Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Off the Beaten Path: Scovill Trails

Take a hike! Our newest feature on The Rockfall Foundation's Off the Beaten Path blog takes you to the Scovill Trails in Middletown. With 3 trails accessed from the same parking lot, you get an amazing assortment of sites and terrain. Explore woodlands that emerge onto a beach, visit an abandoned beaver pond, traverse a 19th century quarry, and reach beautiful views with a glimpse of the Connecticut River. Learn more and find step-by-step instructions for these hikes on our blog: https://wp.me/paqKMt-3kT

The leaves have changed fast. The green foliage photos in this blog are from 9/16 and the fall foliage ones are from 9/29. Get outdoors and enjoy fall while it lasts!

Quarry View High Trail

Northern Loop, Connecticut River
Northern Loop, Hubbard Brook

Southern Loop, abandoned beaver pond

Quarry View High Trail, remnants of quarry

Please visit our blog and leave a comment if you explore any of these trails!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut
River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is 
celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2020. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth.  In addition, The Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center, which offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

You're Invited to the Virtual Red Moon at MxCC October 3

Join the Middlesex Community College Foundation and friends for an online evening of fundraising fun at the annual Red Moon event on Saturday, October 3, starting at 7 p.m. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for the livestream link. The event will feature raffles, prizes, entertainment, and much more—all to fund scholarships and support for Middlesex Community College students from our area.

Don't miss out on your chance to win a door prize. Top raffles prizes include an outdoor pizza oven, a 40" monitor with Apple TV, a set of four new tires with alignment, and more.

Watch our special video invitation or visit the website for more details.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Targeted Exercise Videos ONLINE

Online Resources include Targeted Exercise Videos

  video   workouts

   LIVE online
  classes & 

 AARP provides many beneficial programs. One of them is a huge selection of online exercise videos that provide targeted exercise, including yoga-based routines, for whatever ails you. Sometimes the right exercise will remind you that you don't really need surgery--that's a huge plus!

  Some videos are available to those who are not yet members of AARP--you'll need to check. But for AARP members, this offering can't be beat. You can log in to Silver Sneakers, find a video you think might help, and work out whenever you like.

 The fact that the exercises are targeted means that if you're having knee problems--or leg or ankle or back problems, there's a video for you. Sometimes you'll need to read articles online to find out which part of the body is actually causing trouble and that can be challenging because, as we know, they're all connected! But it's well worth the effort if you can avoid pain, worry, a doctor's visit, or maybe even surgery.

  So if you're finding it hard to walk up the stairs or get up from a favorite arm chair or if you're dealing with any kind of muscular or joint pain, chances are you can find an exercise to help. You'd be surprized how quickly you can make it feel better with exercise, in the privacy of your own home!

 Silver Sneakers online also has online classes--extended workouts you can use for strengthening and toning.  Give it a try!    https://tools.silversneakers.com/

How to Get Back Into Working Out After a Long Break | Time

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Virtual Musical Mentoring for kids starts October 5


Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown announces Fall Musical Mentoring for ages 6 – 11 starting October 5. All meetings will be held virtually, and loaner instruments are available for the six week class series.

Musical Mentoring, now in its fourth year, is offered as a partnership between Oddfellows and Cardinal Kids, a student-run arts collective at Wesleyan University. Musical Mentoring provides local students with weekly one-on-one music lessons with a Wesleyan Music student. Available instruments include guitar, keyboard, voice, ukulele, violin, cello, bass guitar, double bass, clarinet, oboe, and saxophone.

Lessons for ages 9 – 11 will be held on Mondays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, and for ages 6 – 8 on Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. All mentors and students will meet via Zoom at 4:30 pm to check in and do a warm up activity as a full group, then the mentor-mentee pairs will be split into “breakout groups” for their virtual lesson. All levels, including complete beginners, are welcome, and every effort will be made to provide the right mentor for each student’s selected instrument. Students enrolled in the program can borrow instruments from Oddfellows for the Fall program, which will run through November 11.

Tuition for the 6 week program is $60, but financial aid is available to any family which needs it. It is Playhouse policy never to turn away a student because of inability to pay. Class size is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

To register, and for more information, go to www.oddfellows.org, email info@oddfellows.org, or call (860) 347-6143.

