New Canaan Nature Center

Recent Articles

Town Officials Seek Details on Nature Center’s Finances, Use of Buildings

With an eye on prioritizing capital maintenance and spending, officials say they’re seeking detailed information from the New Canaan Nature Center about how the organization’s various programs use the town-owned buildings that form its campus. The Nature Center uses one set of books for its entire business–including financially successful enterprises such as camp and a popular nursery school—though it isn’t clear just now whether capital investments earmarked for the Oenoke Ridge Road campus are commensurate with those revenue-drivers, according to members of a committee that’s studying town-owned buildings throughout New Canaan. “What we are trying to do is find out whether there is an opportunity for the town to use resources better, and then make informed decisions about where we should do that,” Amy Murphy Carroll, co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee, said at the group’s most recent meeting. “So for instance, the gift shop—there is a revenue line for that of X amount—it’s really pretty minimal and there is lot of space for the gift shop,” Carroll said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Appointed in February, the committee’s members also include Penny Young (co-chair), Ben Bilus (secretary), Neil Budnick, Bill Holmes, Christa Kenin and Martin Skrelunas. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Promotes ‘Tech-Free Family Time’ through ’30 Days of Family’

Town and local nonprofit officials are urging New Canaan families this month to unplug their mobile devices and spend more time communicating directly with each other. The Department of Human Services-led “30 Days of Family” initiative this year has taken up “tech-free family time” as its motto. Unplugging forces family members to talk to each other “with their voices and spend quality time making eye contact and practicing listening skills,” according to Jacqueline D’Louhy, the department’s coordinator of youth and family services. “Think about how much teens ‘talk’ to each other electronically,” D’Louhy said. “Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the same room but never utter a word to one another. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Nature Center Appoints New Executive Director

After more than one year without a permanent employee at the helm, the New Canaan Nature Center on Monday afternoon announced that a longtime staff member will take on the role of executive director. Bill Flynn, most recently the Oenoke Ridge Road organization’s director of animal care & environmental educator, starts in the leadership role following a “comprehensive search and selection process,” according to Linda Andros, president of the Nature Center’s Board of Trustees. “He’s an accomplished naturalist with excellent communication and leadership skills,” Andros said in a press release. “We are confident that he will take the Nature Center to the next level while continuing to deliver on our core values of community, education, protection and preservation.”

Flynn, a resident on the town-owned property’s campus, came to the Nature Center in 2010 following a stint as naturalist and environmental science educator in Ohio and Southern California, according to the press release. He has earned degrees in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology and Pre-Medicine from the University of Colorado, Boulder, it said. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan High School took in about $47,000 at the 2016 Turkey Bowl, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Town Council this week. ***

Originally scheduled to arrive this week, the amended zoning permit application from Grace Farms now is not expected to arrive until March 27 for review next month, officials said. ***

The Police Commission voted 3-0 on Wednesday night to approve the Pop Up Park’s proposed dates of operation for the summer of 2017—continuously, from July 16 to Sept. 4. ***

New Canaan Police Department Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm already is out of the “coyote safety kits” she put together for residents last month, and there are 24 people on a waiting list for more. Continue Reading →

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Board President: New Leadership at New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center has named a member of its Board of Trustees as interim executive director, officials say. Town resident Mary Emerson is a “seasoned management and fundraising professional” has stepped in voluntarily to help steer the Oenoke Ridge Road nonprofit organization as it pursues a new strategic plan, Board President Linda Andros told NewCanaanite.com. “She is experienced in high-quality cultural and educational institutions,” Andros said. A Harvard graduate who completed doctorate-level course studies in art history from New York University, Emerson went on to hold positions at the Met and Frick in New York City, and the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, according to her resumé. More recently, she has served as executive director of the American School of Classical Studies in Princeton, N.J., and part-time as executive director of a nonprofit organization that raises funds for a college in Winchester, England. Continue Reading →

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