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A Quarrybrook hiking path in the daylight. Courtesy photo.




Night Experience Community Event

When: Friday, Nov. 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center, 39 Roulston Road, Windham
Cost: Free
Visit: quarrybrook.org




Night visions
Quarrybrook turns out the lights for next community event

11/17/16
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 Hike through the dark nighttime woods — no flashlights allowed — and learn about the nocturnal animals that prowl New Hampshire during the Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center’s free Night Experience event.

The Windham center is hosting three night hikes on Friday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.; one is for participants only age 16 and older, one is a general night hike for all ages, and one is an astronomy-themed hike that will also be open to all age groups.
The rules are simple: dress warmly and comfortably, wear good walking shoes, and be prepared to not use any flashlights, Quarrybrook educator Lindsey Grundfast said.
“There are six of us that teach here [at Quarrybrook], and we’ll be leading people out for a walk in the woods … and relying on our natural senses to help guide us,” Grundfast said. “That will allow our night vision to start working, and we’ll be talking about how the rods and cones in our eyes help us start seeing better in the night, as well as doing some echolocation activities [during the hikes].”
Last year’s night hike — the first one of its kind held at Quarrybrook — was a success, with a significantly higher turnout than some of the center’s other community events. Other hikes throughout the year have included a snowshoe hike and a fall foliage hike during the season’s peak.
“I think [the night hike] is different enough that people have not necessarily known much about sensory activities before and wanted to come check it out for that reason,” Grundfast said. “We do hear and see tons of animals and come across evidence of animals like coyote, deer, raccoons, owls, we’ve found evidence of a bobcat … so there’s lots of variety.”
Grundfast said each community event is set up a bit differently, depending on the theme and the weather. If the sky is not clear during the night, for example, the astronomy-themed hike will turn into another general night hike.
The hikes will only be cancelled in the event of a heavy downpour. Grundfast said the sensory activities that will be covered during the hikes can be learned indoors as well.
“If it’s raining hard, then we’re not going to do it outside, but even if it’s a light drizzle, people will still come out and enjoy,” she said. “Some of the activities are more about listening, so you can turn the lights off or close your eyes or use blindfolds and do different activities that way.”
Quarrybrook offers students from schools in and around the Merrimack Valley hands-on learning about different lessons they learn in the classroom and encourages them to think about the natural world around them, Grundfast said. But the community events, which started two years ago, are open to anyone interested in learning about nature.
“We do have students coming to us every day, but the community events are our way of inviting the community out for a day to spend some time with us,” she said. 





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