Oddfellows after-school programs are made available thanks to support from The Fund for Greater Hartford, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Connecticut Office of the Arts, Connecticut Judicial Branch, Community Development Block Grant Program and many generous donors.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Middlesex Drum CIRCLE, Thursday, Outdoors at HARBOR PARK

The Middlesex Drum Circle meets outdoors at the North Pavilion at Harbor Park this THURSDAY, September 24, 2020, 7-9pm. 

It's the first time we'll be outdoors in many moons.  See you there! 

And don't forget The Buttonwood Tree's usual lineup, as listed in the event calendar: |


Friday, September 18, 2020

Who Pays for Flu Shots for Seniors?

Do you Need to Take your Medicare Card?    
or your Medicare plan pro
vider card?

How to save yourself a trip home for your card.


 Your Medicare provider insurance literature might say they pay for your flu shot.  Mine said so, but it did not pay. The pharmacy sent me home to get my actual Medicare card, the one that notes Part A and Part B (at right).

 You'd be wise to take your Medicare Your Medicare card | Medicarecard with you when you go for your flu shot. Either that or make calls to find out if your insurance provider's card will suffice.

Middlesex Community College Manufacturing Information Session on Sept. 22

Middlesex Community College manufacturing academic programs are geared to support students who are working in the industry as well as those who want to gain access in Connecticut's robust and high-tech manufacturing field. Join Tracy Ariel, director of advanced manufacturing programs at the college, for a virtual information session on Tuesday, September 22, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. 

Topics will cover the manufacturing industry in the state, MxCC's academic manufacturing degree and certificate programs, how to apply, assessment testing, and how to pay. Visit mxcc.edu for the virtual session login information. Additional online sessions will take place on October 20, November 17, and December 15.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Starr Mill Yoga Donates $2,700 to Environmental Charity

 Yoga at the Mansion Series Raises Funds for The Rockfall Foundation

A series of five yoga classes held in the Wadsworth Mansion’s rose garden raised $2,700 for charity this summer. The classes were presented by Starr Mill Yoga, who donated profits from the event to The Rockfall Foundation. “Nearly 100 people were able to experience a healthy activity in fresh air and nature because of this collaboration,” says Amanda Kenyon, Grants and Communications Coordinator, The Rockfall Foundation. “And thanks to this generous donation, more community gardens, open space conservation and nature education work can be accomplished.” Sound equipment for the series was donated by Audio Media Solutions. The Wadsworth Mansion donated use of their grounds to hold the classes. The mansion was built by Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth, who also founded The Rockfall Foundation in 1935 with the mission to preserve land for public enjoyment. Starr Mill Yoga is located in Middletown and offers yoga classes on-line, as well as limited size classes at its studio.

Submitted, in gratitude, by The Rockfall Foundation.

Monday, September 14, 2020


Disney Paint Night

                            September 24 @ 7:00 - 9:00pm $40

Join us for some laughs and learning! 

Brian Ballou and Kevin Cox, art educators at Abrakadoodle, will show us how to paint a detailed image and develop our skills. 

Invite a friend over for a glass of wine, and join us safely online! It's online!

No Art Supplies? No Worries.

   Kits are provided with paint, canvas and supplies, and can be picked up at The Buttonwood Tree or the Friday Farmers Market in Middletown, or we will deliver them to your home.


   Some of the Many Reasons to Abrakadoodle 

    • It’s fun! 
      Art classes, camps and events are FUN and great learning experiences!

    • It develops skills! 
      Develop new skills in a friendly atmosphere.

    • It encourages craftsmanship! 
      Develop your very own personal artistic style.

    • It builds self-confidence and creativity!
      Helps you convey your ideas creatively!

    • It’s always new! 
      It's always a new learning adventure!

        And it's sure to be entertaining!

Jonah Center Citizens Town Hall


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Voter Registration Information


Submitted by Frank LoGiudice 



During President John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration Speech on January 20, 1961 he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you — Ask what you can do for your country.”  A way you could help your country is to exercise your constitutional right to vote on November 3, 2020.  In order to vote you must be a registered voter.   


It is easy to become a registered voter and there are several ways to become one.  If you just turned 18 or moved into a new town you could become a new voter by going down to your Registrar of Voters office located in the Town Hall.  The last day to register to vote both in person and online is October 27, 2020.  


