White Memorial Conservation Center
100th Anniversary 1913-2013
P.O. Box 368, Litchfield, CT 06759
860-567-0857

Gerri Griswold
Director of Administration and Development
Telephone: (860) 567-0857
Fax: (860) 567-2611

The White Memorial Foundation:
The First 100 Years, The Legacy of Alain and May White
by Keith Cudworth (WMF Executive Director)
In honoring the White Memorial Foundation's 100th Anniversary,
 Executive Director Keith Cudworth penned a beautiful book celebrating
Alain and May White, the two greatest land conservationists in Connecticut's history!
Stop by the Museum Gift Shop  to purchase a copy.

****************
White Memorial Conservation Center
Calendar of Events ~ May 2017

Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, May 24 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00-9:00a.m. ~  Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.

For information, Please call 860-309-9489.
Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
Star Party
Friday, May 26 ~ 8:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
The Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club will begin its May 26 star
party with a talk called Jupiter.  On July 4 of last year, the Juno spacecraft
went into orbit around Jupiter, by far the largest planet in the Solar system.  
Since then it has been gathering new data.  In this talk, we'll
discuss Jupiter and the discoveries made by the Juno spacecraft.

No prior knowledge of astronomy is required - just curiosity.  
The talk starts at 8:00pm in the A. B. Ceder Room
at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield.
 Afterwards, weather permitting, there will
be planet and star gazing at the observatory.

The club holds regular star parties at White Memorial.  
Events are free and open to the public.  
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  
For more details, see the club calendar at lhastro.org
or email the club at lhaacsec@gmail.com.

8:00 P.M., A.B. Ceder Room.
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
You are invited to bring your own telescope or binoculars.
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Wild Edible Plants with Andy Dobos
Saturday, May 27 ~ 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
We all know that locally grown organic food is what is best for us.  
No unwanted chemicals, more healthy nutrients, less wasteful
byproducts of large scale farming and long distance transportation.  
Having your own garden is even better of course.  

What about wild plants?  They're right there, some in great abundance.
Some non-native species are in too much abundance, out competing
 their native neighbors.  Many of these we can eat and it is becoming
 quite well documented that they are better for us, containing
higher and more complete amounts of the nutrients we
need to be healthy within the same volume of food.  

Three Red Trees School of Natural Living's Andy Dobos will help you learn
some common, easily identifiable edible wild plants and how to
responsibly harvest and prepare them.  We will walk through field,
forest and wetland edge, all almost within sight of each other.

We have special permission to pick plants on WMCC property,
something that is not normally allowed, which gives us an incredible
 opportunity to do this in a most beautiful setting.  All the plants we cover
will be species one could find in their back yard or old farmland or wood
lot so no excuses for not making future use of what you will learn.  

Bring notebook, camera, and protection from the elements.
10:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M,  
Meet in front of the Museum.
Maximum of 20 people
Members: $10.00 Non-members: $20.00,
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Call 860-567-0857
or register online: www.whitememorialcc.org

 ****************
May 25 - 31
Museum Children Free Week
In honor of Helen Ryan Donnelly.  Free admission to children
ages twelve and under when accompanied by an adult.

 ****************
Monday, May 29
Memorial Day
MUSEUM CLOSED

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, May 31 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00 A. M. - 9:00 A.M., Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.
For information, Please call 860-309-9489.

Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
White Memorial Conservation Center
Calendar of Events ~ June 2017

Nature's Nursery Series
Thursday, June 1 ~ 4:00-5:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Thursdays, June 1, July 6, and August 24
Join us one Thursday per month from May-August for an hour-long
 program designed just for children 3-6 years old. Every session will
include a story, an encounter with a live animal, and an activity or craft.

Bring your young nature lovers out to White Memorial
 for a jam-packed hour of hands-on learning.
Parents, we ask that you stay for the duration of the program.

