arthplace — The Nature Discovery Center features a 62-acre sanctuary with five walking trails (one, the Wheels-in-the-Woods IV Trail, accessible to wheelchairs, walkers and strollers), a native plants courtyard, a bird and butterfly garden, nature displays, and an Ecology Lab that feature books, puzzles, games, and displays of local small animals. The Animal Hall and outdoor bird cages house “species ambassadors” that cannot be released due to injuries, including a raven, American crows, owls and hawks, turkey and black vultures, monk parakeets, blue jays and mockingbirds, and a pair of bald eagles. Grounds are open daily, 7 a.m. to dusk; the center is open 9 to 5 Monday-Friday and 1 to 4 Sunday. Teaching animals include a variety of snakes (native and exotic species), ferrets, a guinea pig, amphibians and some rabbits. The Mary Eason Swett Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation Program is one of the largest in Connecticut. There are after-school and vacation programs for tots to teenagers, as well as summer camp for ages 3 and up. Grounds admission is free (note that dogs are not permitted on the trails); for the center, it’s $7 for adults and $5 for children 1-12 years and seniors.
The center is at 10 Woodside Lane, off Kings Highway North, Westport, which runs off Route 33. For information, call 203-227-7253. The website is www.earthplace.org.