For Educators

For Educators

The refuge and its partners offer a variety of structured educational programs for individuals, schools and professional groups.

Outer Island Unit Structured educational programs are available for schools, universities and professional groups on Outer Island. Hundreds of students of all ages visit the island each spring and summer to learn about the island's "micro-habitats" and ecology. Education at the island is enhanced through a unique partnership with the Connecticut State University System. For more information on arranging an educational experience on Outer Island, visit the partnership website here.

Salt Meadow Unit Refuge staff and our partners provide several interpretive programs throughout the year. These programs have included presentations on birds like owls, woodcock, eagles, waterfowl, shorebirds and others. Programming related to other wildlife, the cultural resources and human stories of the refuge, and fun events like "Walk on the Wild Side" draw individuals and families from around the area. Interpretive programs are aimed at a general audience to include adults, children and families; but curriculum-based programs aimed at young students are available as well. 

Sheffield Island Unit The Sheffield Island Unit nature trail and lighthouse are available for use by families, individuals and groups from May through September. Many school and scout groups are included in the over 17,000 visitors to the island each year. Every spring refuge staff utilize the island for a capstone field trip during the popular Nature of Learning environmental education program with Norwalk schools.

Interpretive tours on the island are lead by refuge interns and by Norwalk Seaport Association staff. Tour guides explore the history of the lighthouse, the island's use as a camp for Native Americans to fish and hunt, as a 17th century farm, and as a 20th century mansion/retreat. Guides also bring groups along the refuge nature trail and beach to explore the island's native flora and fauna. To find out more about hours, group tours and ferry tickets, visit the Norwalk Seaport Association website. 

Calf Island Unit Educational groups may obtain a special use permit to hold approved environmental education programming on the Calf Island Unit. Please contact the refuge Visitor Services Manager at 860-399-2513 for more information.