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History

Audubon Greenwich—Continuing a Legacy

Gifted by Eleanor & Hall Clovis and opened in 1943, the Greenwich Main Sanctuary property is recognized as the first educational nature center of the National Audubon Society. The Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary property was donated to Audubon through the preservation efforts of Mrs. Elon Huntington Hooker and local garden clubs in 1945. Over time, Audubon Greenwich has grown to include seven sanctuaries and other private parcels, totaling 686 acres of protected wildlife habitat.

From its inception, Audubon Greenwich has welcomed visitors to its sanctuaries and provided nature education programs for adults and children. It has served as a model and influenced the development of place-based experiential learning for Audubon and other education centers nationwide. Today, more than 20,000 people visit Audubon Greenwich each year to enjoy all that its nature center, sanctuaries, and trails have to offer.

For more history, scroll through our historic images below.

The Greenwich Main Sanctuary was the first educational nature center for the National Audubon Society. Pictured here before later wing additions, this building still stands today.

For decades, Audubon Greenwich hosted the Summer Ecology Workshop, where visitors spent a week staying overnight on the preserve and studying nature with dozens of talented naturalists, including Ted Gilman who celebrated his 30th anniversary with Audubon in January 2007.

The 1946 Audubon Summer Ecology Workshop, including Charles Mohr and Mrs. Tappan, explore Audubon's Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary.

Still growing today next to the Mead House (built in 1746) and near Indian Spring Pond, this grand old eastern cottonwood has greeted and amazed thousands of visitors at the Audubon Greenwich Main Sanctuary.

A beach outing to learn about Long Island Sound ecology in the 1940's. Note the NAS name on their 'woodie' transportation vehicle.
Scouts have a long history of installing and maintaining bird boxes throughout the Audubon property.
The 'Red Building' before the east and west wings were added. This building served as the first Visitor Center & Education Building for the National Audubon Society until the new building was built just up the slope and opened in 2002.

Eleanor & Hall Clovis

Hall Clovis
Eleanor Clovis
(left to right) George Bent (Board Member), Carl Buchheister (Audubon President), Gene Setzer (Chairman of Board of National Audubon Society), and Duryea Morton (Vice President for Education) discuss Audubon matters in the 1970s.
(left to right) Charles Mohr (Center Director), Mrs. Avery Rockefeller (board member and benefactor), and John Baker (President of National Audubon Society) at the dedication of the Lodge residence building for Audubon Summer Ecology Workshop teacher training program in 1957. Today, the Kimberlin Nature Education Center building stands on the same footprint of the original building pictured here.
Helen Keller visiting Audubon's Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary.
The Mead House still stands today and is one of Greenwich's oldest houses.
Benjamin T. Fairchild developed the Fairchild Wildflower Garden as a wildflower sanctuary on abandoned farmland he purchased in 1890. After his death in 1939, Mrs. Elon Huntington Hooker, with the help of local garden clubs, raised the money to pay off the mortgage of the sanctuary and in 1945 it was donated to the National Audubon Society.

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