Meet in the A.B. Ceder Room. 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Advanced registration is required.
Space is limited and fills up quickly.
To register, please call 860-567-0857
Members: $7/child per session or $25/whole series,
Non-Members: $12/child per session or $45/whole series

 ****************
Museum Open House
in Celebration of Connecticut Trail Days
Saturday, June 3 ~ 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Free admission from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 ****************
Celebrate Connecticut Trail Days
Geology Walk Through Five Ponds
with Tom Alena
Saturday, June 3 ~ 10:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Geologist and meteorologist Tom Alena knows a thing or two about rocks!
Join Tom on this beautiful hike through one of White Memorial's richest geological arenas.
Tom will explain the glacial event that occurred thousands of years ago
 in laymen's terms revealing the stories of white quartz, garnets, mica schist,
and that incredible boulder field that define this very special area.   

Wear sturdy boots. Rain or shine!
10:00 a.m. ~ Meet in front of the A.B. Ceder Room,
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Celebrate Connecticut Trail Days
Amphibian Amble with Carrie Szwed
Saturday, June 3 ~ 2:30-4:30 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Join White Memorial Education Director Carrie Szwed on a jaunt to find those
sleek and slimy creatures we call amphibians. We'll look under rocks and boards
and visit a pond armed with dip nets in order to reveal as many frogs, toads,
and salamanders as we can. After identifying and marveling at these
cool critters, all amphibians will be safely returned to their hiding spots.

Wear long pants and shoes that you don't mind getting muddy!
Meet in the A.B. Ceder Room for a brief introduction on our native
amphibian species before we head out on the property.
2:30 - 4: 30 p.m.
FREE…donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
June 8 - 14
Museum Children Free Week
In memory of Louise W. Willson.  
Free admission to children ages twelve and
under when accompanied by an adult.

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, June 7 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00-9:00a.m. ~  Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.

For information, Please call 860-309-9489.
Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
Exploring Topsmead
House and Grounds Tour
with Gerri Griswold
Saturday, June 10 ~ 11:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Topsmead State Forest is the former summer estate of Miss Edith Morton Chase,
daughter of Henry Sabin Chase and Alice Morton Chase. Henry Sabin Chase
was the first President of Chase Brass and Copper Company in Waterbury.
Chase Brass was one of the leaders in the brass industry
when Waterbury was the Brass Capital of the world.

In 1917, Miss Chase received from her father approximately 16 acres on
Jefferson Hill in Litchfield. Here she built a rustic cabin, which was replaced
with a more substantial summer home in 1923. She hired noted architect
Richard Henry Dana, Jr. to help her design and build the English Tudor style house
which was completed in 1925. The exterior woodwork is of cypress,
the downspouts are lead, the walls of brick and stucco, and the roof is slate.
The interior woodwork is oak, as is most of the flooring. The foyer, hallway and
 dining room floors are of polished terra cotta tile. Most of the interior walls
are of the same type of stucco as is found on the exterior. Fine craftsmanship,
an eye for detail and understated wealth are evident throughout the house, which
is tastefully and simply furnished with 17th and 18th century English country antiques.

Miss Chase loved the outdoors and as much care was given to the landscaping
as was given to the design and furnishings of her home. Surrounding her home
are plantings of holly, lilac, and juniper. Apple trees line the drive and formal
gardens on each end of the house compliment the English Tudor architecture.

Edith Chase shared her summer home with her life-long companions,
Mary and Lucy Burrall. The ladies spent the winter months at the Burrall
sisters' home on Church Street in Waterbury. Because it was their dream
to create a pocket of serenity, the ladies' lifestyle at "Topsmead"
was relaxed. Guests were entertained informally.

Miss Chase was a clever businesswoman. She built up her financial inheritance
and subsequently her real estate holdings. One of her most significant acquisitions
was the 1927 purchase of the Buell Farm which was renamed Topsmead Farm
to reflect its location at the "top of the meadow". The farm produced food
used on the estate. In addition to vegetable and flower gardens there
were beef cattle, poultry, sheep, pigs, and at one time, draft horses.

Upon her death in 1972, Edith Chase left her beloved country estate to the
people of Connecticut and to be known as Topsmead State Forest. In her will,
Miss Chase requested that Topsmead State Forest "be kept in a state of
natural beauty". To ensure that Topsmead would remain undisturbed,
Miss Chase left an endowment to be used toward maintaining and
operating the buildings and grounds as they were upon her death.

