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Summer Programs & Events 2021

The Watershed Institute has spring and summer offerings of safe, in-person outdoor programs for families. Our hands-on activities are guided by our Watershed educators and are geared for all ages, including preschool, school age, teens, and adults.

Join us for outdoor painting, explore the butterfly house, wander Stony Brook hear campfire tales and more!

June 12: In-person activity Staggered start times from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Butterfly House Opens: June 12

Welcome to the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House Seasonal Opening! Join Watershed Educators for a guided tour of the Butterfly House and learn about the life cycle and diet of these beautiful insects. Try your hand at butterfly catching with nets and play an interactive game about the migration of the monarch butterfly.

The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is handicap-accessible, free, and open daily from dawn until dusk (mid-June through mid-September) except during a scheduled program or tour. Ages 2 and up. Free. In-person program. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required.

Register Here!

 

June 25: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Nature Senses: June 25

Join us as we explore the meadows, woods, and retention pond at The Watershed Institute. You will use your senses to learn about the outside world and the animals and plants that live at the reserve. We will be going into areas that are muddy so please wear your mud boots! Ages 3 and up.

Register Here

June 25: In-person activity 8 - 9:30 p.m.

Fireflies and Tree Frogs: June 25

Enjoy a special evening with “a light show and concert” on the Watershed Reserve with nocturnal naturalist and Director of Education, Jeff Hoagland. Celebrate “nature’s fireworks”! We will watch for the emergence of several firefly species and discover the fascinating intricacies of their life cycle from glowworm to adult. Our short firefly walk will finish with a brief concert of gray tree frogs. Be sure to bring along your lawn chair! Ages 5 and up.

Register Here

June 26: In-person activity 10 a.m. - noon

Treasure Hunt Geocachers: June 26

Join us for a treasure hunt using satellites! Learn how to use a GPS and compass to find hidden caches. Bring your thinking caps, as this will be a multi-cache experience with clues and puzzles! Ages 10 and up.

Register Here

Thursday mornings from 7/1 - 8/26 10 - 11 a.m.

Butterfly House Tours

Join us for a guided tour of The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House to view and learn about local butterfly species. If time and weather allow, we will try catching wild butterflies in the field. Cameras welcome. Butterfly House Tours are held weekly on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. through the summer. Advance registration required. The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is handicap-accessible, free, and open daily from dawn until dusk (mid-June through mid-September) except during a scheduled program or tour. All ages welcome, children under age 3 are free.

Register Here

July 2: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Crayfish Catchers: July 2

You might call them crawdads, crayfish or yabbies! Take a walk with us to the Stony Brook and visit these crustaceans and some of the other creatures who live in the water. We’ll use nets and our hands to gather the creatures, and will eventually return them to their home in the stream. Bring your boots or water shoes and be ready for some wet fun. Ages 5 and up.

Register Here!

July 9: In-person program 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Animal Explorers: July 9

Have you ever wondered how we know what animals live on the Watershed Reserve?  Come explore our property and collect evidence of the animals who live here.  You will take part in a scavenger hunt,  look under logs, observe skulls and maybe even meet an animal ambassador (weather permitting)! Bring your boots or shoes that are ready to get muddy and go on an adventure to look for animal evidence! Ages 4 and up.

Register Here

July 10: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Insect Safari: July 10

If there is magic in this world it is in . . . insects. For each one of us, there are over 200 million insects, each with their own story, playing an integral part in the ecosystems. With nets in hand, discover the fascinating world of insects. While exploring fields and forests, you will meet a colorful cast of characters such as the tortoise beetle, the leaf-miner, the pearl crescent, and the leaf miner. Ages 6 and up.

Register Here!

July 14: In-person activity 8 - 9 p.m.

Bat Watch: July 14

Discover the secret lives of bats with nocturnal naturalist and Director of Education, Jeff Hoagland. Join us as we watch a colony of big brown bats emerge from their roost and listen with our Bat-Detector for their feeding calls. Be sure to bring along your lawn chair! Ages 5 and up.

