Hop Over to the Thornton W. Burgess Society
March 20, 2013

Happy Spring! You probably don’t want to take the kids out of school to celebrate, but you can make plans for a Sunday stroll with the Thornton W. Burgess Society.

A non-profit educational organization, the Society was founded in 1976 to carry on the conservation work of the incredibly prolific author and naturalist Thornton W. Burgess. Burgess, who was born in 1874 and grew up in Sandwich, wrote more than 170 books and 15,000 stories in his long career.

You and your children are likely to  be familiar with his stories of Peter Rabbit. Burgess’s Peter Rabbit is not to be confused with Beatrix Potter’s Peter; though they share the same name, Burgess’s rabbit certainly made his own name in American literature and New England natural lore. Other characters in Burgess’s stories include Jimmy Skunk, Grandfather Frog, Johnny Chuck, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, and Hooty Owl.

The Thornton W. Burgess Society offers a variety of programming at its Sandwich properties, including the Green Briar Nature Center (with nature trails, a wild flower garden and exhibits), the Jam Kitchen (with special jam-making sessions), and the East Sandwich Game Farm (a 133-acre conservation area).

Two upcoming 1.5-hour strolls are specifically designed for families. A Society naturalist leads the easy hikes. On March 24, participants leave from the East Sandwich Game Farm. On April 21, a Briar Patch “Earth Day” Stroll leaves from the Green Briar Nature Center. Both run from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Advance registration is required; call or go online for details.)

If you fall in love with the properties, or if you can’t make one of the strolls, consider making plans to visit during April vacation, when several special outdoor adventures are planned.

A trek for the whole family to explore watery habitats in search of spring amphibians and insects is slated for April 15. Several activities just for kids include a birding jaunt on April 16 for kids ages 4 to 7 to discover the beauty of birds with hands-on feather, bone, nest and egg explorations. The next day, April 16, focuses on how worms move, eat, reproduce and create rich soil (for kids ages 8 to 12). Other days feature amphibians, canoeing, and exploring the wetlands.

Visit the Society’s website to learn more or to register in advance.

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