Pack a picnic!
Meet Gerri at Topsmead at 11:00 a.m.
We'll tour the home and then wander the property,
count Bobolinks, and maybe even see a Kestrel!
This program is limited to 15 participants.
You must pre-register by calling 860-567-0857
or register online: www.whitememorialcc.org
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Litchfield Hills Road Race
MUSEUM CLOSED

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, June 14 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00-9:00a.m. ~  Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.

For information, Please call 860-309-9489.
Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
Icelandic National Day
Saturday, June 17 ~ 4:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Let's spend a few hours celebrating our closest European neighbor!
Join Gerri Griswold and Tom Alena on a photographic and geological journey
 to the Land of Fire and Ice. Tom will begin the program with a survey of
Iceland's volcanoes. Hands on experiments will allow you to understand
how volcanoes work! Griswold will follow with a photographic journey of her
45 visits to her second home. Master Falconer, Brian Bradley, will fly
Iceland's National Bird, the Gyrfalcon! Later we'll sit under the stars by the
fire and listen to the music of some of our favorite Icelandic recording artists
while devouring a wonderful Icelandic cod and potato dish called Plokk Fiskur
 and indulge in a delicious Icelandic Birthday Cake, (Vinarterta)
washed down with glorious Icelandic coffee.

BYOB and your own place setting!
4:00 p.m. ~ A. B. Ceder Room,
The programs are free.
Icelandic treats by the fire:
Members: $10.00  Non-members: $20.00
Pre-registration is only required for the weenie roast.
Call 860-567-0857
or register online: www.whitememorialcc.org

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, June 21 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00-9:00a.m. ~  Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.

For information, Please call 860-309-9489.
Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
Star Party
Friday, June 23 ~ 8:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
This astronomy program is organized by members of the Litchfield Hills
Amateur Astronomy Club and the Mattatuck Astronomical Society.  
Weather permitting; there will be star gazing after the program.

 8:00 p.m. ~ A.B. Ceder Room
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
You are invited to bring your own telescope or binoculars.
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Marlow Shami: Waking Up is Hard to DO!
Saturday, June 24 ~ 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
We are a part of nature, not apart from nature. This concept is easy to
grasp in theory, but difficult to embody. Academic achievement, accumulation
of cool stuff, an ever growing personal factoid database, social status -
these are the crown jewels of what our society bases personal value upon.  
If these areas of endeavor are habitually visited without pause, reflection
and checking in with our gut, they usually act as a surrogate. This proxy,
 blind to our authentic needs, morphs under the radar into a numbing insulation.
A gap grows between our little self and infinite self - the web-of-life, our planetary kin.

So many of the chronic problems unique to our amazing species are
environmentally rooted physiological problems. A robust body of empirical
research underlines the imperative nature of this connection.
I've spent the better half of my adult life personally and professionally
 investigating this disconnect, having grappled with many a challenges
rooted in this dis-union myself. Homo-sapiens are the only species with
the cognitive ability to choose to cooperate, or not, with the rest of our
ecosystem. Interspecies cooperation is homeostasis in action. Nothing is
static in nature, hence the need to check-in with our personal inner
compass often. How else to stay on an authentic course? The distractions
 of a consumer culture are infinite. As you build your knowledge base of
what is needed to be healthy and awake, discernment frees you! You can
draw your life outside the box, cherry picking your genuine goals,
 friendships, stuff, and social accoutrements.

The strategy of re-calling our relationship within this fantastic family of plant,
 animal and all the elements that comprise our world, is simple and complex.
Earth calls us to pay attention. To what? How so? Those chronic ailments
endemic to our society: depression, anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure,
heart disease, drug addiction, are more often than not, rooted in this
sensory disconnect. These maladies communicate to us just like a compass
does to a lost sailor if we pay attention. Sickness can also be guidance.
Nature is not a panacea to our ills. It will, however, provide a personal road map
to what we need in order to live a full and joyful life. When we set our intention
and attention to the job of noticing what is going on within our whole body
and the world holding us at that very moment, we notice the sensory anchors
that tether us to earth. Our mind alone cannot do this for us. Our many sensory
anchors, once welcomed into our consciousness as valid and real,
 paradoxically open our mind and heart to what it is that we truly need.

