Winter Fun at Tin Mountain in Albany
By Sarah Wright
Tin Mountain Conservation Center is a beautiful place to spend a day exploring the woods. My family enjoyed a wonderful hike there in the fall, and saw a lot of colorful foliage on display. However, with the temperatures dropping, many people retreat indoors, and miss out on the beauty of nature in the wintertime.
Tin Mountain Conservation Center at The Rockwell Sanctuary, located on 138 acres of rare plant conservation land on Bald Hill Road in Albany, offers some great winter programs as well as a fun, winter camp for kids. The Nature Learning Center serves as a gathering place for the community, with year-round programs that foster natural science education and community awareness. There is also a fully preserved barn on the property, circa 1800, an extensive trail system, a four-acre pond, numerous unique plant species, and a small granite quarry that was active from 1885 to 1890. Mark your calendars now for these upcoming winter activities.
Learn about Winter Bird Ecology on Thursday, December 6 at 7 pm. Brush up on your winter bird identification in this review of local winter bird field marks. You’ll also get some bird feeding tips for the upcoming winter season. The information will be especially useful for this year’s Christmas Bird Count!
Join the staff of the Conservation Center for the Owl Prowl on Saturday, December 8 at 7 pm. Explore the Rockwell Sanctuary in the dark to see “whooo” is out and about on a mid-winter’s night. The program will begin indoors with a brief presentation on local owls and their adaptations before the group heads out to the trail to listen for owls and other nocturnal animals. Reserve your spot today by calling 603-447-6991. Dress warmly for this nighttime walk.
This year’s Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, December 15, all day. Participate in the 30th annual North Conway Christmas Bird Count by tallying the birds at your feeder. Observers are also needed for traveling routes by foot, cross-country skis, snowshoes, or by car. At 5 pm, meet back at the Nature Learning Center to tally up the counts and share stories from the day! Call 603-447-6991 to participate.
Explore the Geology of the Presidential Range and learn about its bedrock history and ancient tectonics. On Thursday, January 17 at 7 pm, Dr. Dykstra Eusden, Professor of Geology at Bates College and author of several books on the topic, will show there is a lot to discover about the snow-covered White Mountains.
On Thursday, January 24 at 7 pm, learn about the Bears of Katmai! Katmai National Park is a spectacular four-million-acre national park and preserve, located on the Alaskan Peninsula in southwest Alaska. Katmai is famous for its geology, salmon, and the world’s largest protected population of brown bears, estimated at around 2,200. David Govatski will discuss his visit to the region and share information about how other adventure seekers can plan a trip to a remote region like Katmai.
Kids will have tons of fun at Tin Mountain’s Winter Camps, offered in February during the school district’s winter vacation. The day camp programs are for children in kindergarten through the 6th grade, and the programs provide campers with an opportunity to learn outdoor skills like building snow shelters, identifying wildlife tracks in the snow, looking for winter birds, snowshoeing, and playing games. All camps are conducted on Tin Mountain’s 138-acre Rockwell Sanctuary on Bald Hill Road. Registration forms are available online through www.tinmountain.org, or call 603-447-6991 for more information. Here are the topics for the upcoming Winter Camps:
Kids in grades 1 through 4 can explore Winter Art on Tuesday, February 19 from 9 am to 3 pm. The possibilities for the day include snow sculptures, sketching, and winter watercolors, as some of the ways to enjoy art indoors and out. Dress warmly and bring a lunch. Craft materials, snowshoes, and hot cocoa will be provided.
Kids in grades 2 through 6 can join the team of CSI: Tin Mountain Winter Edition on Wednesday, February 20 from 9 am to 3 pm. A wildlife “crime scene” has been discovered in the forest! The kids will be the detectives to crack the case, while learning about winter plant and animal adaptations and tracking skills. Dress warmly and bring a lunch. Hot cocoa and snowshoes will be provided.
Young children in kindergarten through grade 2 can sign up for Wonderful Wildlife on Thursday, February 21 from 9 am to 3 pm. Kids will discover the wildlife of winter as they follow tracks through the snow, observe winter birds, and search for other signs of wildlife written in the winter landscape. It’ll be like a winter treasure hunt. Dress warmly and bring a lunch. The Center will provide snowshoes and hot cocoa.
Do your kids think they have what it takes for Winter Survival? Older kids in grades 4 through 6 can test their skills on Friday, February 22 from 9 am to 3 pm. Learn the basics of staying warm in the winter and find out how to light a fire, build a snow shelter, or boil water for cooking to survive the winter cold. Dress warmly and bring a lunch. Snowshoes and hot cocoa will be provided.
Tin Mountain Conservation Center is located at 1245 Bald Hill Road in Albany. To find out more about the organization, including information about its other properties, visit www.tinmountain.org or call 603-447-6991.
New Hampshire is beautiful year-round. Don’t let another winter pass by while you huddle indoors. Explore the natural beauty of the wonderful winter landscapes all around us. It’s an experience you won’t forget.