New Pond Farm is located on a spectacular 102-acre property with rolling pastures and woodlands in West Redding, CT. For the past twenty years, we have been promoting an understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Our mission is: "to connect people with the land that enriches and sustains us all". We work with close to 14,000 people each year, which includes 7,500 school children who join us for our hands-on field trip programs. From September through June we also offer an exciting array of classes for people of all ages on the environment, natural history, farming, lifeways of the Native American, astronomy, and the arts.
New Pond Farm is an extremely active environmental center that thrives
because of the hard work of many hard working people. Full time staff members include Ann Taylor, Executive Director; Kristen Gould, Program Director; Chris Casiello, Farm Manager; and Travis Bennett, Assistant Farm Manager. We also have ten active Board members, a large part time staff which includes an office manager, membership coordinator, and farm hands, as well as ten terrific teachers, and more than 100 volunteers who help throughout the year. We are a 501(c)(3) public foundation and need to raise a large percentage of our annual income through memberships, gifts, grants and program revenue.
Our focus changes a bit during the summer months as we host a unique residential summer camp for inner city children. During our three ten-day sessions, children from Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury have an opportunity to live on the farm in our beautiful new Indoor Learning Center. For five days of each session they are joined by day campers from the surrounding area. Together, these children from different socio-economic backgrounds develop understandings and friendships and have a wonderful time as well. Their days are filled with activities such as working with the farm animals, making ice cream, exploring the wetlands and woodlands, doing arts and crafts, singing around the campfire, swimming, and having lots of old-fashioned fun. Funds are raised during the year so that full scholarships are provided for all of the inner city children.
The farm's historic buildings and property were generously set aside for the Foundation by our founder and past President, actress Carmen Mathews. The Redding Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the majority of the property so that it will remain open for generations to come. Carmen's property contains pastures, a pond, a marsh, and streams, as well as pine and deciduous woodlands, so it provides us with a multitude of outdoor classrooms. Other teaching areas include a maple syruping shed, an astronomy building, and an authentically recreated Native American Encampment with a barked wigwam and thatched longhouse. The property also has extensive perennial, herb, and vegetable gardens.
There is a state licensed dairy on New Pond Farm, run by Farm Manager Chris Casiello. For more about the dairy, see About The Dairyat New Pond Farm. The small dairy herd consists of Jerseys, Guernseys, Holsteins and an Ayrshire, and now, Randalls. In 2004 the farm acquired a Randall heifer calf, "Noreen", from Howland Homestead Farm in South Kent, CT. In the summer of 2006 Noreen had a calf of her own, a beautiful heifer named "Nelly". Noreen has taken her place in the dairy herd, and Nelly is being raised to someday join her as a milking cow. In addition to cattle, New Pond has a flock of Romney sheep from which yarn is spun and sold in "The Annex", the on-farm store. There is a flock of chickens to supply eggs, and pigs are raised each year.
Farm Profile: New Pond Farm
West Redding, Connecticut
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"Noreen", here close to calving
A pair of Romney sheep
The "Bunkhouse", a newly renovated teaching facility