Navigating the constantly shifting landscape of our lives
 requires our inner compass to awaken. We do this by simply
paying attention without judgement or expectation.
Join me in an experiential Wake-Up  program this spring.
Enjoy a meditation, activity to enhance the Waking UP process,
 group discussion, and nature-connection.

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ~ Meet in the A. B. Ceder Room
FREE…Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Wild Edible Plants with Andy Dobos
Saturday, June 24 ~ 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
We all know that locally grown organic food is what is best for us.  
No unwanted chemicals, more healthy nutrients, less wasteful
by products of large scale farming and long distance transportation.  
Having your own garden is even better of course.

What about wild plants?  They're right there, some in great abundance.  
Some non-native species are in too much abundance, out competing their
native neighbors.  Many of these we can eat and it is becoming quite well
documented that they are better for us, containing higher and more complete
amounts of the nutrients we need to be healthy within the same volume of food.   
Three Red Trees School of Natural Living's Andy Dobos will help you learn
some common, easily identifiable edible wild plants and how to
 responsibly harvest and prepare them.  We will walk through field,
 forest and wetland edge, all almost within sight of each other.

We have special permission to pick plants on WMCC property, something
that is not normally allowed, which gives us an incredible opportunity to
 do this in a most beautiful setting.  All the plants we cover will be species
 one could find in their back yard or old farmland or wood lot so
 no excuses for not making future use of what you will learn.

Bring notebook, camera, and protection from the elements.  
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. ~  Meet in front of the Museum.
Maximum of 20 people
Members: $10.00 Non-members: $20.00,
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Call 860-567-0857
or register online: www.whitememorialcc.org

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, June 28 ~ 8:00-9:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 In the garden behind the White Memorial museum, we will practice gentle,
Vinyasa yoga as we listen to the birds, feel the morning breezes,
and celebrate the warmth of the summer sun. Class will be followed by
a brief guided meditation for those who would like to participate.
This is an all levels, all ages program and requires no prior yoga or meditation
experience! Recent studies have shown the benefits of yoga, which include
 stress reduction, improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.

Please bring a mat and water
(and sunscreen/bug repellant if desired).
8:00-9:00a.m. ~  Each class is $10.
Come to one, several, or all!!
A portion of these proceeds will go to
 the White Memorial Conservation Center.

For information, Please call 860-309-9489.
Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT is a Board Certified
movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, and a
registered yoga teacher. She is a 27 year employee
 of Waterbury Hospital and an adjunct faculty
member in dance at NVCC. She owns and operates
the Evolving Center, a private practice, in Litchfield.

 ****************
June 29 - July 5
Museum Children Free Week
In memory of Louise W. Willson.  
Free admission to children ages twelve and
under when accompanied by an adult.

**************************
35th Annual Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 24, 2016 ~ BZ photos
 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**************************
Dragonflies & Damselflies Mini-BioBlitz
with James Fischer
Saturday, July 9, 2016
James Fischer (blue hat), Research Director
at the White Memorial Conservation Center helps citizen
scientists to identify native dragonflies and damselflies
at Ongley Pond on Saturday, July 9th. ~ BZ photos
 


 


**************************
Walking the Slab Meadow Parcel
with Gerri Griswold
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Gerri Griswold (far left) is ready to lead a group to visit the Slab Meadow Parcel
at the White Memorial Conservation Center on Saturday, May 14, 2016.
Slab Meadow was purchased in 2015 by the White Memorial Foundation
and includes vernal pools, an abundant variety of frogs and birds,
and a scenic overlook of a marsh. ~ BZ photo

The parcel is home to frogs wood frogs, green frogs,
spring peepers, and bull frogs. The oak stands  produce
an abundance of birdlife especially Red-eyed Vireos.

**************************
34th Annual Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 26, 2015
~ more BZ photos
 

 

 

 

 

**************************
The 33rd Annual Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 27, 2014
~ Litchfield.bz photos
Our annual celebration of Mother Nature is a must for folks of all ages.
 This 33rd edition celebrated The White Memorial Conservation Center's 50th Anniversary!
 


