The outdoor soil garden at the Wilson Branch Library is a 4ft x 8ft x 11in composite raised bed. The bed contains plants that were started from seed in a greenhouse by a Loomis Chaffee Student. The bed lives on the north part of the library’s property and is in season from June – October each year.
The hydroponic garden at the Main Library is a 36 plant garden that lives in the lobby and is in season all year. We use RISE Garden’s indoor hydroponic system to grow our plants. The garden showcases the scientific advances in gardening that make it easier to grow fresh produce in a wide variety of spaces (including outer space!).
Studies show that spending time outdoors and in nature is good for our health.
Our collection of Nature Backpacks is designed to get you and your loved ones thinking about, talking about, learning about, and exploring the natural environment.
Check one out with your library card at the Wilson Branch Library.
Click on the themes to the right to learn more about each backpack.
Biomes & Habitats
A biome is a distinct biological community that has formed in response to a shared physical climate. There are 7 major types of biomes: tropical rainforest, temperate forest, desert, tundra, grassland, savanna, and boreal forests. A habitat is the natural home of an animal, plant, or other organism. Biomes are ecosystems where several habitats meet. Connecticut has many different animal habitats, including forests, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands and meadows, as well as cliffs or bluffs, rocky outcrops, vernal pools, ponds and lakes, rivers and streams. Get swept away by the total awesomeness of the environment with this Nature Backpack.
Did you know that according to the CT Ornithological Association, there have been 448 species of birds recorded in Connecticut? Our state bird is the American Robin. The three most common birds found in our state are the Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and Mourning Dove. Not only are birds fun to watch and listen to, they’re very important to humans. They help control the bug populations and act as pollinators to help the plants that we eat grow. This Nature Backpack will help you identify birds by color, size, even song!
Bugs & Insects
Even though there are over 1.5 million species of insects that have been identified, some experts believe that is only a small fraction of the true number that exists in nature. Many people know about the bugs that cause problems for humans, but many insects are extremely beneficial to our ecosystems. Did you know that they play a huge role in the food system by pollinating the plants we eat? Or that they’re also the primary food source for many reptiles, amphibians, birds, and even some mammals? Learn more fun facts about bugs with this Nature Backpack.
Let's Go Outside!
Have you ever felt like you just don’t know what to do to pass the time? Did you know that just by stepping outdoors you have access to the largest playground? And, it doesn’t have to be a warm, sunshiny day to enjoy the outdoors. In fact, by going outside during different weather periods, you can observe the changes in the way things look, sound, smell, touch, and even taste! What are you waiting for? Grab this Nature Backpack and let’s go outside!
Plants & Flowers
They’re here, they’re there, they’re everywhere! Plants and flowers are all around us and they serve many functions. Not only are they a source of food for both animals and humans, they provide oxygen and shade from the heat. Plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but they have a lot in common with each other. Learn all about them when you check out this Nature Backpack!
Reptiles & Amphibians
Do you know the difference between reptiles and amphibians? Reptiles have scaly skin that allows them to survive in hot, dry climates while amphibians have thin, delicate skin that they breathe through. Amphibians need water and often live in or very near water. Reptiles also need water, but can live in much drier areas. Snakes, turtles and lizards are reptiles while frogs, toads, and salamanders are amphibians. Fun fact: both reptiles and amphibians can be found in salt marshes around Connecticut’s coastline. Next time you’re at the beach, bring this Nature Backpack and be on the lookout for both!
Seasons & Weather
Do you like warm, windy days or cold and rainy days? Living in Connecticut, you’ve certainly seen snowy days and chilly days with colorful leaves on the trees. Why do we have different seasons and so many different types of weather? Get answers to all your questions (and more!) with this Nature Backpack.
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! The world is full of a great many animals, from the smallest mouse to the biggest elephant, and everything in between. While you won’t be seeing any zebras or monkeys in your backyard, grab this Nature Backpack and be on the lookout for rabbits, foxes, raccoons, and even bears! How many wild animals can you find?
We’re always looking for helping hands around the gardens. Click on the volunteer link below if you’d like to help out.
(Yes, you can totally volunteer at both locations!)
Volunteer @ Wilson Branch
Outdoor Garden (all ages, May – October)
Volunteer @ Main Library
Indoor Hydroponics (for anyone age 15 – 19)
The produce that is yielded in both gardens is donated to the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
Donated Garden Beds & Cart
Donated organic compost
Student grew and donated seedlings
Produce grown donated to Windsor Food & Fuel Bank
Sponsor: Land use and garden supplies
Proud Victory Garden Site