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Nature Preserve Celebrates 40 Years of Outdoor Education

Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center

In 1977, the Fuller Barnes family donated 150-acres on Wolcott Road in Bristol that became Indian Rock Nature Preserve. Indian Rock Nature Preserve is is owned and operated by the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc. (ELCCT).

The environmental education facility includes a varied habitat, a lake, streams and is where school programs are taught and is the home of the famous Indian Rock Summer Camp.

Between 90-120 children attend Indian Rock Summer Camp each week for the 9 weeks of summer and enjoy a multitude of hands-on, outdoor, nature related activities that facilitate discovery and wonder for the natural world.

This facility is unique because it includes 280-acres of outdoor classroom that connects people to nature in addition to the indoor, state of the art Fuller F. Barnes Education Center that helps facilitate science learning.

Over the years, they learned that people, particularly children, spend less and less time outdoors and have not developed a true affinity for the natural world. Indian Rock aims to fill this void by providing outdoor experiences through school programs, summer camp and public programs geared for both children and adults that ignite curiosity and teach about the wonders of nature.

Indian Rock’s mission is to “Inspire the appreciation and enjoyment of nature, through education and conservation, fostering a healthy environment and an improved quality of life”.

ELCCT’s primary educational facilities include the Indian Rock Nature Preserve and the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, both located in Bristol, but also include nine additional sanctuaries and preserves.

ELCCT protects and maintains over 735 acres of land and educates over 25,000 school children each year.

Indian Rock offers a diversity of hands-on experiential programs using a variety of resources and currently serve over 70 towns in CT, both inside the school classroom and at our educational facilities.

Additionally, being a Chamber member has benefited Indian Rock through advertising, promotion and special workshops that help them improve our effectiveness as an organization.

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