 

 

   

 

   

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

**************************
White Memorial YouTube Videos
produced by Marlow Shami
Community  Outreach Coordinator
White Memorial Conservation Center

**************************
Litchfield BZ - YouTube Videos
Narrated by Peter Vermilyea
HiddeninPlainSightBlog.com
Produced by Litchfield.bz
**************************
BZ Photo Gallery

White Memorial Foundation 100th Anniversary:
The Amazing Race!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
photo by Gerri Griswold
The winners of The Amazing Race are Art and Carol Morenz of Thomaston, CT.
They RANNNNNNN the whole course and returned at 12:00 PM
a full 19 minutes before the second place finishers
Philip and Augie Delves-Broughton of Litchfield.
Nicki Hall of West Hartland placed third.
photo by Gerri Griswold
The Winners! - Art and Carol Morenz

For their Herculean efforts, Art and Carol Morenz have AMAZING bragging rights,
but also were awarded two beautiful wood burned walking sticks made
exclusively for the winners of The Amazing Race
by White Memorial Gift Shop Manager, Lois Melaragno.

32 participated and all were treated to a pizza party after the race.
We have no doubt that The Amazing Race
will become an annual event at White Memorial.

The Conservation Center thanks it’s wonderful legion of
volunteers who helped make the event a resounding success.
~ Gerri Griswold, Director of Administration and Development

This challenging event was the last HURRAH in a spectacular year of programming
celebrating the 100th Anniversary of The White Memorial Foundation!

**************************
2013 Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 28, 2013
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

**************************
High Tea on Chickadee Bridge and Boat Parade
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Our celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the White Memorial Foundation cruised along with a
 whimsical boat parade along the Bantam River ending with a high tea on Chickadee Bridge.



Parade Marshals and judges Susie Van Winkle Pollock (left) and Beth Van Winkle Boynton



**************************
BIOBLITZ!
Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1, 2013
In honoring the White Memorial Foundation's 100th Anniversary,
Research Director James Fischer pulled out all the stoppers!!!!
BZ photos
What exactly is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is a 24 hour event that tallies every species inhabiting our study site.
Biologists blitz the area in search of every living species.
The BioBlitz finishes with a final count of all the species discovered.

James Fischer
Director of Research

Participants helped the scientists count organisms including these students (above) from Litchfield High School.




 





 

 



White Memorial conserves over 4000 acres of critical habitats and encourages research,
education, and recreation for all on their 32 miles of wooded trails, rivers, and lakes.

The White Memorial Foundation is Connecticut’s largest private wildlife sanctuary.
Participants learned how our local biodiversity impacts their everyday lives.

**************************
The White Memorial Foundation 1913-2013
Celebrating 100 Years of Conservation
Saturday, May 18, 2013











**************************
The Zoo in Forest Park: Zoo on the Go!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Zoo on the Go from the Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center in Springfield, MA
brought a variety of animals to the White Memorial Conservation Center on Saturday, March 2nd.
Assistant Director of Education, Teralyn LaChance (below) gave an overview of each animal
and then gave everyone an opportunity to touch the animals.
She was assisted by Sarah Goldstein a CIT (crew in training).
"Chilly" the Chincilla (left) with Teralyn and "Ollie" the Caique parrot (right) - BZ photos
 
"Chilly" the chincilla - BZ photos
"Tuck" the hairy armadillo - BZ photos
Sarah with "Snuggle" a tegu lizard - BZ photos
Sarah (left) with "Porkchop" a North American porcupine and Teralyn (right) - BZ photo

The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center
302 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA
413-733-2251

**************************
Prickly talk at White Memorial
Litchfield.bz (11-19-12)
Dr. Uldis Roze (left) and Gerri Griswold, Director of Administration and Development
at White Memorial with Skitur. - BZ photo

Gerri's porcupine "Skitur" - BZ photo

Dr. Uldis Roze was the featured speaker at the White Memorial Conservation Center
on Saturday afternoon. He has spent the past 35 years learning about the
world's prickliest mammal and recently published a book entitled


The talk included a luncheon provided by Gerri Griswold followed by a slide presentation
with Dr. Roze comparing and contrasting two porcupines, the North American
porcupine of our woods and byways, and the thin-spined porcupine of Brazil's
Atlantic forest. “Both are unusual, highly divergent porcupines when compared
 to the typical forms of South America to which both are related.”

