Woodcock Nature Center was founded by a former Ridgefield First Selectman: J. Mortimer Woodcock. Since 1972 Woodcock has grown to provide educational programming for over 4,000 learners of all ages each year including school field trips, our popular summer camp and enrichment programs, which support our educational efforts by immersing the community in direct experiences with nature. We partner with local organizations to present lectures, workshops, and films, and our guided hikes, child and caregiver classes and on-site animal encounters provide a means for the public to engage with and learn from our natural world.
Woodcock’s nearly 150 acres of preserve, originally inhabited by the Siwanog tribe and today owned by the state of Connecticut straddles both Wilton and Ridgefield. The preserve includes historic stone walls and stands of old maple, beech, oak and hickory trees, a pond, wetlands, vernal pools and nearly 4 miles of hiking trails which remain a resource for thousands of hikers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts. Woodcock’s trails, natural playground, nature center, and outdoor aviaries (where we care for ambassador animals including 2 non-releasable birds of prey and nearly 20 reptiles and amphibians) are publicly accessible year-round with no admission fee.
Woodcock Nature Center does not receive any funds from local towns or the state of Connecticut and fundraises privately for every dollar necessary to sustain its programs and facilities ꟷ in fact, 50% of our revenues are from these donations along with special events income. We depend on the generosity of private foundations, corporations and individuals to remain a resource to our community.