All towns in Connecticut will be holding in person voter registration at their respective town halls from 9 a.m. -8 p.m. on October 27th according to Middletown Democratic Registrar Elizabeth Santangelo.  She also stated, “All mail-in voter registration applications must be received or post-marked by this date in order to be accepted.”  If you register in person, please wear a mask and follow the social distancing guidelines by remaining six feet apart.  


Second, you could register to vote online athttps://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/welcome.do and follow the prompts. Voter Registration Cards can be printed from the Secretary of State website at https://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Election-Services/Register-to-Vote/Voter-Registration-Application-English-and-Spanish. Third, you could register at the Department of Motor Vehicles.   


If you turned 18, moved into a new town, became a U.S. Citizen after October 27, 2020 you have until November 2nd to register in person at your Town Hall during regular hours. 


In Connecticut, there is Election Day Voter Registration. According to the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website it states “Individuals may register and vote in person on Election Day if they meet the eligibility requirements for voting in this state and are (1) not already an elector or (2) registered in one municipality but want to change their registration because they currently reside in another municipality. By law, a person is eligible to register and vote if they are (1) a U. S. citizen, (2) age 18 or older, and (3) a bona fide resident of the municipality in which they apply for admission as an elector. (9-19j)” It further states that Registrars of voters must designate a location for completing and processing EDR applications. The location must be one where registrars can access the statewide CVRS.” According to the City of Middletown’s website under voter registration requirements it states “If you missed a deadline, you may register to vote and vote during Election Day Registration held at City Hall from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.”  “We petitioned the Secretary of State’s Office for two sites.  The City Hall Lobby and 161 Cross Street behind the fire department” according to Democratic Registrar Elizabeth Santangelo.   

For more information about Registering to Vote & Election Day Voter Registration please call Democratic & Republican Registrar of Voters Elizabeth Santangelo and David Bauer at 860-638-4950 or email them at Elizabeth.Santangelo@middletownct.gov & David.Bauer@middletownct.gov


Applications for Absentee Ballots are ready now for the November 3rdPresidential Election. You could either go down to the Town Clerks Office to complete the form or by going to https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SOTS/ElectionServices/Absentee-Ballot-Application-ED-3/ED-3-Rev-20-Final.pdf  and sending it in by U.S. Mail or dropping it off in person. 

Please Register to Vote and Most Important Vote on November 3, 2020.   

Enjoy the videos. 







Winners of the 2020 Environmental Champion Awards Announced

 Awardees from East Haddam, Middletown, Portland and Roxbury to be Honored on October 8

The Rockfall Foundation is pleased to announce five recipients of its 2020 Environmental Champion Awards. East Haddam Land Trust and Margaret Miner of Roxbury have been selected for the Tom ODell Distinguished Service Awards, honoring long-term accomplishments in environmental conservation and preservation. Certificates of Appreciation are being awarded to ARTFARM, Chantal Foster from the Middlesex Land Trust, and Nathan Botting of East Haddam. “There is a tremendous amount of good work being done by dedicated individuals and organizations in the Lower Connecticut River Valley,” says Tony Marino, Executive Director, The Rockfall Foundation. “Our hope is that by bringing the community together to celebrate their successes, we can continue building awareness of our wonderful natural resources and further support a healthy future for all.”


The awardees will be honored at an October 8th Awards & Grants Celebration at 7 p.m. The free, virtual event is open to the public, pre-registration required at www.rockfallfoundation.org. This entertaining celebration will feature videos highlighting accomplishments of the Environmental Champions. Recipients of the Foundation’s Annual Environmental Grants Program will also be featured, including videos from Uconn’s AdaptCT program and Valley Shore YMCA’s Farm-to-Table Camp. Cozy up with a bowl of popcorn or your favorite snack and enjoy the show. The ceremony will conclude with a toast to all the award recipients and grantees.

The Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award is being presented to Margaret Miner for her lifetime accomplishments protecting water in Connecticut. She has served as Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and as Executive Director of the Roxbury Land Trust, and is a member of the Connecticut Water Planning Council’s Advisory Group.

East Haddam Land Trust is receiving the Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award for over 40 years of dedication to preserving land for the public benefit. It was one of the first land trusts in the region, has preserved over 700 acres to date, and last year earned the prestigious accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance.

