Distant Hill Events for 2023

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”  Socrates

View our 'Events Collection for 2023' on Eventbrite

March 2023

Babies in Backpacks and Toddlers in Tow

Saturday, March 25, 2023 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Photo by Ben Conant
Photo by Ben Conant

Join Harris Center naturalist Ben King, and Distant Hill naturalist Michael Nerrie, for a pint-sized adventure in the wilds of Alstead and Walpole. Come search for birds, look for animal tracks, and spend time with other families interested in being outside and exploring our local woodlands. A perfect ramble for little legs!

Free of charge - Space is limited


Registration is Required


Park at Distant HIll Gardens not Distant Hill Nature Trail. Dress for the weather, and come prepared with snowshoes or ice traction if snow and ice are still on the ground. 


Co-sponsored by the Harris Center for Conservation Education

and Distant Hill Gardens & Nature Trail.

April 2023

Early Spring Tree & Shrub Identification Workshop

Sunday, April 2, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Learning to identify trees, shrubs, and other woody plants without leaves is easier than you may think. This workshop will show you how!

Terminal buds from left to right: Striped Maple, Hobblebush, and Bitternut Hickory.
Terminal buds from left to right: Striped Maple, Hobblebush, and Bitternut Hickory.
A photo of hhe Male and Female Catkins of Speckled Alder
The Male and Female Catkins of Speckled Alder

Join Extension Forestry Specialists Matt Kelly of Cheshire County, and Mike Gagnon of Hillsborough County, for this two-hour easy walk in the forest, fields, and wetlands of Distant Hill on Sunday, April 2nd from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.


Learn how to identify shrubs and trees without their leaves, using numerous identifying features of the plants as clues, including buds, leaf-scars, bark, branching patterns, smell, habitat, cones, and fruit. We'll also discuss how each plant we find is used by the many species of wildlife that call Distant Hill home.


Registration in Required

Shrub Pruning Workshop

Sunday, April 16, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

A Shrub Pruning Demonstration led by Michael Nerrie of Distant Hill 

Pruning is an important part of maintaining healthy and aesthetically pleasing shrubs and trees in your landscape, and it can also play a role in attracting wildlife to your yard. Healthy deciduous plants will supply more flowers, fruits, and nuts for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. Pruning evergreens promotes dense growth, creating better wildlife cover and nesting sites. Often all that is needed for proper pruning is the removal of a dead branch or two; other times heavy pruning is the best course of action.


Michael Nerrie, designer and steward of Distant Hill Gardens, will begin the workshop with a discussion of proper pruning techniques and tool choices, followed by a hands-on pruning demonstration in the gardens.


Note: There will be lots of shrubs to demonstrate on this year. Many of our shrubs were damaged from two heavy wet snow storms we had this past winter.

Space is Limited

Registration is Required

Morning Vernal Pool Exploration for Families

Sunday, April 23, 10 am to 12 pm

Afternoon Vernal Pool Exploration for Families

Sunday, April 23, 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Bring the Whole Family and Explore the Vernal Pools of Distant Hill

Join Distant Hill Gardens and Nature Trail founder and naturalist Michael Nerrie to explore a special wetland habitat bubbling with frog and salamander eggs, and perhaps even a few fairy shrimp!


Every spring, vernal pools fill up with rainwater and become specialized nurseries for amphibians. We’ll spend the morning searching for amphibian eggs and other critters in the beautiful vernal pools along Distant Hill Nature Trail, an accessible trail with gentle slopes and a hard-packed gravel surface perfect for strollers.


A great way for families of all ages to make some wild discoveries!

Space is limited - Choose either the morning or afternoon session

Registration is Required

Spring Plant Walks at Distant Hill

The First Walk is Sunday, April 30, 10 am to 12 pm

Four Guided Spring Plant Walks at Distant Hill 

on April 30, May 14, May 28, and June 11

A single lavender Blunt-lobed Hepatica flower, an early spring native wildflower, growing in the woods at Distant Hill.
Blunt-lobed Hepatica, an early spring native wildflower growing in the woods at Distant Hill.

Distant Hill Gardens and Nature Trail is a biologically diverse 155-acre property with an exceptional number of natural habitats, all supporting a wide assortment of native plants. Join Michael Nerrie, Distant Hill’s CEO (Chief Environmental Observer), to take a closer look at the property's native spring flora. We'll explore the gardens, the calcium-rich forests and fields, and the wetlands of Distant HIll for plants of interest.


These wanderings will take place on April 30, May 14, May 28, and June 11 from 10am to 12pm. 


CLICK HERE for an album of some of the plants we may find on our walks.

June 2024

Late Spring Birding with Wendy Ward

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

You are invited to do some Late Spring Birding at Distant Hill Gardens and Nature Trail on Saturday, June 17th from 8-10am. Expert birder Wendy Ward will lead this birding event through the forests, fields, and wetlands of Distant Hill. We will be looking for interesting species, as well as learning to identify birds by their songs and calls. 


And it is late enough in the spring to be on the lookout for nests and nesting behavior of the birds that call Distant Hill home.  


Space is Limited

Registration is Required