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.

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White Memorial Conservation Center
Calendar of Events ~ June 2017

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.

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

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.

 ****************
Dawn Chorus
with Fran Zygmont
Saturday, July 1 ~ 4:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
The dawn chorus occurs when birds sing at the start of a new day.
In a given location, it is common for different species to do their
dawn singing at different times. Of course..in order to experience this incredible
performance you must be up before the birds! Join Litchfield Hills Audubon's
Bird Whisperer, Fran Zygmont as he and early bird Gerri Griswold take y
ou to some favorite birding haunts just before the crack o' dawn.
Breakfast at Patty's afterwards!
4:00 A.M., Meet in front of the A. B. Ceder Room,
Please pre-register for this program by calling 860-567-0857
or pre-register online www.whitememorialcc.org.
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Explore Our New &
Improved Interpretative Trail
with Gerri Griswold
Saturday, July 1 ~ 10:00 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Visit the 14 stops along this beautiful half mile trail which features
woodland and marshland habitats and the Bantam River. The refurbished
trail was a two and a half year labor of love involving Education
Director Carrie Szwed and visionary volunteer, Bob Stern.
10:00 A.M., Meet at the A. B. Ceder Room.,
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
Art Show Opening and Reception
The Landscapes of Ella Crampton Knox
Saturday, July 1 ~ 4:00-6:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Ella has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Conservation Center
for decades. We are so honored to have this great artist hang
 a show of her ethereal landscapes in the Ceder Room!
Ella Crampton Knox is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement
of Science and Art, New York, NY, class of 1980. There she earned her
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Since graduating she has owned and operated
an art gallery and framing shop, Ella's Limited and the Ella Knox Gallery,
 located in Bantam, Connecticut for over thirty years. Ella is happy to have
grown up in this beautiful area of New England, which provides her with
endless subjects for her work. www.ellacramptonknox.com
4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room,
The reception is free but you must
pre-register by calling 860-567 - 0857
or register online: www.whitememorialcc.org

 ****************
INDEPENDENCE DAY
Tuesday, July 4
MUSEUM CLOSED

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, July 5 ~ 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.

 ****************
July 6 - 12
Museum Children Free Week
In memory of Louise W. Willson.
Free admission to children ages twelve
and under when accompanied by an adult

 ****************
Nature's Nursery Series
Designed just for children 3-6 years old
Thursday, July 6 ~ 4:00-5:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Join us on one Thursday per month 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. 4-5pm.
Advanced registration is required.
Space is limited and fills up quickly.
To register, please call 860-567-0857
Members: $7/child per session,
 Non-Members: $12/child per session

 ****************
Full Buck Moon Walk
to Apple Hill and Cat Swamp
with Gerri Griswold
Saturday, July 8 ~ 8:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Let's meander the Apple Hill trail by moonlight and see
what shenanigans unfold! We'll begin at the Green Barn
and count our bats as they emerge for "breakfast."We'll then drive to
the Apple Hill trailhead together making our way to Cat Swamp first.
Bring a flashlight!
8:00 P.M., Meet in front of the A. B. Ceder Room,
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
"Nature Adventurers" Summer Camp
Kids entering grades 1 & 2
Monday, July 10 - Friday, July 28
9:30 a.m.. - 3:30 p.m.
(each day - weekdays only)
White Memorial Conservation Center
Kids entering grades 1 & 2 can join us for three weeks
of all-day outdoor discovery, games, books, songs, and crafts that
help them learn more about the natural world around them.
Sign up by week.
9:30am - 3:30pm each day.
Meet in the Museum parking lot.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Please call 860-567-0857
Space is limited!
Members: $120/week,
Non-members: $145/week.

 ****************
"Natural History Explorers"
Summer Camp
Kids entering grades 3 - 9
Monday, July 10 - Friday, August 11
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
(each day - weekdays only)
White Memorial Conservation Center
Kids entering grades 3 - 9 can join us for week-long sessions that immerse
them in nature! All-day adventures take us into the nooks and crannies
of White Memorial property, as well as to natural areas throughout
northwestern CT. Activities include collecting rocks and minerals,
investigating aquatic life, exploring different ecosystems, learning to
 identify wildlife, climbing mountains, hiking trails, and so much more.
9:30am - 3:30pm each day.
Meet in the A.B. Ceder Room.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Please call 860-567-0857
Space is limited!
Members: $140/week,
Non-members: $165/week.
Grades 3 & 4: July 10-14 & 17-21     
Grades 5 & 6: July 24-28 & July 31-Aug. 4
Grades 7, 8 & 9: August 7-11

 ****************
"Wee Discoverers"
Weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds
Summer Nature Camp
Tuesday, July 11  ~ 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
This weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds features
stories, songs, crafts, games, and outdoor adventures
 that introduce young ones to the wonders of nature!
Sign up by session or for all 5 sessions.
Meet in Nature Museum Children's Corner. 9:30 - 11:30am.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Please call 860-567-0857
Space is limited!
Members: $15/session,
Non-members: $25/session

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, July 12 ~ 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.

