Adult Enrichment Programming

Learning doesn’t stop when you leave school!

The Mill River Park Collaborative education team has been hard at work creating fun and informative classes and workshops for adults. From paint-and-sips to environmental education speaker series, there’s something for every interest!

Healthy Yards for Pollinators, Pets and People

Presented by Pollinator Pathway Stamford in Partnership with Mill River Park Collaborative

Speaker Series #1
Organic Lawncare for Homeowners

March 26 • 6 PM | FREE | Registration Required

You can have a lush green lawn without using chemicals harmful to children, pets and wildlife. Peter Newcombe of PJC Organic will cover the basics of how to grow “healthy turf” using an all natural organic lawn care approach. Our focus will be on soil health; lawn conditions; what some weeds tell you about your soil; cultural practices (mowing, watering, fertilizing etc.) for residential lawns; an overview of product selection; and questions to ask your landscaper.

Peter Newcombe is an Organic Lawn Care Accredited Professional (OLCAP). An account manager at PJC Organic Turf Care, he works with schools, landscapers and municipalities in implementing organic lawn care programs. In addition, he has run the service division of PJC Ecological located on the North Shore of Massachusetts for the last 10 years, providers of grounds fertilization services to homeowners, schools and municipalities. He graduated from Houghton College with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in Outdoor Education. Website:

Speaker Series #2
The Payoffs of a Pesticide-Free Yard

April 24 • 6 PM | FREE | Registration Required

Join us for an eye-opening discussion about pesticides commonly used on lawns and gardens and their negative impacts on human health, our environment, and biodiversity. Our speaker, Louise Washer, a co-founder of Pollinator Pathway will discuss effective alternatives to pesticides and the importance of adopting sustainable practices to protect our air, water, and soil, and thereby promote biodiversity.  She will also cover the need to update state policy around pesticide restrictions, specific pesticide legislation currently being debated in the CT Legislature, and what you can do to help make Connecticut a leader on this issue. 

Louise Washer serves on the board of  Pollinator Pathway, which is now in over 350 communities across 19 states. She also serves as president of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, as a member of the Norwalk Mayor’s Water Quality Committee, and on the steering committee of the Hudson-to-Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership (H2H). Websites:  and

Speaker Series #3
The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline

June 26 • 6 PM | FREE | Registration Required

Countless pollinator species have suffered dramatic declines in recent years. It’s a serious problem for all of us since pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of 80% of all flowering plants, and at least 30% of the food that we eat. Unfortunately, most of our landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat and forage for these essential animals. With simple strategies, you can attract and support not just bees, but an array of pollinators that have different requirements. Learn best practices for pollinators from the author of The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening. Kim will sell and sign copies of her book at this event.

Kim Eierman is the Founder of EcoBeneficial LLC.  She is an ecological landscape designer and environmental horticulturist specializing in native plants.  Based in New York, Kim teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center and Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Kim is an active speaker nationwide on many ecological landscape topics, and provides horticultural consulting and ecological landscape design to residential, municipal and commercial clients, including landscape architects and engineers.

She is a Certified Horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional, a Steering Committee member of The Native Plant Center, and a member of The Ecological Landscape Alliance and Garden Communicators International.


Speaker Series #4
Leave the Leaves, Save the Stems

October 8 • 6 PM | FREE | Registration Required

Fallen leaves, decaying logs, and dead-headed flowers nurture overwintering birds, pollinators, fireflies, turtles, and other wildlife. But . . . it’s all so messy! How can we manage the practical and aesthetic concerns that arise when we keep autumn materials on home or community properties?

Landscape designer Kathy Connolly will share how she experimented for several years with these ideas in her own yard. She’ll discuss what she learned about careful plant selection, plant care, timing, and the role of design in the winter landscape. She’ll also discuss the life-giving importance of winter habitat for insects, birds, and other wildlife.

Kathy Connolly is a landscape designer who specializes in naturalized designs, low-impact landscape techniques, and native plants. She works with homeowners, municipalities, garden clubs, state parks, businesses, and others. Kathy has established numerous meadows and meadow gardens, and has managed her home meadow for over 27 years. She is active in the Connecticut Invasive Plants Working Group, which awarded her its Leslie J. Mehrhoff Award at the 2022 symposium for her efforts on the topic of invasive plants. 

Kathy has a master’s degree in ecological landscape planning and design from the Conway School in Northampton, MA. She completed the advanced master gardener program and is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional through the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut.


Expert instruction in art, environmental advocacy and gardening

No workshops available at this time. Come back soon for updates!