Register Here

July 16: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Water Wander – the Stony Brook: July 16

Explore the world of water! Join us as we take a walk to the Stony Brook and visit some macroinvertebrates like mayflies, crayfish, and caddisflies. We will also learn to make art with water and clay. We will use nets and our hands to collect some of these creatures and return them back home into the stream. Wear your boots or water shoes and get ready for some fun in the water! Ages 5 and up.

Register Here

July 23: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Nature’s Colors: July 23

Discover the hidden colors in plants. We will take a walk together to collect leaves and petals and we will use them to dye wool. We will also hammer flower pieces to make beautiful pigment-painted bookmarks. You will be able to take home your lovely, colorful creations. Ages 3 and up.

Register Here!

 

July 24: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Water Wheelies: July 24

Build a waterwheel! We’ll give you the materials and a basic design idea. Become an engineer as you design and assemble your own miniature waterwheel. After constructing your waterwheel, hike to the Stony Brook and test it out.  Ages 10 and up.

Register Here

July 30: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Great Stream Exploration: July 30

Join us at Bessie Grover Memorial Park in Montgomery for an exploration of life in and around the Rock Brook. Expect to meet a variety of creatures including salamanders, frogs and aquatic insects. Wear old sneakers for wading and bring a water bottle. We’ll bring the nets! Ages 5 and up.

Register Here

July 31: In-person activity 10 - noon

Stream ID: July 31

Have you ever wondered how scientists can tell if a stream is clean and safe? Join us to explore the Stony Brook and learn some techniques for water testing, collecting macroinvertebrates like mayflies, crayfish, and caddisflies to see if our stream is clean and healthy. Wear boots or water shoes for this program and be prepared to get wet! Ages 10 and up.

Register Here

 

 

Aug. 13: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Water Wander – the Stony Brook: Aug. 13

Explore the world of water! Join us as we take a walk to the Stony Brook and visit some macroinvertebrates like mayflies, crayfish, and caddisflies. We will also learn to make art with water and clay. We will use nets and our hands to collect some of these creatures and return them back home into the stream. Wear your boots or water shoes and get ready for some fun in the water! Ages 5 and up.

Register Here

Aug. 14: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Outdoor Survival: Aug. 14

Can you build a shelter to weather a summer storm? Find out as we learn basic survival skills like building a fire, assembling a shelter, and basic first aid, and explore some survival scenarios. Ages 6 and up. 

Register Here

Aug. 20: In-person activity 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Bugs & Beyond: Aug. 20

We have a world full of insects and bugs in the outdoors. Search for insects and bugs, learn the different species of insects that live in our meadows and how to catch and observe them up close. We will use bug nets, butterfly nets, and bug boxes to collect specimens. Ages 4 and up.

Register Here

 

June 8: In-person activity 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

Meet the Beatles: June 8

Use sweep nets, bug boxes, and your senses to learn what beetles are and what makes them different from other bugs. Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. Class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Ages 3-5. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required. Discount available for members. Dress for the weather of the day.

Register Here

June 15: In-person Activity 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Furs, Feather, Skin: June 15

Why do animals have different skins and how do those variations help them survive? Join us as we explore the differences between fur, feathers, and scales. Our virtual preschool classes include crafts, outdoor exploration, and interactive games. This session will enable children to learn, share their ideas, and interact with us and each other. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 3-5. Discount available for members.

Register Here

June 22: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Story Time Forest: June 22

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Let’s hike to a shady spot in the forest to hear some fun stories, create a craft and play a game.

Register Here

June 29: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Who Lives There: June 29

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Hike around the reserve and visit the different habitats of the creatures that call this place home.

Register Here

 

July 6: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: July 6

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Use your imagination to create a new and improved ending to the old classic “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and learn more about bears and their interesting habits.

Register Here

July 13: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Nature’s Palette: July 13

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Discover why colors are important in nature as we venture out for a colorful scavenger hunt and experiment with some mixing of colors.

Register Here

 

July 20: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Woodpeckers: July 20

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Learn about the woodpeckers that live in our area. Use some woodpecker skills to find food and explore the area to find signs of interesting birds.

Register Here

July 27: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Beautiful Butterflies: July 27

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Visit with our butterfly friends in the Butterfly House to learn about their life cycle and try to catch some in the meadow.

