New Canaan Nature Center

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New Canaan Nature Center
Location 144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT, USA
Coordinates 41°09′13″N 73°30′09″W / 41.1535°N 73.5025°W / 41.1535; -73.5025Coordinates: 41°09′13″N 73°30′09″W / 41.1535°N 73.5025°W / 41.1535; -73.5025
Area 40 acres (16 ha)
Created 1960[1]

The New Canaan Nature Center (40 acres or 16 hectares) is a botanical garden, arboretum and nature preserve located at 144 Oenoke Ridge, Route 124, about .25 miles (0.40 km) north of the center of New Canaan, Connecticut.

The nature center includes wet and dry meadows, two ponds, wet and dry woodlands, dense thickets, an old orchard, and a cattail marsh, as well as a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) greenhouse. Landscaped areas of the site include a wildflower garden (which won the 1997 Homer Lucas Landscape Award from the New England Wild Flower Society), a herb garden and a perennial border. About 90% of the plant specimens in the wildflower garden are native species, including bloodroot, columbine, mayapple, jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, Solomon's plume, starflower, and trillium. Shade-loving perennials include bleeding heart, crested iris, Jacob's ladder, hepatica, European ginger and Virginia bluebells. Azaleas, rhododendrons and a stand of mountain laurel also feature.

The center also contains a small arboretum of Sciadopitys verticillata (Umbrella Pine), Chamaecyparis pisifera Squarrosa (Moss Sawara Cypress), Chamaecyparis pisifera Plumosa (Plume False Cyprus), Pinus densiflora ‘Umbraculifera’ (Japanese Umbrella Pine), Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropunicea’ (Purple Beech), Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ (European Weeping Beech), Cercis canandensis (Eastern Redbud), Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum-Pendula’, Pinus cembra (Swiss Stone Pine) and Picea apies ‘Repens’ (Weeping Norway Spruce).

New Canaan Nature Center features many nature programs throughout the year, including the Fall Fair every October, and maple sugaring celebrations in early spring.

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