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Wings Butterfly Garden.

The Very Busy Month Of May

May seems to be the busiest month of the year in Vernon with everyone eager to get outside, and our organizations accommodating with walks and other events. Listed below are 11 activities ranging from fund raisers to walks, a parade and a bus tour.

Many of the organizations sponsoring these events are members of the Vernon Volunteers' Collaborative. You can learn more about VVC on their website.

If you would like advanced notice by email of this type of event please join our MeetUp Group. We also send reminders of these events on our Facebook Page. You will also find upcoming events listed on the VVC website under the 'Events' tab. Many of the links below take you to MeetUp pages.

And don't miss this month one of the most overlooked gardens in Vernon - The Wings Butterfly Garden on Lake Street. With many azaleas and rhododendrons it is particularly lovely in May. See website for more photos and background.

Click on each image for a larger view.

Jon Roe   

Canoe/Kayak Paddle of Upper Bolton Lake

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 9 A.M.: The Northern Connecticut Land Trust sponsors this annual canoe and kayak exploration of Upper Bolton Lake which in historical times was known for its cedar trees.

Take a leisurely tour of this pristine lake setting, perfect for bird-watching, photo opportunities, or just a quiet morning enjoying the outdoors. Please bring your own boat, paddles, and life vests.

Meet at the Upper Bolton Lake Boat Launch Area on Hatch Hill Road in Vernon. Call KARL at (860) 649-4949 for information.

» Learn more.

VHS Book Sale

SATURDAY, MAY 5 10-3 & SUNDAY, MAY 6, 12-3: This weekend is the second and last weekend of the Vernon Historical Society's annual book sale and fundraiser. There are still many bargains remaining.

The annual Book Sale features a wide selection of used hardcover and paperback books, DVDs, and books on CD. All of the hardcover and paperback fiction is alphabetized by the author's last name. 'Special Books' are priced between $2-$5. Non-fiction books are separated by subject categories.

The Vernon Historical Society building, located at 734 Hartford Turnpike (Route 30) in Vernon, is handicapped accessible.

» Learn more.

Valley Falls Walks - Wildflowers &/or History

SUNDAY, MAY 6: The Friends of Valley Falls are sponsoring two guided walks in Valley Falls Park today. Each walk a leisurely ramble, two hours or less. Come for either walk or both.

At noon GINNY GINGRAS and CAROL HATCH lead a one hour walk of Ginny’s favorite Wildflower Paths to identify and enjoy old favorites and some members of the orchid family that are hard to find anywhere else.

At 1 p.m. join JON ROE for a History and Geology Walk. He will take you through historic parts of the park discussing the history of the area, the cotton mill, the coming of the railroads and the rock formations of the valley.

Meet for both at the Valley Falls Park gazebo, 314 Valley Falls Road in Vernon.

» Learn more.

Bird Walks

SATURDAY, MAY 12: This morning there are two bird walks to choose from for early risers.

At 7:30 a.m. the Friends of Valley Falls, as part of their guided walks in the park, will host biologist DENISE ANAMANI who will introduce you to the 'Birds In The Park.' Denise works in the Department of Allied Health Science at UConn.

This free event will be a leisurely ramble, two hours or less. Meet at the Valley Falls Park gazebo, 314 Valley Falls Road. For information, call Ginny at (860) 875-9865.

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At 8 a.m. the second walk is for International Migratory Bird Day. Join JANE SEYMOUR at the Belding Wildlife Management Center for a 2-hour free walk highlighting migratory bird habitat information. International Migratory Bird Day highlights the importance of international efforts to conserve birds through agreements, laws, treaties, and collaborations.

Meet on Bread and Milk Road in Vernon. For information contact Jane at (860) 306-5418 or [email protected]

» Learn more.

Vernon Garden Club's Annual Plant Sale

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 8 A.M.: The Vernon Garden Club holds their annual Plant Sale from 8-11:30 a.m.