 ****************
Celebration of the Bantam River
Friday, July 14 ~  6:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 ~ 6:30 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
The festivities begin Friday evening with a photographic
presentation of the beauty of  the Bantam River.
Nibble hors d'oeuvres, sip wine and
 immerse yourself in ethereal images.
On Saturday morning at 6:30 A.M.,
launch your boats near Chickadee Bridge
for an early morning interpretive paddle down the river.
End at Litchfield Town Beach where you will be treated
to a delicious breakfast prepared for you by Gerri Griswold.
Pray for perfect weather!
Friday: 6:30 P.M., A.B. Ceder Room and
Saturday: 6:30A.M at the boat
launch on White's Woods Road.
 Members: $25.00, Non members: $35.00
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

 ****************
"Wee Discoverers"
Weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds
Summer Nature Camp
Tuesday, July 18  ~ 9:30-11:30 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
This weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds features
stories, songs, crafts, games, and outdoor adventures
 that introduce young ones to the wonders of nature!
Sign up by session or for all 5 sessions.
Meet in Nature Museum Children's Corner. 9:30 - 11:30am.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Please call 860-567-0857
Space is limited!
Members: $15/session,
Non-members: $25/session

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, July 19 ~ 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.

 ****************
Impressionist Summer Garden in Watercolor
with Betsy Rogers-Knox
Saturday, July 22 ~ 1:30-4:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
 Enjoy a fun afternoon creating a loose, colorful garden impression
in watercolor. This workshop is designed for all levels and
offers step-by-step instruction and plenty of demos.
All materials are included.
For ages 15 and up.
1:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room,
Members: $35.00, Non-members: $45.00,
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Call 860-567-0857 or register online

 ****************
7th Annual Celebration for the Bats
Saturday, July 22 ~ 7:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Help Gerri Griswold celebrate 25 years of crusading for Bats, our planet's
most extraordinary creature! A lecture featuring a live Big Brown Bat will
begin the evening's festivities. We can then count our bat colony as it
emerges from the Green Barn serenaded by the wildly talented Ian Campbell!  
iancampbellmusic.com. Charming bat cupcakes and lemonade
will be served (to humans..not bats..they prefer insects)!
Pack a picnic or BYOB! The event is on rain or shine.
Come out and show your support for bats!  
7:00 P.M, A. B. Ceder Room.
Please call 860-567-0857 to register.
FREE… Donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

 ****************
"Wee Discoverers"
Weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds
Summer Nature Camp
Tuesday, July 25  ~ 9:30-11:30 a.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
This weekly two-hour series for 4 & 5 year-olds features
stories, songs, crafts, games, and outdoor adventures
 that introduce young ones to the wonders of nature!
Sign up by session or for all 5 sessions.
Meet in Nature Museum Children's Corner. 9:30 - 11:30am.
Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.
Please call 860-567-0857
Space is limited!
Members: $15/session,
Non-members: $25/session

 ****************
Yoga in the Garden
Wednesday, July 26 ~ 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, July 28 ~ 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

 ****************
Film: The Eagle Huntress
Saturday, July 29 ~ 2:00 p.m.
White Memorial Conservation Center
The Eagle Huntress follows the story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl from Mongolia,
 as she attempts to become the first female eagle hunter to compete in the
 eagle festival at Ulgii, Mongolia, established in 1999. She belongs to a
family of nomads that spend their summers in a yurt in the Altai Mountains
and their winters in a house in town. The men in her family have been eagle
hunters for seven generations, and she wants to follow in their footsteps.

With her father Nurgaiv's help, she learns how to train golden eagles,
and then captures and trains her own eaglet. Although she faces some
disbelief and opposition within the traditionally male tradition, she becomes
the first female to enter the competition at the annual Golden Eagle Festival.
She ends up winning the competition, and her eaglet
 breaks a speed record in one of the events.

After the competition, she takes the final step toward becoming an eagle hunter
by traveling with her father to the mountains in the winter to hunt foxes,
braving snowy conditions and extreme cold. After some initial misses,
her eaglet successfully kills its first fox and she returns home.

The film's dialog is in Kazakh; the narration is in English.
2:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room,
FREE…donations will be accepted to help defray
the Conservation Center's programming expenses.

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

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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
 


 


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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.

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

 

 

 

 

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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!
 


 

 

   

 

   

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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

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Litchfield BZ - YouTube Videos
Narrated by Peter Vermilyea
HiddeninPlainSightBlog.com
Produced by Litchfield.bz
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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!

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2013 Family Nature Day
Saturday, September 28, 2013
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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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



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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.

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











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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

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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












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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.

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"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.


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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

 










 

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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.