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Athol Bird and Nature Club

As the days get shorter, students head back to school and birds — many of them, anyway — head south to warmer climes. This fall, the Athol Bird and Nature Club will offer a number of opportunities to observe both fall migrants and resident birds

∎ Joseph Superchi continues his popular “Second Tuesday” accessible birding sessions from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 8, Nov. 12, and Dec. 10, meeting at the center before heading out to a variety of sites. Those wishing wheelchair van access can call ahead to 978-248-9491.

∎ The birding year will end off with the Christmas Bird Count all day on Dec. 14. This “citizen scientist” project is the longest continuously running compilation of bird data in the area. Contact ABNC president Dave Small at 978-413-1772 or dave@dhsmall.net for additional information and to participate in this nationwide annual event.

The outings are sponsored by the Athol Bird and Nature Club, an active group of people sharing an appreciation of nature’s many forms. More information about the club is available on the web at www.atholbirdclub.org. New members are welcome.

Great Falls Discovery Center

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, 413-863-3676, www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org. Open to the public 7 days a week from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. All programs are free to the public unless otherwise noted. Facilities are accessible.

∎ In the Great Hall: “Changing Coastlines, Oil Paintings by Paula Tessier,” through Nov. 30.

∎ Friday, Oct. 11, 7 to 9 p.m. Martin Swinger performs at the Great Falls Coffeehouse. Swinger is a lively singer-songwriter whose music spans Autism, oysters, dyslexic theology, Betty Boop and Buddha with performance panache and ingenious songs which are surprising, intimate, outrageous, and true. Opening for Martin will be local performer Stephanie Marshall of The Boxcar Lilies. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., concert begins at 7. Refreshments will be available. Museum and Museum Store are open during intermission. Donations ($6 to $12 suggested at the door) help the Friends support free nature programs at the Center.

∎ Saturday, Oct. 12, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Watershed Investigators: Beavers. Watershed investigators is a monthly, kid-oriented program that focuses on hands-on explorations of the nature found in the local area. Each month, we will explore nature by looking at touchable items, by playing games, by completing art projects, and through outdoor explorations. This program is oriented toward elementary age students; however, all ages are welcome.

∎ Saturday, Oct. 12, 3 to 4 p.m. Artist Reception: Changing Coastlines Extended; Large Oil Paintings by Paula Tessier. “It takes great courage to paint and let the inner landscape be seen. The oil paintings in ‘Changing Coastlines Extended’ embrace the changes in our climate and ecology. This show is a wake-up call. It invites deeper connections in the natural world for balance and upliftment” — Paula Tessier . Refreshments will be served.

∎ Friday, Oct. 25, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bats: Young children ages 3 to 6 and their parents are invited to join refuge staff as we explore different things about local wildlife and the places they live. Be ready to have fun and be crafty. Bring your imagination as we explore the natural world around us.

Northfield Mountain

99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/

∎ Fall Foliage Hike to Rose Ledges. Editor’s note: This event has been cancelled.

∎  Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood Educators: Growing Up Wild and Project Learning Tree. Growing Up WILD and Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood build on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invite them to explore the natural world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, these new curriculums provide an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills. On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., educators of children ages 3 to 7 will receive both multi-award winning curriculum guides for educators of young children. The activity guides feature over 150 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. Join instructorsPatti Steinman, education coordinator, Connecticut River Valley Sanctuaries and Kim Noyes, Northfield Mountain’s education coordinator, for a fun-filled day of interactive, hands-on, activities. Gain experience and skills helpful for taking children outside to explore the natural world. This professional development workshop is for teachers, camp counselors, child care providers, home school parents and other educators. Both curriculums are correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework. Co-sponsored with Massachusetts Audubon. The fee is $40 and includes two activity guides. Workshop will take place at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. Register online through Mass Audubon or call Arcadia at 413-584-3009 to register by phone.

∎  Halloween Celebration around the Campfire with Roger Tinknell. On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center’s 35+ year-old celebration of Halloween through songs, stories and dance will be hosted by Roger Tincknell, a locally loved, two-time Parents’ Choice Award-winning recording artist with numerous CDs for children and adults. Imagine a group of young witches, fairies and aliens in the glow of the firelight, spellbound by a slightly spooky story — or waltzing around in small family groups to Tincknell’s beautiful music, and you can get some sense of the delight this evening brings. Wholesome snacks also served. Dress WARMLY, bring blankets to cuddle up with, chairs for seating and flashlights. Program meets behind Visitor Center. In case of poor weather, the program will be held inside the cozy yurt. This is a free family event and is appropriate for all ages. Register by calling 1-800-859-2960.

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