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The White Memorial Foundation & Conservation Center
By Cliff Calderwood
In 1913 Alain White and his sister, May, created the White Memorial Foundation in the hills of northwestern Connecticut, and with Bantam Lake as its centerpiece. Today Bantam Lake remains a core attraction at White Memorial but now the foundation oversees a thriving 4,000 acres of fields, woodlands, swamps, ponds, and trails, and countless opportunities to interact with the natural world.
In addition to Bantam Lake another cornerstone element at the White Memorial Foundation is the Conservation Center that operates the Nature Museum.
The Nature Museum is a both a playful and educational experience for all age groups. Dioramas bring to life the story of the wildlife refuge and diverse habits of wetlands, old growth forests and upland hardwood forests. A special room for the kids has books and activities along with snake and beaver habitats, and a rock cave and bird sculpture garden.
Outside you’ll discover 35 miles of trails winding through open water and wetlands. Popular walks for bird-watchers are Lake Trail, the Little Pond Boardwalk Trail and the Butternut Trail. Bare this in mind, for seeing the largest variety of bird life; time your walk for early morning or late evening when they’re most active in feeding and communicating.
|Tired of all those Chucky Cheeses or same old laser tag locations for kid parties? The White Memorial Center offers a wildly different and tons more interesting environment....
In addition to walking the White Memorial Foundation outside areas support a variety of activities such as camping, canoeing, and picnicking. Groups of different sizes can reserve their group facilities such as the 5-acre Activity Field and the rustic-barn like Activity Shed which can seat 75 for meals – many groups rent both for special events.
And if you need larger or audio-visual equipped meeting spaces and overnight facilities then the Carriage House, Meeting Barn, and Mott-Van Winkle Classroom can accommodate your needs.
Tired of all those Chucky Cheeses or same old laser tag locations for kid parties? The White Memorial Center offers a wildly different and tons more interesting environment to host children’s birthday parties. The party includes a 45-minute presentation of your choice, admission to the Nature Museum, and the option of reserving a space for your celebration. You can even request an Indoor Museum Scavenger Hunt that you can take on your own.
The White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center is located about 2 miles west of the town of Litchfield off Route 202.
While you can easily spend a whole day on the Foundation lands, Litchfield village itself is a charming and historical town and worth a tour as well. This part of Connecticut is popular with those seeking quiet and scenic beauty and together the village of Litchfield and the White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center provide plenty of both to visitors.
The official web site of the conservation area is here. Anchor underlined text to http://www.whitememorialcc.org
Additional destinations and attractions in the area can be found at the Connecticut Vacations guide here.
Where to stay in Litchfield check here.