State grant funds improvements, growth at Trumbull nature center

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — To Sheryl Baumann, a new state grant will allow the Trumbull Nature & Arts Center to reach its full potential as a provider of environmental education.

“We can do things we were hoping to do but didn’t have the funding to do,” said Baumann, the center’s director.

This week, Baumann announced that the Trumbull Nature & Arts Center received a two-year grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts. Through the grant, the center will receive $75,000 per year this year and next year.

The Trumbull Nature & Arts Center, 7115 Main Street, Trumbull, sits on roughly 11 acres of land and provides environmental-science, technology, engineering and math education and sustainability programs to students and families in the region, including those in underserved communities.

Though the first fiscal year of the grant started in July, Baumann said the money was received in October. It will be used to make multiple improvements to the center, she said.

For one thing, the center will be able to rehabilitate the meadow on the grounds, which Baumann said is “one of our most important assets.”

She said the meadow is being overrun by non-native and invasive species.

“We plan to use a significant amount of the money to return the meadow to its native origins,” she said.

There are also plans to use the money for such projects as replacing the fence around the sunflower garden, power-washing the building, and overhauling center’s monarch way station and pollinator pathway. Baumann said the last program would involve creating an “interpretative garden” that educates visitors on best gardening practices.

Funding would also go to improve the education programs the center provides for schools in Trumbull, Bridgeport and elsewhere in the region.

“This will help our curriculum development so we can grow,” Baumann said.

She said she and the Patrons of the Trumbull Nature & Arts Center — the organization that supports the center — are grateful for the help of local leaders in helping to secure the grant, specifically Sen. Marilyn Moore, who Baumann said was a persistent advocate for them to receive the funding.

“This will make a huge difference for us,” Baumann said.