Community Programs

The goal of all of our programs is to get more people outside, enjoying and learning about nature. As we experience the wonders of nature, we’re more likely to take an active role in caring for the natural world.


Speaker Series

Every year, CREA partners with the Topsham Public Library to offer speakers on nature-themed topics from September to June. Most of our speakers hail from Maine and share expertise on everything from climate change and environmental issues to natural history to the intersection of art and science. These lively presentations are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 pm. See our Events page for details about upcoming programs. These presentations are free and open to all.

Guided Nature Walks

CREA gets outside in all seasons! Join us as we explore the Preserve in the heat of summer, amidst the rustling of fall leaves, and the crunch of crusty snow. In recent years, we have explored tree identification, fungi – above and below ground, moths at night, moonlight by snowshoe, the world of lichen and moss, as well as general rambles observing a variety of nature’s wonders. Parking and group size are limited so pre-registration is required, but the walks are free and open to all. See our Events page for details about upcoming walks.

Ecology Center Open House Hours

Every Sunday, the Ecology Center is open to the public from 12 to 2 pm. The Ecology Center is a model of sustainability. You can learn about its construction, and explore its sustainable features.  We lead school programs here in the spring and fall and the building’s technology resources are fully solar-powered.

The Ecology Center has a number of interactive exhibits and an extensive collection of Maine’s mammals and larger birds as mounted specimens. It is equipped with a library of nature-themed children’s books and natural history guides and resources to help you learn about what you see at the Preserve. We even have a field guide to invertebrates in our own vernal pool, used in our school programs! We have family-friendly activities to do at the Ecology Center and on the trails. Come visit and learn something new about what’s growing and living right in your neighborhood!

QR Code Trail

Take a self-guided tour of the Preserve and learn about its wildlife, vernal pools, river, Maine’s state tree, past human use (quarrying, forestry) and more! If you have a smart phone, download a QR code scanning app from your app store. The codes start on the Highland Trail headed northwest from the Ecology Center, continuing onto the Cathance River Trail, and returning via the Beaver Trail and Highland Trail. Codes are generally posted near blazes or other conspicuous features.


Bring your youngster to the Preserve for a walk and a story! Storyboards are located along the Barnes Leap Trail which starts just past the Ecology Center on the left.  New stories are posted quarterly and we lead a guided Storywalk, where youngsters can enjoy the story together along with some fun activities, every quarter.

Upcoming Events

Please click here for information about upcoming events.