L-R: Oren Boynton, Dr. Uldis Roze and Elizabeth Boynton
Elizabeth is a member of the Board of Directors at White Memorial - BZ photo

The following was published in the JHU Press
(Johns Hopkins University) by Dr. Roze:
Wild Thing is an occasional series where JHU Press authors write about the
flora and fauna of the natural world—from the rarest flower to the
most magnificent beast. Guest post by Uldis Roze

Having grown up in large cities where porcupines are absent, I was in my 30s
before I saw my first porcupine in the wild. We met at night, in the light cone of my
flashlight, as the porcupine was chewing our freshly-built cabin at a woods edge
in the Catskills. The animal looked surreal and wild, but I had no doubt about its
identification. It had quills, therefore it was a porcupine.

But the quills that give porcupines their easy identification and shape their natural
histories are themselves the source of endless mystery and mystification.

Do porcupines throw their quills? All scientific accounts assure readers to the contrary,
but it wasn’t always so. Writing in the April 16, 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated,
Dr. William J. Lang describes a porcupine he had surprised in a woodshed:
 “With an upward flick of his tail, one quill grazed my cheek, another stuck in my hat brim
 . . . three more clung by their barbed tips to the cedar splits.” Dr. Lang notwithstanding,
porcupines can no more throw their quills than dogs can throw their hair, and if they
somehow evolved the capacity to do so, it would do the throwers no good. This is for
reasons of fundamental physics: the energy residing in a moving body is given by its
momentum, the product of its mass times velocity. Because a porcupine quill has
negligible mass, it would carry negligible momentum, and serve
very poorly in the animal’s defense.

A porcupine misunderstood. The royal crest of Louis XII of France featured
a crested porcupine, shown throwing a shower of quills at distant enemies, while
keeping other quills in reserve for an impregnable defense. Perhaps because
Louis XII lost most of his military engagements, his successors
abandoned the porcupine symbolism.

Photo by Philippa Moore

Perhaps the flying quill hypothesis is so persistent because when quills arrive in
human skin, they materialize in a microsecond, faster than the eye can follow.
But quills do not arrive in flight–they arrive on the surface of the tail. And
because the mass of the incoming is not the mass of the quill alone but the
mass of the quill plus tail, the momentum is high and the quill can penetrate deeply.

Another source of quill confusion is the one-way barbs.
True or false: all porcupine quills have barbed tips. False!

No Old-World porcupine (11 spp.) carries barbed quills. With a single
exception, all New-World porcupines (15 spp.) carry barbed quills.
The presence or absenceof barbs is possibly the most fundamental
difference between quills of the 2 porcupine families.

Old-World porcupines are large animals, with some species reaching weights
of 50 lbs in the wild. They are defended by large quills with sharp, knife-like tips
that can kill lions and leopards. Large quills require large bodies for delivery.
But large bodies are not an option for New-World porcupines, who live in trees.
Their small bodies carry small quills. With the evolutionary invention of barbs,
these small quills can travel deep inside a predator’s body, pulled by the
predator’s own muscles until they either strike an organ
or exit the body, far from the point of entry.

That said, there are limits to the defense offered by small quills. Unlike their
Old-World cousins, who can stand up to the large cats of Africa and Asia,
New-World porcupines have no effective defense against their North American
predator, the mountain lion. Rick Sweitzer, who studied a porcupine population
in the Great Basin desert of Nevada, reports what happened when a single
mountain lion started preying on his porcupines. In a 3-year period, the population
plummeted from 82 animals to just 5. Instead of avoiding the quills, mountain lions
eat their porcupines whole, and accept the consequences. Mountain lions
autopsied in Oregon routinely showed quill tips embedded in the gums, where
they had come to rest against the jawbone.

How many quills does a North American porcupine carry? An answer given
by one respondent is “roughly 658, but I lost count after they kept stabbing
me.” A more common answer is “around 30,000.” The number, enshrined in the
biological literature, seems to make sense because hundreds of quills may be
lost with each predator attack, and lost quills require months to replace.
Therefore carrying a hundred-fold excess represents
an effective safety (pin) cushion.

But the source of the 30,000 quill figure cannot be found. The earliest mention
of the number is by Donald Spencer in 1950, in a National Geographic article.
Spencer gives no indication that he counted the quills
himself, nor identifies the source who did.

