p.m.
Maggie Redfern, Arboretum Interim Director
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, no registration required
Experience the Arboretum in a new light, under the full moon. This tour will explore the Campus and Native Plant Collection. Star gaze as you take in the sights and sounds. Bring your favorite person to watch the moon with and a flashlight.

Discover Calligrams

Monday, April 22, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Sean Kane, MSW and Artist
Use Williams Street entrance to the Arboretum, meet at Buck Lodge.
$10 ($5 members), registration required
Celebrate Earth Day merging the arts with nature’s gifts. Create an art piece using words to create a visual image. Participants will learn a technique to preserve fallen leaves and few basic calligraphy skills. Bring an original poem or be inspired by the Arboretum to create one. All art supplies included.

Vernal Pool Walk

Saturday, April 27, 2 to 4 p.m.
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
$10 ($5 members + CT Audubon), registration required
Occurring seasonally, and with variable water levels, vernal pools are nonetheless important habitats for a variety of species. Many species of amphibians rely on these bodies of water for breeding, and they provide a source of food for birds such as ducks and egrets. They are also among the most endangered habitats on the planet, home to some of Connecticut’s endangered species. Vernal pools dot the Connecticut landscape in late winter and into spring. Join a teacher-naturalist from the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme, as we listen for frogs and look for egg masses in the Connecticut College Arboretum, home to numerous amphibian species. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Annual Wildflower Walk

Friday, May 3, noon to 1 p.m.
Glenn Dreyer, Arboretum Director Emeritus
Use Williams Street entrance to the Arboretum; meet at the Outdoor Theater.
Free, no registration required
On a slope just south of the Laurel Walk lies the Edgerton and Stengel Wildflower Garden, containing over 75 species of wildflowers. Some of the flowers you can expect to see include: Jack-in-the-pulpit, Virginia Blue Bells, Wild Geranium, Solomon’s Seal and Trillium. Bring a picnic lunch to eat by the pond, and then enjoy a 45-minute walk in the Wildflower Garden.

Just for Kids: Wildflower Walk

Friday, May 10, 4 to 5 p.m.
Caroline Driscoll, Arboretum Volunteer
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, reservations requested
Through interactive play, children will learn the identity of several types of wildflowers. They will then test their newly acquired skills on a walk in the Wildflower Garden to find the real living flowers. Appropriate for ages 4 to 10, accompanied by an adult.

Connecticut River Tidelands: Evolution, Ecology and Challenges

Wednesday, May 15, 5 to 7 p.m.
Scott Warren, Professor Emeritus of Botany
Meet at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Road, Essex.
Free, registration requested. Please register here: https://www.ctaudubon.org/2019/03/connecticut-river-lecture-series/
Contact the RTPEC for more information

Migration Madness

Saturday, May 18, 9 to 11 a.m.
Joe Attwater, RTPEC Teacher - Naturalist
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration requested. Please register here: https://www.ctaudubon.org/2018/12/register-migration-madness-arboretum-walk/
Join the Connecticut Audubon Society for the second year of Migration Madness, an annual celebration of Connecticut’s birds. May is the time to experience the best of birding in Connecticut, as spring migrants pass through the state to make their way to their breeding grounds further north, and summer species start to settle in. Joe Attwater will lead a bird walk through the diverse habitats of the Arboretum. This is a great walk for all levels of birders. We hope to see many species of warblers, ducks and woodpeckers.

Annual Friends Celebration: Eighty Years of Change in Bird Populations in the Connecticut College Arboretum

Thursday, May 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Free for members, new members welcome, registration required
Faculty and students have monitored bird populations in the Arboretum for decades. Robert Askins, Professor Emeritus of Biology, will describe the dramatic changes in bird life that these studies have revealed. Some forest birds have declined or disappeared while others have increased. Species that live in open fields disappeared as trees invaded the fields and converted them to woodland, but some of these species have returned in areas where open meadows have been restored. Numerous southern species have moved north into the Arboretum and other areas in New England as the climate became warmer. Waterfowl populations on the Thames River have fluctuated widely, often reflecting changes in the continent-wide population of particular species. Dr. Askins will give an illustrated overview of some of these changes and their implications for conservation. A reception will follow the presentation.