Register Here

Aug. 3: In-person activity 10- 11 a.m.

Sunny Summer, Cool Shade: Aug. 3

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games.  We’ll do some fun experiments to understand the differences between sun and shade as we learn what some animals do to stay cool in the summer.

Register Here

Aug. 10: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Jumping Jewelweed: Aug. 10

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Hike the reserve to find this lovely little flower, learn who else is looking for it, and what special powers it has.

Register Here

Aug. 17: In-person activity 10 - 11 a.m.

Animals Around the World: Aug. 17

Join Watershed Educator Alison Novobilsky at the Watershed Reserve for an outdoors preschool program. The class will include a lesson on the topic of the day, followed by a hike, art activity, and games. Become world travelers to discover some animals from South America, Africa, and Australia.

Register Here

 

June 10: Virtual 7 - 8:15 p.m.

Nature In Literature: June 10

Explore the wild and varied terrain of nature writing with Director of Education Jeff Hoagland. In this relaxed virtual book club, we will focus on some distinct voices and locations, new and old. Join us for one session or sign up for all four. June’s discussion will focus on The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman.

Register Here

 

June 12: In-person activity Staggered start times from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Butterfly House Opens: June 12

Welcome to the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House Seasonal Opening! Join Watershed Educators for a guided tour of the Butterfly House and learn about the life cycle and diet of these beautiful insects. Try your hand at butterfly catching with nets and play an interactive game about the migration of the monarch butterfly.

The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is handicap-accessible, free, and open daily from dawn until dusk (mid-June through mid-September) except during a scheduled program or tour. Ages 2 and up. Free. In-person program. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required.

Register Here!

 

June 16: In-person activity 7:30 - 10 a.m.

Beginner Birding Walk: June 16

Join Jeff Hoagland, Watershed Education Director and Washington Crossing Audubon Society Board Member, for a beginner birding walk on the Watershed Reserve. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a beginner, this hike is perfect for you! Over the decades, Jeff has recorded almost 200 species of birds on this nearly 1,000-acre Reserve. On this morning, explore several habitats, meeting a wide variety of spring migrants and residents, focusing on their identification and natural history. Sanitized binoculars are available to borrow upon advanced request.

Register Here

Thursday mornings from 7/1 - 8/26 10 - 11 a.m.

Butterfly House Tours

Join us for a guided tour of The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House to view and learn about local butterfly species. If time and weather allow, we will try catching wild butterflies in the field. Cameras welcome. Butterfly House Tours are held weekly on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. through the summer. Advance registration required. The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is handicap-accessible, free, and open daily from dawn until dusk (mid-June through mid-September) except during a scheduled program or tour. All ages welcome, children under age 3 are free.

Register Here

June 12: In-person activity Staggered start times from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Butterfly House Opens: June 12

Welcome to the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House Seasonal Opening! Join Watershed Educators for a guided tour of the Butterfly House and learn about the life cycle and diet of these beautiful insects. Try your hand at butterfly catching with nets and play an interactive game about the migration of the monarch butterfly.

The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is handicap-accessible, free, and open daily from dawn until dusk (mid-June through mid-September) except during a scheduled program or tour. Ages 2 and up. Free. In-person program. Masks, social distancing, and adult attendance required.

Register Here!

 

June 20: In-person Activity or Virtual Staggered start times from 9 a.m.

Solstice Run – June 20

The annual Watershed Solstice Run celebrates the longest day of the year while raising money and awareness for clean water projects in central New Jersey. Join us in-person or virtually for 5K, 10K, and other race lengths.

Assemble a team to compete, race by yourself, or enjoy a relaxed walk/ run on the beautiful 950-acre Watershed Reserve.

Register Here!

July 17: In-person activity Staggered start times from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Fairy Festival: July 17

Fairies and friends gather together for some magical activities at The Watershed Institute. We will build fairy cottages using natural materials, search for hidden fairies using a scavenger hunt map. We will also create fun crafts, splash together as we play mermaid games, flutter around an obstacle course, and more! Come dressed as a fairy or other mythical creature. Ages 2 and up.

Register Here

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