NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 21, 2014

Walking on the wilder side

Crane Estate offers tours of refuge trails in Ipswich

(Continued)

Trustees of Reservations staff are always looking for ways to encourage people to use their properties, said Antczak, who previously led nature programs for Kestrel Educational Adventures. She is also motivated by a desire to wean youngsters off their smartphones, by immersing them in nature.

“They’re so tuned in to their electronic devices now, they aren’t attuned to their environment,” she said. “I’m hoping it becomes a family affair, so when they go home, they can talk about it and be likely to go out and do it again.”

A scavenger hunt at Hamlin Reservation, another Trustees of Reservations property on Argilla Road, will also be free for adults.

“That is mostly for smaller kids,” Antczak said. “It’s a nature-based scavenger hunt, and it will entail three different kinds of plants and two different kinds of weeds and finding a place where an invasive species is growing.”

The new adventure programs should help everyone, even those who have been visiting the Crane Estate for years, to see the property in a new light. For example, those who go to the beach in summer, when the sun is high and the water is warm, may appreciate the “Full Moon and Folklore Hike” from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15.

Another evening program, “Spying on Spring Peepers” on Saturday, April 12, will visit vernal pools that collect among Crane’s dunes, to listen for the tiny but highly vocal spring frogs. These creatures have been threatened by development on the North Shore, but a Cape Ann group has formed to keep track of their habitat, Antczak said.

Several seasons of dry weather took a toll on a number of the pools, but she expects a full chorus of frogs for the April program at Crane.

“I’ve already gone out tramping around,” Antczak said. “The water’s there. It’s frozen right now.”

IF YOU GO

What: “Stop, Look and Listen Tour”

When: Tomorrow, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich

How much: Free for adults, $8 for children

More information: To register, call Dorothy Antczak at 978-356-4351, ext. 4052, or 978-810-5892; email dantczak@ttor.org; or visit www.thetrustees.org/craneoutdooradventure.

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