Upcoming Events and Event Catalog

Our Event Catalog provides general information about our recurring programs

2018 City Nature Challenge

Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Details & Registration

Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord MA

iNaturalist CNC 2018 postcard
iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 2018 postcard

The Walden Woods Project – Friends of Walden Pond and the DCR Walden Pond State Reservation are co-hosting a walk at Walden for the 2018 iNaturalist City Nature Challenge. The City Nature Challenge is a “Bio-Blitz” to document species of living organisms. We will get out in the field and photograph all of the plants and animals we can find. All observations will be uploaded to iNaturalist for identification and incorporation in to a national biodiversity database.

For a little more information on the City Nature Challenge, check out Zoo New England’s webpage.

Experts and Novices welcome!

After registering for the walk below,
Download the iNaturalist app
Create an account and join the City Nature Challenge 2018: Boston Area Project
Submit observations!

Register Here

Andrew Menard—Learning from Thoreau

Thursday, May 3, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Details & Registration

The Walden Woods Project, Lincoln Massachusetts

The Walden Woods Project and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum invite you to a Stewardship Lecture with


“Learning from Thoreau”

Thursday, May 3

7:30 PM (Doors open at 7 PM for reception)


Henry David Thoreau had a very modern way of looking at nature—something he called “a different intention of the eye”—that cleaved him through heart and marrow.  Using examples from contemporary art, philosophy, and science, Andrew Menard explains Thoreau’s radical sensibility and suggests why it remains provocative today.

Andrew Menard, an artist, writer, and critic, is the author of Learning from Thoreau, which will be released by the University of Georgia Press on May 1, 2018.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors will open at 7 PM for a wine and cheese reception with the author, sponsored by The Cheese Shop of Concord.  The talk will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.

To make reservations, please call 781-259-4707 or email your name, phone number, number of seats you’d like reserved and how you heard about the event to education@walden.org.  Within two business days after leaving your information, you will receive a confirmation and more details about the event.

Learning from Thoreau will be available for sale at the event ($26.95), with a book-signing by the author after the talk.




Hidden Treasures 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Details & Registration

Patriots, Prejudice, and Protest: The Hidden Stories of Concord’s Early African Americans

Our program will begin at Brister’s Hill, named after Brister Freeman, a formerly enslaved man who was the second person of African descent to own land in Concord. Peter Robbins, whose father Caesar Robbins went with Brister Freeman to Bennington in the summer of 1776, will recount the lives of Patriots of Color who gained their freedom during the Revolutionary war and began lives as free men in Concord. See the ditch fence Brister Freeman dug around his property almost 200 years ago.

Our next stop, with time to travel, is the Robbins House, where Peter Robbins’ niece Ellen Garrison talks about being raised in 1820-30s Concord, and the antislavery activism that brought her from Boston to Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, and California in pursuit of independence at a time of racial injustice.

This program is part of Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area’s month-long regional celebration, Hidden Treasures 2018.

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rain Date: Sunday, May 20, 2018

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Space is limited to 25 participants. Please email education@walden.org to register.


1:00–2:15 PM at Brister’s Hill – Meet at Hapgood Wright Town Forest Parking Lot on Walden Street, across from Concord-Carlisle High School (which is 500 Walden Street)

2:45–4:00 PM at The Robbins House – Meet at 320 Monument Street, in the Parking Lot across from the North Bridge







Museum Institute for Teaching Science—Summer Seminar 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018 - Friday, July 13, 2018
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Details & Registration

Landscapes for Learning: A Natural Confluence of Science, Literacy, Mathematics and Place-based Pedagogy

The Walden Woods Project is pleased to be partnering with Mass Audubon/Drumlin Farm and Concord Museum to offer a one-week institute for educators for grades 3-8, through the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS).

Description: Communities and their landscapes — whether forests, farms, or streetscapes — provide context for the study of ecology, history, culture, and society.  Collect data from local rivers and ponds, explore landscapes that have inspired a confluence of science and ideas for centuries, and learn effective strategies for using nature journals, science notebooks and other literacy tools in your classroom. Bridge your school and community by designing inquiry-based learning that connects students in meaningful ways to their local environment.

Dates: July 9-13; Half Day Introductory Session June 9; Half Day Fall Call-back November 17

Registration Fee: $400/participant, $375/participant for a team of 2 teachers from the same school district, $350 for teams of 3 or more teachers from the same school district

PDPs and Graduate Credit: Framingham State University ($225 for 3 credits and 67.5 PDPs). Fitchburg State University ($285 for 3 credits and 67.5 PDPs). 40 PDPs available without graduate credit.