A great place and good prices to buy seasonal plants from the experts who know what grows well in Vernon. For members its a fun day to see what we’ve grown and share the bounty with our community. Each VGC member brings 10 or more perky, potted, and clearly labeled garden plants.

The sale will be held this year at Vernon Center Middle School on Route 30. In the event of pouring rain the sale will be held on May 19.

» Learn more.

Tankerhoosen Valley Rolling Tour

SATURDAY, MAY 12: The Rockville Community Alliance's second annual Rolling Tour of Our Town will focus on the mills and history of the Tankerhoosen River Valley.

The bus will leave the Talcott Mill parking lot (across from Golf Land) at 10:45 a.m. and return by noon. Local Historian BOB HURD will provide a running commentary on the origins and significance of the mills along the Tankerhoosen.

At noon, a slide show will be presented by Bob and JON ROE, who has done extensive research on the 'valley' in the Talcott Mill Community Room. Light refreshments will be served.

The cost of the bus tour and presentation is $10 per person. Please contact TOM DIDIO at [email protected] or 860.646.5320 for more information and reservations.

» Learn more.

Tobacco Farming in the Connecticut Valley

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2 p.m.: The Vernon Historical Society's May program is 'Tobacco Farming in the Connecticut Valley' with BRIANNA DUNLAP, author of "Connecticut Valley Tobacco" and former director of the Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum in Windsor.

Though the Connecticut River Valley has long been known for its varied vegetable crops, it also has a long history of growing shade tobacco for cigars. For many local farmers, tobacco was considered a profitable cash crop in spite of the challenges in growing leaves suitable for cigar tobacco. Many adults in Connecticut remember working in the tobacco fields as teenagers. Ms. Dunlap will discuss the use of tobacco from the Native American era through the boom during the Civil War.

The program is free and open to the public. VHS is located at 734 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. For further information, please call the Society at (860) 875-4326 or send an email to [email protected]

» Learn more.

Talcottville Memorial Day Parade

SUNDAY, MAY 27, 9 a.m.: Each Memorial Day the town of Vernon has two parades. The primary parade is held in Rockville on Monday, but on Sunday one of the state's shortest parades takes place in Talcottville.

Marchers begin at the Congregational Church and proceed to the Civil War monument in the cemetery where ceremonies are held. The parade usually includes Vernon's mayor and council members as well as the fire and police departments, scout groups and veterans.

Mount Hope Cemetery is the home of Vernon's earliest Civil War monument, an obelisk at the highest point in the cemetery. The cemetery was dedicated in 1867 and the memorial monument was dedicated two years later in 1869. The memorial is engraved with the names of those from the area who gave their lives in the war.

Everyone is welcome to march in the parade and it's short enough for the kids. Assemble in the church parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

» Learn more.

Stickney Hill Preserve Hike

SUNDAY, MAY 27, 12 p.m.: The Manchester Land Conservation Trust will lead a hike of their Stickney Hill Preserve in Rockville. The 16-acre property is above Amerbelle and Paper Mill Pond and at one time was home to a pair of water tanks that provided water to mills and Rockville homes.

The area was inherited by businessman John Stickney in the mid-nineteenth century. Stickney owned the mill for which nearby Paper Mill Pond is named and built a house nearby.

A short (1 mile) hike, moderately paced with a steep hill and bumpy ground, with pauses to learn about the history and lore of the area. The event is free, and will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. Meet at the end of Pleasant Street.

» Learn more.

And Coming Up In Early June

Saturday, June 2 – The Vernon Chorale presents 'A Choral Tapestry' concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, June 2 & 3 – Connecticut Trails Weekend – Hikes throughout the state including Risley Park, Hockanum River Suspended Bridge, Tulip Tree Trail and Hop River Trail History Bike Ride.

Saturday, June 9 – CT Open House Day In Vernon.

Details in a June newsletter.

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