News & Events


Aug 2017

Sept 21 – Meet Your Greens on the Highlawn Forest Trail!

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Join us for a unique opportunity to explore the Highlawn Forest Trail as part of the Artists on the Trail program sponsored by the New England Trail. Bibi Calderaro uses a distinctive approach to bring awareness to one’s surroundings and draw attention to the multiple ways one may connect with the land. Gather at 5:30 pm for a low-impact, 60-minute walk with refreshments immediately following in the CT Forest & Park Association headquarters.

This FREE event is presented by the Rockfall Foundation. Reservations are requested by 860-347-0340 or Meet Your Greens: Middletown Green Drinks is an official program of Green Drinks International and meets for informal monthly gatherings that offer attendees a chance to network with other local people interested in environmental issues. Heavy rain cancels.

Thursday, Sept. 21 @ 5:30 pm, FREE
Highlawn Forest Trail
Connecticut Forest & Park Association
16 Meriden Road
Rockfall, CT 06481



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Aug 2017

Sept 28 – An Evening with Henry David Thoreau

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An Evening with Henry David Thoreau

Presented by the Mattabeseck Audubon Society and the Rockfall Foundation with the Jonah Center for Earth and Art
Thursday, September 28 @ 7 pm
deKoven House Community Center
27 Washington Street, Middletown
Join us in celebration of the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth! The Mattabeseck Audubon Society and the Rockfall Foundation are co-sponsoring “An Evening with Henry David Thoreau” with the Jonah Center for Earth and Art. Richard Smith is a historian and staff member of the Thoreau Society in Concord, Massachusetts who portrays Thoreau and offers a “living history” experience. This program is free and open to the public, however, advance reservations are suggested and can be made by emailing the Mattabeseck Audubon Society.

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Jun 2017

‘Fostering Future Stewards’ Campaign Announced!

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MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs. Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live. Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, please call 860-347-0340.

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Feb 2017

2017 Grant Awards Announced

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The Rockfall Foundation Announces Twelve Grants for Environmental Projects

MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Board of Directors and Grants Committee of the Rockfall Foundation are pleased to announce that twelve environmental programs throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley received grants in the latest funding cycle. More than $28,000 was awarded to support environmental education and conservation efforts that will have a combined benefit for nearly 2,000 students and many more adults and families in the region.

“These grants, awarded through a competitive process, support the wonderful work being done in the area of environmental education and conservation throughout our region,” said Marilyn Ozols, President of the Foundation. “We are grateful that the generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to support so many worthwhile programs.”

Environmental education is a priority area for the Foundation and programs that serve and engage children and youth represent the several of those receiving grants. Public schools and non-profit organizations will provide hands-on environmental education programs in Middletown, Durham, Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Additionally, several conservation projects and public events will present residents throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley with information on urban farming, removal of invasives, and tree identification, as well as provide volunteer opportunities.

Grantees include:

Indian Hill Cemetery Association – “A Celebration of the Trees of Indian Hill Cemetery” will encourage visitors to utilize Indian Hill Cemetery as a place where they can learn about trees, be inspired by trees, enjoy the view and walk quietly. Tree identification activities, school programs, and the addition of signs will support this effort. $1,000

Van Buren Moody Elementary School – “Moody School Courtyard Nature Enrichment Programs” will train teachers to use the school’s courtyard gardens for education enrichment, thereby increasing the amount of time students spend outside learning about the environment. The program will also involve students and families in maintaining and managing the gardens to create a sense of ownership and connection to the courtyards and the natural world. $1,030

Regional School District 13 Elementary Schools – “Taking the Next Generation Science Standards Outside” will encourage elementary students to engage in the Science and Engineering Practices emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards, while exploring the nature trails near their schools and noting problems that could be investigated and addressed. $1,100

Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District – “Urban Farm-Based Education Programs at Forest City Farms: A Farm Days Pilot Project” will promote an ongoing urban agriculture initiative in Middletown focused on improving urban farming conservation practices, building community interest and engagement in farming, developing farming/gardening knowledge and skills, and helping address food insecurity. Hands-on activities will take place at Forest City Farms. $1,500

Middlesex Land Trust and Everyone Outside – “Middlesex Land Trust Preserves: Great Places to Spend Time Outside” will revive and foster an interest in nature by connecting children and families with their local environment through field trips and public trail walks, helping them gain an understanding and appreciation of nature in order to become future stewards of the environment. $1,500

Snow Elementary School – “Outdoor Explorations at Snow Elementary School” will provide students and teachers with hands-on science and nature programs, including teacher training, mentoring and curriculum development leading to greater interest in science and stewardship of the natural world. $1,900

Lyme Land Conservation Trust – “The Diana and Parker Lord Nature and Science Center” to support the planning and development of educationally-focused content that is directed to all ages and will engage school-age children, and to support a unique and interactive interpretive trail within the Banningwood Preserve. $2,000

Valley Shore YMCA – “Farm to Table Specialty Camp,” an innovative new program that will teach children the important life skills of gardening, harvesting produce for themselves and others, and environmental sustainability. $2,225

Macdonough Elementary School – “Macdonough School Takes the Classroom Outside” will provide hands-on science education for K through 5th grade students, including an understanding of the natural world and the local ecosystem, to enhance students’ connection with nature. $2,570

Connecticut River Watershed Council – “European Water Chestnut Strategy for the Connecticut River Watershed” will directly educate more than 250 individuals on how to identify, manage and report European Water Chestnuts; educate thousands of residents about the plant and its threat to our waterways; and involve volunteers in hand removal of documented infestations. $3,500

Connecticut Forest and Park – “Highlawn Forest Invasive Removal and Education Program,” part of a strategic Forest Management Plan, to use the property as a recreation and education asset through careful timbering and an invasive removal process. The program will be a model for environmental planning and will offer a unique opportunity for hands-on environmental education for landowners and municipalities. $4,000

SoundWaters – “Coastal Explorers: A Bridge for Sustainability for Watershed Exploration for Middle School Students” will provide students from Middlesex County with hands-on science education focused on their local estuarine habitats and watershed to encourage a deeper understanding of the natural world via a combination of study and stewardship activities. $6,000

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is named for the large waterfall in Wadsworth Falls State Park. In addition to its grants, the Foundation sponsors educational programs and owns and maintains the deKoven House Community Center. The Rockfall Foundation awards grants annually through a competitive process that is open to non-profit organizations and municipalities located in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. For additional information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit  or call 860-347-0340.


Jan 2017

Green Resolutions for the New Year

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Happy New Year! Many of us have made resolutions for the year ahead and some may include how to create a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few simple, eco-friendly resolution suggestions:


  • Break up with bottled water – purchase a reusable water bottle (one that’s BPA free!) and fill ‘er up.
  • Buy less. Consider reusing items, borrowing, or buying second-hand.
  • Enjoy a waste-free lunch – reusable lunch supplies, like stainless steel flatware, cloth snack bags, and a cloth napkin will keep you out of the trash bin.
  • Be mindful: Unplug things when you aren’t using them. Turn the lights off. Watch your water use.
  • Use reusable bags and containers for grocery shopping, packing lunches, and storing leftovers.
  • Commit to enjoy the outdoors more! Take time for nature discovery and simply enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer.
  • Commit to cleaning your home with eco-friendly products made with no harmful chemicals.
  • Go meatless once a week!
  • Avoid individually wrapped items and single-serve containers.

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