Chantal Foster, co-Chair of the Middlesex Land Trust Stewardship Committee is being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her inspiring leadership. Under her direction, volunteer support has grown, leading to new trails and bridges, protected dams, management of invasive species, erosion control and much more.

A Certificate of Appreciation is being presented to Nathan Botting for his expansion of the trail system at Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School in East Haddam. Over six years as a middle school student and Boy Scout, Nathan cleared trails, created maps and signage, built bridges and benches, and identified trees for educational and recreational use by students and the public.

ARTFARM is being presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for their environmental theater productions, agricultural and plant medicine programming, and advocacy work. Their original environmental education work, Circus for a Fragile Planet, focuses on climate change and making responsible choices, using acrobatics, juggling, balancing and comedy to engage and energize the audience.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2020. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth.  In addition, The Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center, which offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about the 2020 Environmental Champion Awards, The Rockfall Foundation, or the October 8th Awards and Grants Celebration, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Oddfellows Outdoor classes start September 8!

Photo by Bill De Kine of Children's Circus of Middletown 2019 performers anticipating social distancing, but clearly not understanding the importance of wearing masks that cover your mouth as well as your nose. 

This Fall Oddfellows Playhouse will be offering a 6 week series of classes outdoors on the Front Lawn of Middletown’s City Hall (between City Hall and deKoven Drive) as well as at the North Pavilion of Middletown’s Harbor Park. Classes and performance opportunities for ages three through twenty begin September 8 and run through October 17.

Social distance will be maintained throughout and masks will be required for all classes and programs.  Class size will be limited to 12 for most programsMost classes run 4:30 – 5:30 pm, though classes for teens run later. For details, and to register, go to www.oddfellows.org.

Stage One classes (ages 6 – 8) include “Out the Box” (a class in creative thinking) on Mondays with Lanea Sellem; “Circus I” Tuesdays with Maegan Fuller; “Intro to Acting” Wednesdays with Diamond Wynn; “Character Movement” Thursdays with Nicki LaPorte; and “Circrobatics I” on Saturdays, 11 – 11:50 am, with Megan Berritta.

Stage Two classes (ages 9 – 11) include “Improv for the Actor” on Mondays with Nicki LaPorte; “Circus II” Tuesdays with Allison McDermott; “Clowning and Physical Comedy” Wednesdays with Maegan Fuller; and “Hip Hop Dance” Thursdays with Felicia Goodwine.

The Thursday “Hip Hop Dance” class is open to ages 8 – 14.

Programs for older students include the “Junior Rep Acting and Poetry Project”, open to ages 11 – 14, which will meet Mondays, 4:30 – 6 pm under the direction of Laugh the Poet.

“The Teen Rep Company Riverside Performance Project”, open to ages 14 – 20, will create an original  piece exploring environmental justice to be performed outdoors at Harbor Park October 16 & 17. Rehearsals will be Tuesdays, 4:30 – 6:15 pm, with a dress rehearsal on Thursday, October 15.  The Project will be directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Dic Wheeler and new Program Manager Jacque Brown.

“Circophony Teen Circus” will offer fall outdoor circus training to ages 12 – 20, led by Allison McDermott. Circophony will meet at Harbor Park Wednesdays, 4:30 – 6:15 pm and is open to all teens regardless of circus experience.

Children ages 3 – 5 can enroll in “Circrobatics for Little Fellows”, a unique blend of circus, movement and acrobatics, on Saturdays, 10 – 10:45 am with Megan Berritta.

“Musical Mentoring”, which provides one-on-one music lessons with Wesleyan music students, will be offered virtually starting September 28. Sessions for ages 6 – 8 will be Wednesdays, for ages 9 – 11 Mondays, both 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

Tuition for the 6 week fall programs range from $80 - $150, and financial aid is available to any family that needs it. It is Playhouse policy never to turn anyone away because of inability to pay. 

Oddfellows’ Fall Outdoor Programs are made possible by generous support from the City of Middletown, as well as The Fund for Greater Hartford, Connecticut Office of the Arts, Middletown Commission on the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Middlesex United Way, Community Foundation of Middlesex County, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, The Stare Fund, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Community Development Block Grant Program, Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Trust Fund, and many generous donors.

For more information, or to register, go to Oddfellows.org, email info@oddfellows.org, or call (860) 347-6143.