TORRINGTON — Sharon Audubon Center, a nature education center of Audubon Connecticut, recently received a $8,650 grant from Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation to provide students of Torrington High School in Litchfield County with a series of hands-on learning experiences that will culminate in the launch of a new butterfly house and garden this summer, according to a release.
Through this grant, students will participate in learning and conservation experiences that have “a tangible conservation impact,” according to Sharon Audubon representatives.
Activities associated with the grant will support the new butterfly house and garden, now under construction at the Sharon Audubon Center. The students will grow plants at their school, do caterpillar rearing at the Sharon Audubon Center, and manage a community plant sale in Torrington in May. They will also receive a special presentation at the school by author and entomology and ecology expert Doug Tallamy. The funding also covers bus transportation for several student visits to the Sharon Audubon Center for educational volunteer days.
This comprehensive grant project was conceived by Wendy Miller, Sharon Audubon Center’s education program manager, accoding to the release.
“From conception to outreach and planning with all the project partners, Wendy has been the committed leader on this project,” said center director Eileen Fielding in a statement. “It’s a wonderful new way to connect with our community and work with new partners on environmental stewardship. We’re absolutely delighted to invite students into the project. They’re our future leaders, and we can give them a way to get started, get inspired, get experience, and do something satisfying.”
“Audubon Connecticut and our centers are committed to being a welcoming place for all, and we believe every person should be given the opportunity to engage with birds and the natural world around them,” said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon Connecticut, in the statement. “We have the highest hopes for the students of Torrington High School, and encourage them to become active environmental stewards for their community. Certainly the butterflies, pollinators, and birds of the Sharon Audubon Center will have a wonderful new place to rest and refuel thanks to their efforts.”
Money from the grant will also support a sculpture project that will be overseen by metalworker Israel Fitch, involving a group of homeschool students who will work with the artist to fabricate and install a butterfly-shaped bench in the new center garden.
The work of the students and project will culminate at the Butterfly Festival for the new Sharon Audubon Center Butterfly House and Garden in September. The grant came from an anonymous Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, according to the release.
Sharon Audubon Center is a nature education center with a critical Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic located in Sharon, Connecticut. We are part of the Audubon Connecticut state office of the National Audubon Society and the Atlantic Flyway, and steward a total of four Audubon nature sanctuaries that encompass 3,000 acres primarily woodland habitat in Northwestern Connecticut. Visitors are welcome to walk the trails and take part in nature programs, conservation-themed events, and the nature store throughout the year. Learn more at