Much else about porcupine quills remains unknown or misunderstood.
Quills of North American porcupines carry surface antibiotics, and help
disseminate a warning odor. Do other porcupine species show the same
capabilities? We don’t know and can’t predict, because North American
porcupines follow a unique life style, even within its New-World family.
Shouldn’t we approach porcupines with the same openness we extend
to our wives, husbands, lovers: work to know them as they are,
not as we perceived them on first meeting?

Uldis Roze is professor emeritus at Queens College in New York City.
He is a contributor to Natural History magazine and is the author of
Porcupines: The Animal Answer Guide, published by JHU Press.

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Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 22, 2012












**************************
Eating locally grown at White Memorial
Andy Dobos and Deneen Bernier led a group around White Memorial  
trails on Saturday identifying common edible wild plants.
They demonstrated how to responsibly harvest and prepare them.
They walked through fields, wetlands and forested areas.
They had special permission to pick plants which is not
usually permitted on White Memorial property.
White Memorial also has several green energy technologies
in operation including a geothermal heat pump system,
a wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels.
The staff at White Memorial are recording data to
determine the benefits of each type of green energy.


In 1964 the Center was established in the former
home of Alain White and his sister, May.
Their vision and generosity led to the formation
of the White Memorial Foundation in 1913.
A non-profit tax exempt organization, the Center was
incorporated to add the goal of Education to the Conservation,
Research, and Recreation purposes for which the foundation was formed.

The Conservation Center operates a Nature Museum
with exhibits focusing on the interpretation of local natural history,
conservation, and ecology, as well as a Museum Nature Store.

Dormitory and Classroom Facilities on the property extend
the opportunities for visitors to interact with the natural world.

The outdoor arena includes the wildlife sanctuary
maintained by the White Memorial Foundation.

The Foundation today comprises 4000 acres of fields,
water, and woodlands, trails, campgrounds, boating facilities,
and special areas for large outdoor educational and recreational gatherings.
For more information visit www.whitememorialcc.org.

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Tree Foliage Identification Walk
White Memorial Foundation Forest Superintendent Lukas Hyder
points out the finer details of tree identification through foliage
on a "Tree Foliage Identification Walk" at the White Memorial Conservation Center.

**************************
"Zoo on the Go"
@ White Memorial Conservation Center on Saturday, March 24, 2012

Two of the popular animals featured included an anteater and a porcupine.


**************************
Winter Birds and Early Spring Migrants
Ray Belding (center-white hat) led the group around Bantam Lake on Saturday, March 10th - BZ photo

Ray Belding led a group to view 'Winter Birds and Early Spring Migrants'
on Saturday, March 10th at the White Memorial Conservation Center.
Jeff Ginsburg (to the right of Ray in the picture above) forwarded the photos below.
photos and summary courtesy of Jeff Ginsburg
They visited five different locations during the two hour walk
around Bantam Lake in Litchfield and Morris.
Spotted were two bald eagles (on Bantam Lake),
Hooded Mergansers, American Black Ducks and Green- winged Teals
Ray Belding later filed a report on ebird.com that documented
eleven species spotted on Bantam Lake and Point Folly including:
2 Mallard
17 Bufflehead
4 Common Goldeneye
187 Common Merganser
34 American Coot
13 Ring-billed Gull
1 Blue Jay
4 American Crow
3 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Tufted Titmouse
3 Red-winged Blackbird





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30th Annual Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 24, 2011

 










 

**************************
Reptile and Amphibian Walk
with Wildlife Biologist Dave Rosgen
Dave led a walk around Ongley Pond in search of native
reptiles and amphibians on Saturday, September 3, 2011.
Participants learned to identify frogs and toads by their appearance and voices.

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2nd Annual Iceland Affair @ WMCC
(Litchfield.bz 8-1-11)
Everything you wanted to know about Iceland was the theme for Saturday's
'Iceland Affair' at the White Memorial Conservation Center.
Gerri Griswold is the Program Director at the White Memorial Conservation Center
and Iceland is absolutely her favorite place in the world to visit.
This mini celebration of the 'Land of Fire and Ice' featured Icelandic
chickens, sheep, dogs, horses and Icelandic foods.
There were movies of the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull
(the volcano that stopped air traffic in Europe last year)
and a presentation about the spectacular natural beauty of Iceland
by frequent flyer Gerri Griswold who captivated the audience with her unbridled enthusiasm.

