The DCA Bird Sanctuary provides four acres of shelter, food, water and nesting sites. The public can walk a well-laid meandering trail, learn from educational features and appreciate the bird-attracting beauty of native plantings.
After more than two years of extensive work by volunteers – clearing invasives, establishing a walking trail, and planting native bushes and shrubs attractive to birds and butterflies – the DCA Bird Sanctuary was officially opened to the public on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014.
We invite you to come and enjoy our nearly four acres of totally fenced-in (child-friendly) DCA Bird Sanctuary.
St. Luke’s Parish School Enjoys Their Class Day at the DCA Bird Sanctuary
“An incredibly delightful day of natural exploration, environmental education and outdoor
fun.” – Elizabeth Hearle, Director
St. Luke’s Parish School students were dropped off by their parents at the DCA and started their morning with activities that they have every morning, only this time in a room at the Meadowlands estate. They worked with KEVA Planks, Cuisenaire rods and geo blocks. Following an indoor picnic snack they headed outdoors!
“Mr. Chris” (Chris Filmer, DCA Board Member) started their tour of the DCA Bird Sanctuary by telling them about all the planning and work that went into creating this special place. He then opened up the gates and walked them all around the meandering trail. The students learned about the purpose of brush piles (to provide refuge from predators), tree canopies (so birds can land on different levels of tree branches), bee boxes, bat boxes, bird boxes and feeders.
The class learned about various trees and shrubs, and even saw the baby tree nursery. They kept a watchful eye to try and see some birds and animals, and also completed a scavenger hunt.
Along the trail, they got to play on the “stump walk” and solved the puzzle of the rock spiral.
St. Luke’s Parish School class had an especially fun time looking under stumps for worms and bugs! They also experienced their story time in the woods. The students wrapped up their day with an indoor picnic lunch.
If you are interested in a class visit, please contact our DCA Office Manager, Marilyn DeMaio, at 203-655-9050, ext. 10 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Mom’s Morning In group took a tour of the DCA Bird Sanctuary
Come visit the DCA Bird Sanctuary and enjoy a stroll along the path with some friends.
The bird sanctuary is a wonderful asset for the public to enjoy, and would not be possible without the support of a number of businesses and community organizations, particularly the Darien Foundation who provided funding for deer fencing, native plants, and other features.
The DCA Bird Sanctuary is on the DCA Meadowlands property, at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien, CT. The entrance gate is located on the right of the back parking lot. Please enjoy the space passively by closing gates and staying on the trail. In the interest of wildlife, dogs are not allowed.
Hours: open during daylight hours except for scheduled weekend events
Groups: schedule group visits by calling the DCA at 203-655-9050
The DCA Board of Directors presented a new bench for the DCA Bird Sanctuary with a brass plate that reads, “With Gratitude to ‘The Three Musketeers’ Sig Buchmayr, Chris Filmer and Cindy Ryan Who Brought This Sanctuary to Life.”
DCA Bird Sanctuary History
DCA members have always had an interest in nature. In the 1930s, volunteers planted hundreds of pink dogwoods on Old King’s Highway South in honor of Connecticut’s 300th birthday. In 1969 the DCA’s Community Activities Committee helped organize a Darien Audubon Society, made up of conservationists, bird and nature lovers. Over subsequent years, the DCA sponsored the construction of a pond observation platform at Cherry Lawn Park, added window boxes at the Darien Train Station, and helped to support the town’s acquisition of Weed Beach and Woodland Park for use by residents.
In the spring of 2012, the DCA Board of Directors decided to revitalize a four acre section of DCA property to create a bird sanctuary for use by the public. Initiated by Darien Land Trust President Chris Filmer, Darien Beautification Commission member Sig Buchmayr, and DCA board member Cindy Ryan, the work effort was supported by a number of volunteers, businesses and local organizations. An extensive planning period began in which conservation and birding experts were consulted, Audubon Connecticut was commissioned to perform a detailed habitat assessment and offer recommendations, and soil sample analyses were conducted. The hard work then began, as safety tree pruning was carried out, invasive plants were removed, trails were cut and laid, a deer fence was installed, and the first of many native shrubs were planted.
The DCA Bird Sanctuary was officially opened on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 9:30am.