Fall programs for everyone at Damariscotta River Association

Posted:  Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:30am

Whether young or young-at-heart, there is something for everyone at Damariscotta River Association this fall. Programs include a guided hike, Halloween fun for the family, Saturday morning jogs at Great Salt Bay Farm, natural deer skin tanning, and more.

Scholarships are available for all programs. Programs meet at the DRA Great Salt Bay Farm Heritage Center at 110 Belvedere Road in Damariscotta unless otherwise indicated. Call DRA at 207-563-1393 to register except where online registration is required.

Migration Mini-Day Camp (Ages 6 to 10) – Friday, Oct. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (AOS 93 schools will be closed on this day.) Play migratory hopscotch, go on a migration safari to look for birds, dragonflies, and monarchs, make a diorama with clay, and more! Registration for this program can only be done online at www.damariscottariver.org. Fee: $45, or $40 for members at Mussel level and above.

Run with the Sun at DRA (NEW!) – Every other Saturday, Oct. 14 through Dec. 9, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Join us for a morning run through the fields at Great Salt Bay Farm. All ages and abilities welcome! Terrain consists of broad mown trails with some gentle hills and fabulous views of Great Salt Bay. If the weather is very wet or icy, or otherwise looks bad for running, be sure to check our Facebook page for cancellations. Free of charge.

Special Program: Halloween Haunts Family Fun – Oct. 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. Take a walk on the wild side and join us for a non-scary, self-guided walk with costumed characters along the way, then come inside for the ‘Gross-ology Lab!” Learn about nature, have fun, and enjoy hot cider and popcorn by the campfire. Bring a flashlight and an apple or two for the cider press. Register for a specific start time for the guided walk (every half-hour). Call DRA to register. Fee: $2 per person for ages 2 and up. Members free.

Reading Trees – Friday, Nov. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Dodge Point.Did you know the shape and condition of trees can tell you a lot about the history of the landscape? Join DRA Education Director Sarah Gladu to learn the basics of how to “read” trees, and how tree identification, diseases, insect activity, tree formation and condition all come into play. To help with planning, preregistration by Thursday, Nov. 16 is required. This program is free of charge.

Natural Deer Skin Tanning with Steve Cayard – Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Join us for a hands-on weekend of deer hide tanning. On Saturday, participants will scrape and prepare the hides. The second day will be devoted to stretching and drying the hides, and then tanning them using a deer brain and possibly an alternative method. Come prepared to work inside and outside. Hides and tools are provided. As space is limited, advance registration is required. Fee: $95 per person, or $80 for members.

Jr. Naturalist After-School Program – for kids ages 6 to 11. This program takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 3:15 - 5 p.m., for one-month sessions.Explore the woods, fields and wetlands with a naturalist. Play games inspired by natural themes. Art, nature journaling and other activities will be incorporated into each program. DRA Great Salt Bay Farm is on bus routes from local elementary schools and close to Route 1. Registration for this program can only be done online at www.damariscottariver.org.

November’s theme is “Forest Foray.” Discover how animals prepare for winter, practice following animal trails, and more. In January, learn about “Wildlife in Winter:” search for animal dens, build shelters, and learn about animal signs. For February’s “Winter Wonderland” session, go snowshoeing, so some dogsledding, and explore a winter wonderland! The monthly fee is $55, or $50 for members at the “Mussel” level or above.

Frogs and Pollywogs – For preschoolers (ages 2 to 5) and their parents/guardians. These classes take place 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of each month. A hike is always included. Prepay for five classes and get a sixth class free.

On Oct. 20, see an owl specimen, search for owls and play an owl game. On Nov. 17, search for turkeys and other birds with a naturalist. The Dec. 15 class will visit the freshwater marsh to find muskrat houses, and more! The fee for each class is $3.00 per preschool aged child. Call DRA to register.

Wild Encounters – A regular program for homeschool families and groups ages 5 and up (younger may come). Classes are held 10 a.m.-noon the fourth Monday of each month (except December). A hike and nature journaling are included in every class. Prepay for five classes and get a sixth class free.

On Oct. 23, learn about Wabanaki traditions. Build wigwams, taste wild edibles and hear traditional stories. The Nov. 27 class, “Turkey Tails,” will include a bird walk, looking for turkeys and other birds. Dec. 18 the class will focus on mammals of Maine. Can you tell a mink from an ermine? Look for tracks and signs. The fee for each class is $5 per eligible child. Call DRA to register.