Icelandic horses put on a show at the
activity field at White Memorial CC

The event also featured the first USA performance of
Icelandic Recording Artist Svavar Knutur on Saturday evening.
Mr. Knutur's latest recording 'Amma: Songs for My Grandmother'
hit #1 on the Icelandic charts.
His stunning melodies and poetic lyrics in both English and Icelandic
capped off this very special event.
Special thanks to Leo Kulinski, Jr. for sharing pictures and video.
Svavar's website: www.svavarknutur.com

Svavar Knutur concert in the Activity Shed at White Memorial Saturday night

photos courtesy of Leo Kulinski, Jr.

video courtesy of Leo Kulinski, Jr.

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Inaugural trip on the Litchfield Community Greenway
The Friends of the Litchfield Community Greenway celebrated Connecticut Trails Day
on Saturday, June 4th with a 2 mile hike and a  4 mile trail bike trip
along portions of the new Litchfield Community Greenway Trail.
The hike was led by Barbara Putnam and the bike trip was led by Cliff Cooper
with support from the Litchfield Hills Cycling Club and the Connecticut Community Foundation.


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Great Backyard Bird Count
Dave Rosgen at the White Memorial Conservation Center encourages local residents
to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count from February 18th-21st
by counting the birds in your own backyard.
This project is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
in cooperation with the Audubon Society.
More info: ebird.org

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Green Energy Technologies at White Memorial Conservation Center
From: Keith Cudworth, Executive Director, White Memorial Foundation

The White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield
has expanded its commitment to use and demonstrate green energy technologies
with the installation of a GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP SYSTEM and a WIND TURBINE.
These new projects are in addition to the 11,050 watt
PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM which was installed two years ago.  

The new geothermal heat pump system was added at the Museum last December,
and is supplying the vast majority of the building's heating and cooling needs,
significantly reducing the cost to heat and cool the Museum.

During this past winter the Museum's heating oil use dropped
 by more than 200 gallons per month and in June and July
the electricity needed to cool the building
dropped by 58% compared to last year.  

Geothermal systems use the fairly constant underground temperature
of the earth, of about 55°F, to heat buildings in the winter
and cool them in the summer.

White Memorial's system, which consists of three ClimateMaster®
heat pumps with an overall cooling capacity of 11 tons,
was installed in the building basement.  

Outside, about five feet below the surface, are four 365 feet deep wells.  
These are connected to the heat pumps by pipes filled with an antifreeze fluid
which is circulated from the heat pumps to the wells and back to the heat pumps.  

Geothermal heat pumps are one the most efficient and environmentally
clean heating and cooling systems available, and it is anticipated that the use of this
technology will reduce the cost to heat and cool the Museum by at least one-third.

DePco Mechanical of Farmington and Grela Well Drilling
of Terryville were the contractors for this project.  
This project was made possible through generous support from
The Seherr-Thoss Charitable Trust, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund
and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund.

The new wind turbine, a Honeywell Wind turbine
manufactured by WindTronics™has been installed on the roof
of White Memorial's maintenance garage.

This new turbine design will begin producing power
with a wind speed of 2 mph, well below the speeds needed for most units
and therefore ideally suited for White Memorial's low wind site.  

Most importantly this installation has been placed
in a great location for visitors to see it in operation.  
In addition to being a demonstration of this technology,
the clean electricity the turbine produces will be used to s
upplement the electricity needs in the maintenance garage
or will be fed back into the utility grid.

The wind turbine was installed by Hammersmith, Inc of Sharon.

With all of these projects, the photovoltaic system,
geothermal and the wind turbine, in addition to other
energy conservation practices that have been implemented,
White Memorial is keeping detailed records to
better understand the benefits of each.  

We invite the public and small businesses to contact us
and see how these have worked for us and see how they may work for them.

This is an open invitation to any and all
who have an interest in seeing these practices in use.
Call 860-567-0857 or email us at info@whitememorialcc.org.