Earth Day at Grace Farms will Educate & Inspire

On Saturday, April 23rd will be a celebration of the natural world with insightful programs focused on issues tied to the five Grace Farms initiatives, as well as enjoyment of the 80-acre landscape and its diverse habitats. The all-day event (10 am to 4 pm) is free and open to the public.

Grace Farms Foundation will open the day with a morning panel discussion, “Sustainable Capitalism: A 21st Century Response to Climate Change and Modern Slavery,” moderated by Krishna Patel, Grace Farms Foundation’s Director of Justice Initiatives. Afternoon programs include outdoor falconry demonstrations with hawks, falcons and owls, and tours of Grace Farms’ geothermal well system.

Additional highlights include a tour of the landscape, which will include native wildlife presented in partnership with New Canaan Nature Center, a reading of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond, and the documentary film Chasing Ice. Grace Farms Foundation will also open its Community Garden, overseen by staff and volunteers, to bring people together and exemplify its sustainability efforts. Live music will be performed throughout the day, and the Grace Farms River building will be open for lunch, coffee or tea.

At the Pavilion, artist Kysa Johnson will create a temporary, site-specific installation inspired by the landscape at Grace Farms. In the Art Studio, children can engage in artistic activity inspired by Johnson’s creation. A conversation with the artist will follow in the afternoon, led by Kenyon Adams, the Foundation’s Director of Arts Initiatives. Johnson’s finished work, Landscape Continuum, will remain on view through May 2016.

To inaugurate a significant nature preservation and education initiative, Emmy-nominated naturalist and National Geographic Channel filmmaker Mark Fowler, who serves as Nature and Wildlife Ambassador for Grace Farms, will announce the development and installation of the Grace Farms Kestrel Nest Box Recovery Program. The Foundation will install American Kestrel nesting boxes around the property in March, so that Kestrel falcons can nest and potentially breed, in hopes of increasing their numbers around the state of Connecticut, where they are considered threatened. “My goal is to create programs and initiatives that give us all a chance to get outside, have adventures and explore the wilderness, wildlife and nature that exists right here in our own backyards,” said Fowler. Upon entry, Grace Farms staff will collect working used cell phones for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Grace Farms Foundation is a 2016 Town Vibe Green Award winner. For more information about Grace Farms’ sustainability measures, or to register for Earth Day, visit gracefarms.org.


Sustainable Capitalism:

A 21st Century Response to Climate Change & Modern Day Slavery | 10 am–12 pm, Sanctuary Experts will discuss issues related to sustainable capitalism in response to the effects of climate change and modern day slavery. Speakers and Panelists include: Matthew J. Diserio from Water Asset Management, LLC; Dr. James Cockayne, lawyer, author, and head of United Nations University; Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital, which specializes in tracking corporate performance and environmental impact; Diana Mao, President and Co-Founder of Nomi Network, a nonprofit organization that helps victims and survivors of trafficking; and Benjamin Skinner, award-winning journalist and author of A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern-Day Slavery.

Little Suns | 10 am–4 pm, Library Get light, give light! Little Suns are a project started by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to provide sustainable light for everyone.

Landscape Continuum by Kysa Johnson | 10 am–4 pm, Pavilion Kysa Johnson is a contemporary artist known for her immersive works which explore patterns in nature that exist at the extremes of scale.

Open Art Studio for Kids | 10:30-2:30, West Barn Facilitated, hands-on workshops inspired by artist Kysa Johnson’s exhibition Landscape Continuum.

Community Garden Opening | 11 am–3 pm, Community Garden Earth Day attendees will help plant flowers and sow seeds with help from the New Canaan Beautification League.

Market | 10 am–4 pm, Plaza Meet local farmers, beekeepers, and syrup makers who will be on-site offering educational agricultural perspectives and natural products for sale in the Plaza.

Percussionist James Moss & Fe, Fi, Fo | 11 am–12 pm & 12:30–1:30 pm, West Barn

Chasing Ice Documentary | 11:15 am–12:30 pm; 1–2:15 pm; 3–4:15 pm, Lower Commons Painting Wildlife with Betsey Fowler | 11 am-12:30 pm & 1–3 pm, West Barn Courtyard

Geothermal Well Tour | 12:30 pm –1 pm & 2 pm–2:30 pm, Court Mezzanine

Birds of Prey: Free Flight Falconry Demonstration | 12:30–1 pm & 3–3:30 pm, North Pines Wildlife Ambassador, Emmy-nominated naturalist, and National Geographic Channel filmmaker, Mark Fowler, will present “Birds of Prey” free flight demonstrations with raptors.

Progressive Reading | 12:30–2 pm, Library – Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond

Explore Nature’s Wonders | 1–1:45 pm & 2–2:45 pm, Outside the Commons The New Canaan Nature Center will lead nature tours of Grace Farms, exploring ecosystems and natural habitats. Visitors can keep their eyes open for American Kestrel nesting boxes.


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