Steep Rock Association organizes community events, programs

WASHINGTON – Steep Rock Association offers programs and events for the summer.

Weed and Wine Wednesdays: 5:30-7 p.m. until August 17, Judea Garden at Macricostas Preserve, 124 Christian St, New Preston. Join other gardeners in weeding vegetable beds, then enjoy a wine class.

Odonata (Dragonfly & Damselfly) Survey Blitz: A Community Science Project: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 17 and August 13. What odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) call Washington home and what does their presence or absence mean for local and regional conservation? Our goal is to answer these questions and we need your help. Join our team of “dragon hunters” for an educational and scientific day of collecting odonates in the SRA reserves.

Summer Walks with SRA: Executive Director Brian Hagenbuch gives a series of causal walks through the Steep Rock Preserves at 5:00 p.m. July 15, Bronson Field Pollinator Meadow at Hidden Valley Preserve; August 1 – Steep Rock Tunnel; Aug 15 – Hidden Valley Preserve Bridge Loop

Monthly Trail Crew, Volunteer Opportunity: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., every third Saturday through November. July 17, August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19

Moonlit Macricostas: An Exploration in the Wilderness: 8-10 p.m., July 13, Macricostas Preserve, 124 Christian Street, New Preston. Walk through the Macricostas reserve under the full moon. July 13 is Buck Moon. If the sky is clear, we will walk in an illuminated landscape from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., a special time because the paths are generally closed. Meet at the main parking lot at Macricostas Preserve, 124 Christian Street, New Preston, before continuing on the boardwalk, around the hay field and into the forest with the lookout as your destination. This rocky outcrop will provide the perfect platform to watch the moonrise and let out a howl or hoot into the night.

Planting a Pre-Pollinator: An Exploration in the Wild: Stewardship Series, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Aug. 6, Hidden Valley Preserve Seasonal Parking Lot (Bronson Fields), 287 Sabbaday Lane, Washington. Pollinator populations are declining due to a variety of factors, one of the main causes being habitat loss. Join us for a 1.5 mile round trip hike through the Hidden Valley Preserve for the second offering in our new stewardship series as we visit our recently established Bronson Fields Pollinator Meadow – our largest wildlife-creating project. habitat specifically targeting the conservation of pollinating insects.

Judea Garden Open Garden, a celebration of volunteers: 3-5 p.m., August 20, Macricostas Preserve, 124 Christian Street, New Preston. Visitors, volunteers and friends are welcome to explore the beautiful garden, enjoy refreshments and learn from our interns. Come visit us anytime during the event.

Judea Garden, a volunteer opportunity: 8 a.m. to noon, weekdays through September. Macricostas Reserve, 124 Christian Street, New Preston. The garden cultivates and distributes products from organic farming to neighbors in need. Now in its 14th season, members have provided over 43,000 pounds of fresh vegetables. This could not be done without volunteers. To register, go to or call 860-868-9131.

Nature Reserve Watch Blitz, a unique volunteer experience: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., November 12, Steep Rock House, 116 Christian Street, New Preston. The association has nearly 30 reserves scattered throughout the city, ranging from wetlands to mixed hardwood forest; some are ancient apple orchards while ancient forests and glacial boulder fields dominate others. The one thing they all have in common is that the SRA must walk its boundaries every year, monitoring the reserves for ecosystem health, signs of trespass and the presence of wildlife. This fall, volunteers are needed. Learn how to use your smartphone as a GPS, what to look for when hiking the reserves, and how to tag and save your finds.

To register or for more information, go to

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