Visit the MITS MetroWest Regional Page for more information.

Approaching Walden 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018 - Friday, July 20, 2018
12:00 pm
Event Details & Registration

The Walden Woods Project, Lincoln Massachusetts

Approaching Walden

Approaching Walden is a six-day professional development seminar for high school educators and graduate students. The seminar provides teachers with the skills they need to lead their students in a study of their home community. This place-based interdisciplinary workshop uses Henry David Thoreau’s writings and philosophy as a model. Through Thoreau’s example of living deliberately, we can learn how to do so in our own communities and pass it along to the next generation.

Dates for 2018 are Sunday, July 15-Friday, July 20!  

Application Deadline: February 28 for preferred consideration

Seminar Highlightskenjournaling_small
This annual seminar features a daily mix of lectures, field trips, readings, discussions and reflection. Participants encounter speakers from different fields with expertise in the areas of natural history, writing, literary analysis, art and the environment. Seminar features include:

  • lectures on Thoreau, Transcendentalism and social reform by experts in their fields;
  • workshops on conservation and the environment, historic land use and nature journaling; and
  • trips to Walden Pond and historic Concord.

Who Participates: While high school teachers (from various disciplines) are the majority of participants, we’ve also welcomed graduate students of education, middle school educators and others who educate in non-traditional settings.

Program Fee: $50 (submitted to guarantee your spot once accepted to the program)

Travel Stipends:  Depending on how far away from Walden Pond you live, we offer travel stipends:

  • $600 for participants living outside of New England;
  • $300 for participants living in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts (50 miles or more from Walden Pond); or
  • $100 for participants living in Massachusetts, fewer than 50 miles from Walden Pond.

Kati Outdoor classroomGraduate Credit and Professional Development Points:

  • 45 Professional Development Points (through the EDCO Collaborative)—participants seeking to receive PDPs will be required to complete a “sense of place” curriculum unit consisting of at least three lesson plans, due two weeks after the conclusion of the program.
  • 3 graduate-level credits from Fitchburg State University (for an additional fee of $285)–participants seeking graduate course credit will be required to complete a “sense of place” curriculum unit consisting of five lesson plans, due two weeks after the conclusion of the program.

For more information:  Visit Approaching Walden FAQs or send a message to Whitney Retallic, Director of Education.

Note: Professional development events for educators can be found on the educator event page

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Public Program Catalog

These events are offered on an on-going basis. When an event is scheduled, it will appear in the list of upcoming event at the top of this page.

Stewardship Lectures

The Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute sponsors the Stewardship Lecture Series to celebrate innovation and creativity in environmental stewardship and to highlight the work of those who are promoting the values and ideas embodied by Thoreau. Each year the series features a number of talks, panel discussions, or media presentations featuring individuals at the cutting edge of a renewed environmental and social justice movement.

Recent Stewardship Lectures include:

  • Terry Tempest Williams, on her book The Hours of Land: A Personal Topography of American National Parks.
  • Laura Dassow Walls, in October 2016, gave the first public presentation of her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, due out on July 12, 2017
  • David Gessner, All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West (on his book of the same title)
  • Robert M. Thorson, Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth Century Science (on his book of the same title)


We are always seeking excellent candidates for the lecture series and welcome any nominations and suggestions for the upcoming year. If you have an idea for a topic or presenter for our Stewardship Lecture Series, please contact the Walden Woods Project.

Modern Lyceum

“Thoreau’s Legacy: A Modern Lyceum” brings back the movement that spawned adult education in America with public forums that promoted thoughtful conversation and education about the social, intellectual and ethical questions of 19th-Century society. Guided by accomplished scholars on related topics, our Modern Lyceum will engage the public in an investigation of current social issues, with respect to and through the lens of Henry David Thoreau’s still-poignant writings and actions—incorporating many of his contemporaries.

Our Lyceum events will not seek to provide easy answers to today’s dilemmas and debates, but to highlight the way in which the voices and perspectives of the past can shed light on and help us to critically examine our current situation. We anticipate that our panelists will—all drawing from Thoreau’s texts and actions—come to slightly different conclusions to some very complex questions, and by doing so, broaden our perspectives on events of today.

Read more about Henry David Thoreau's involvement with the 19th-Century Lyceum Movement in the United States.