Pipevine Swallowtail on a purple-flowering blazing star. Photo: Will Stuart / Audubon

Sharon Audubon Center

Sharon Audubon Center Awarded Grant to Create Conservation Programming for Torrington High School Students

March 28, 2019—Sharon Audubon Center, a nature education center of Audubon Connecticut, is honored to receive a $8,650 grant from Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation to engage the students of Torrington High School in Litchfield County with a series of hands-on learning experiences that will culminate in the launch of a new Butterfly House and garden this summer.

Through this grant, students will participate in learning and conservation experiences that have a tangible conservation impact. Activities associated with the grant will support the new Butterfly House and garden that is under construction at the Sharon Audubon Center. The students will engage in plant propagation at their school, caterpillar rearing at the Sharon Audubon Center, and managing a community plant sale in Torrington. They will also receive a special presentation at the school by acclaimed author and entomology and ecology expert Doug Tallamy. Grant funding also covers bus transportation for several student visits to the Sharon Audubon Center for educational volunteering days.

This comprehensive grant project was conceived by Wendy Miller, Sharon Audubon Center’s education program manager. “From conception to outreach and planning with all the project partners, Wendy has been the committed leader on this project,” remarked Center Director Eileen Fielding. “It’s a wonderful new way to connect with our community and work with new partners on environmental stewardship. We’re absolutely delighted to invite students into the project. They’re our future leaders, and we can give them a way to get started, get inspired, get experience, and do something satisfying.”

“Audubon Connecticut and our centers are committed to being a welcoming place for all, and we believe every person should be given the opportunity to engage with birds and the natural world around them,” said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon Connecticut. “We have the highest hopes for the students of Torrington High School, and encourage them to become active environmental stewards for their community. Certainly the butterflies, pollinators, and birds of the Sharon Audubon Center will have a wonderful new place to rest and refuel thanks to their efforts.”

Funds from the grant award will also go towards a sculpture project that will be overseen by metalworker Israel Fitch—an exciting project that will involve a group of homeschool students who will work with the artist to fabricate and install a butterfly-shaped bench in the new center garden—forging a connection with the homeschool community.

The work of the students and project will culminate at the Butterfly Festival for the new Sharon Audubon Center Butterfly House and Garden, which will take place September 2019. The Sharon Audubon Center is greatly appreciative of this grant, which was made possible by an anonymous Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.

For questions about this exciting initiative, contact Sharon Audubon Center Director Eileen Fielding at efielding@audubon.org or 860-364-0520 ext. 120.

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