Highstead Happenings Overview
Highstead Happenings > Overview
Highstead’s mission includes managing our property and programs to inspire and educate visitors about the natural world and the need and opportunities for conservation. Through several programs and events during the year, Highstead invites members and visitors to the property to learn about the latest in conservation practices, to hear from celebrated authors and academics in ecological fields, and to enjoy artwork depicting the natural landscapes and creatures of New England.
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Eric Chivian
Silver Dollar, one of 70 Kalmia cultivars at Highstead
GNSI artist Linda Thomas discusses her artwork at the Songbird exhibit
In the periodic Woodland Conversations, Highstead invites a leading environmental scholar to share a talk with members in the Highstead Barn. Bringing in a wide range of speakers and audiences alike, the events spark ongoing conversations at Highstead and beyond about timely topics in conservation and ecology. Many of the speakers have authored recent texts in their fields, so audiences are given the opportunity to purchase signed copies as well as engage authors in spirited conversation.
In early June each year, Highstead hosts an Open House and Trails Day. Celebrating the start of a new season and the blooming of the Kalmia Collection, the event invites members and the public to tour our 100-acre property with our ecology and conservation staff, as well as attend a conservation-themed lecture. Bringing together a celebration of natural landscapes and the knowledge we gain from them, the Open House and Trails Day remains a favorite with Highstead’s staff and visitors alike.
Each fall, the Highstead Barn comes to life with artwork and artists, as Highstead hosts our annual Art Exhibit. Running for approximately two months each autumn, artists from the Greater New York chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators present their works on a theme selected by Highstead. Past themes have included Songbirds of the Eastern United States, Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives, and Plants of the Wetlands. On the day of the Art Opening, artists discuss their work in the intimate setting of the Highstead Barn, after which Highstead hosts a conservation lecture on a theme related to the artwork. This event offers a rich and inspiring blend of nature art and conservation practice, and is a proud Highstead tradition since 1999.