The Kimberlin Nature Education Center in Greenwich, Connecticut, is an information point to the surrounding Audubon Center and an energetic facility for children and adults. It serves as a welcome center for the Audubon Connecticut staff and hosts a number of exhibits and classrooms as well as symposiums for environmental activists.
Open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., there is a modest $6 fee for visiting that helps to maintain the center and surrounding trails. As you walk in the main atrium, you’ll immediately see a 3D topographical map of the park lands. There are regional birds mounted overhead and a massive trunk cutting from a California redwood. In the next room, the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center is a hands-on nature-themed area for learning. There are natural history exhibits, interactive exhibits, a puppet theater, and live animals. There is even an observational honeybee hive and a large panoramic window for watching birds.
The center was opened in 2003 and built with green technology and environmentally friendly materials. Much of the construction utilized recycled products including the fiberglass window frames, plastic for the outdoor decks, steel beams, gypsum wallboard, and paper insulation. A geothermal HVAC system takes advantage of the ground’s year-round temperature of 54 degrees to heat and cool the building as necessary. In addition, gravel and crushed stone take the place of cement and asphalt to allow rainwater to recharge groundwater.
The employees are naturalists, and there are typically a number of volunteers who are happy to show you throughout the exhibits. Adults and high school students are welcomed to donate time during the week and on weekends to assist guests and give back to the community. Teacher naturalists, citizen scientists, trail tamers, photographers, curators, and greeters all make up an important part of this community that you are welcomed to participate in!
The Nature Store and Gift Shop offers a unique selection of books, gifts, and food (for you and the animals). The facilities are also available to rent for special events and birthday parties. One of the rooms even hosts the Oppenheimer Gallery.
Make sure you spend some time enjoying the surrounding Audubon grounds and the magnificent boardwalk that traverses the lake and marshlands!