8th Annual Music in the Meadow

Friday, May 31, gates at 6 p.m. music starts about 6:45 p.m. and plays until about 9:30 p.m.
Meets in the Arboretum Outdoor Theater.
$10 adults, $5 kids (cash only)
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for an enjoyable, family-friendly outdoor concert! Munchies Food Truck will be on site and/or B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Picnic).

Nature Printing Workshop

Saturday, June 29, 2 to 4 p.m.
John and Linda Sargent, Arboretum Volunteers
Use Williams Street entrance to the Arboretum, meet at Buck Lodge.
$20 ($15 members + CT Audubon), registration required
John Sargent is an artist and art teacher of many mediums and Linda is a teacher of young children.
For this workshop some of John’s relief prints created from wood grains, plants and floating ink on water will be on display to serve as inspiration for your own creativity. He will share easy techniques using nature’s materials to make print art that you can take home. Linda will facilitate nature printing activities for young children in the same room. Please wear old clothes or bring a smock. Adults and families welcome, children under 14 must be accompanied and guided by an adult.

Save the date: Meadows and Fields Walk

Saturday, August 3, 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kathy Connolly, landscape designer, Speaking of Landscapes, LLC
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane, Waterford (former Science Center) parking lot.
$82 ($73 members)
Join the caravan as we visit meadows and fields in search of native flowers in full bloom and warm-season grasses. We begin with two meadows in the Arboretum, then carpool to three additional sites in southeastern Connecticut. This walking tour focuses on the value of meadows, how meadows grow, and how they persist. We’ll have lots of opportunity for plant identification and photography. An extensive resource and plant list is included. Most of the walking is on relatively level terrain, but surfaces may be uneven. Please wear good walking shoes and good insect protection. Bring a clipboard for taking notes. Provide your own transportation or carpool. Bring a bag lunch. This event is not appropriate for children under 12 or dogs.


Partner Programs

Wild Ones

January 12
Dan Mullins, Executive Director, Eastern Connecticut Conservation District
100 Rain Gardens and 100 Rain Barrels Project: Interim Progress and Lessons Learned.
ECCD received funding from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to conduct workshops, install 100 rain gardens and 100 rain barrels in eastern CT. Partnering with the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, various service organizations at UConn, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Thames River Basin Partnership, the Niantic River Watershed Committee and The Last Green Valley, ECCD has been working feverishly to complete this project. While the project is still ongoing, numerous rain gardens and rain barrels have been installed, including several in high-profile locations. Dan will review the challenges encountered and outcomes of completed installations to date.

February 9
Tom Worthley, Associate Extension Professor, Middlesex County Extension Center
Effects of Insect Pests and Related Pathogens on Connecticut's Forests
In the past century, exotic pests and disease have decimated populations of trees that once dominated our New England forests. Tom will discuss how current combinations of insect pests and insect-borne diseases are affecting forest composition in CT.

March 9
Rose Hiskes (Research Technician), Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Valley Laboratory, Windsor.
Butterflies are the Best!
This talk will cover the more common butterflies found in Connecticut, images of their caterpillars, nectar plants for adult feeding and larval food sources.

April 13
Judy Preston, Connecticut Sea Grant Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator
Implementing Sustainable Gardening Practices at a Small Scale
Many gardeners feel challenged to implement naturalistic gardening in small residential spaces in part because many “how to” programs on sustainable gardening exemplify large properties and big budgets. Judy has been documenting her own small yard landscaping for 25 years and argues that neither are necessary to meaningfully contribute to Doug Tallamy’s idea of suburban links for wildlife or to apply many of the guidelines for ecological landscaping to a small yard.

CMGA 2019 Symposium

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave, New London CT 06320
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Admission: $65.00 for CMGA members and guests
$95.00 for non-members and walk-ins

Keynote Speaker: Doug Tallamy, “A Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening”

Closing Speaker: Heather Holm, “What’s the Buzz About Native Bees”

Break-Out Speakers:
• Dan Jaffe, “The Best Plants for Bees, Butterflies and Birds”
• Matt Mattus, “The Art of Vegetable Gardening”
• Lee Reich, “The Science, Art, Fun and Tasty Fruit of Espalier”
• Stephen Scanniello, “The Right Roses for CT from Antiques to Most Modern”
• Nancy DuBrule-Clemente, “Foliage Plants That Give Color & Texture in the Landscape”
• Composting workshop by the UConn Master Composters

For more information, visit our website at www.ctmga.org, or email us at symposium@ctmga.org. On-line registration opens on Jan. 15, 2019.