First Ever Bioblitz/Ecology Explorer Program

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To deepen the connection youth have with the natural world and to celebrate local biodiversity, Suffield Public Schools is proud to announce that it will be hosting the district’s first ever Bioblitz/Ecology Explorer program.

This event will not only take an in-depth look at the biodiversity found at the McLean Outdoor Preserve, but through a series of Ecology Explorer field stations, develop awareness and foster a love of nature in youth. The Preserve, a beautiful 23 acre parcel with varied habitat types including vernal pools, mixed hardwood forest, swamp, pond, stream, and old field succession area, will be broken up into seven learning hubs with topics that include the importance of land preservation, climate smart forestry, life in a vernal pool, wildcrafting, birding, insect life, and the powerful role nature can play in the mental health and physical wellbeing of children. These learning stations are meant to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards by providing formative, hands-on nature-based experiences. Station-based activities for grades 2, 5, 7, and 10 will take place on both days during scheduled school hours.

Concurrently, on the second day of this two day event, with help from Backyard Bio, Greater Hartford Audubon, EO Wilson’s Half Earth Education, CT DEEP, INaturalist, Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Riverside Reptiles, CT Forestry Division, the Connecticut Entomological Society, Westfield State University, University of Connecticut, The Greater Hartford Master Gardener Program, The Suffield Land Conservancy, and others, scientists and enthusiasts will catalog the biodiversity of this beautiful area. This is a wonderful opportunity for nature lovers to get outside and help discover the amazing flora and fauna living in Connecticut’s largest agricultural town.

The two-day program promises an engaging and educational opportunity for students and community members of all ages to connect with the world outside and learn in novel ways. This is a rain or shine event. The hours of attendance are listed below. Please know that public attendance is limited (see chart below).

  • May 22 — 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Students only (no public participation)
  • May 23 — 5 a.m. – 7: a.m. Public invited (for bird chorus and early risers) 3 p.m. – midnight, public invited.
  • May 23 — 7:15 a.m. – 3 p.m. Students only (no public participation)

A limited number of bat sounding (dusk – 9 p.m.) signups for parents of current students will be available. Participants are strongly encouraged to utilize the INaturalist app for species identification. All recorded observations using the INaturalist app platform on site during the aforementioned hours will automatically be added to the species tally for the event.

For more information, please visit our webpage at You may also contact project coordinator Justin Kaput via email at or via phone at 860-668-3810.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact: Justin Kaput, K-12 Science Coordinator & Project Lead, Suffield Public Schools, 350 Mountain Road, West Suffield, CT 06078 @suffield_schools.

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