COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center has canceled or postponed all in-person programs and events through at least June 15. The Harris Center building will also be closed to visitors until June 15. Our trails and grounds remain open.
Out of an abundance of caution and deep care for our community, the Harris Center is taking the following steps in response to this extraordinarily challenging situation.
updated May 27, 2020
Building, Grounds & Trails
The Harris Center building will be closed to visitors until at least June 15. We are monitoring COVID-19 developments carefully, and may extend this closure as necessary. Most of our staff will be working from home during this time; email is the best way to reach us.
Our trails and grounds will remain open. We know how vital access to nature is during this difficult time, and encourage you to visit our trails and explore our grounds solo or with other members of your household, while taking proper precautions. See guidelines for hiking responsibly in the age of COVID-19 here.
We are canceling or postponing all in-person programs through June 15. We are monitoring COVID-19 developments carefully, and may extend these cancellations as necessary. When we do resume in-person programming, outings will be small, outdoors, and operated in strict accordance with these safety precautions. We are also offering a diversity of online events. Please see our events page for more information.
We implemented a significantly scaled-down version of the Salamander Crossing Brigades this year, as it’s not safe for people to be gathering in groups, even for the noble purpose of saving salamanders. You can find more information about those changes here.
With schools, businesses, and other gathering places closed, outside time will be critical for mental and physical health. We’re sharing ideas for activities that kids can do as a break from screen-based remote learning here, and ideas for finding solace, comfort, and inspiration in the natural world here.
After much careful research and deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer camp program. We have considered the CDC and State of New Hampshire draft guidelines regarding safe camp operations, and do not feel that we can offer programming in line with their guidance on social distancing while keeping our camp true to its mission. Our primary focus must be the safety of our campers, staff, and the greater camp community. Please know that we will truly miss our campers, and are saddened at the thought of July at the Harris Center without the joyful sounds of children enjoying nature and each other’s company. Although we know there is no substitute for camp, we are working on other ideas for helping you and your children enjoy the outdoors this summer, which we will announce here at harriscenter.org in the coming weeks. We will issue a 100% refund of all camp registration fees and deposits by mail in the month of June.
Camping on Spoonwood Pond
We’re making some changes to the Spoonwood Pond campsite reservation process. Although we typically take reservations by phone, due to limited office staffing as a result of the stay-at-home order, reservations for 2020 camping must be made by email. To reserve a site, please email Miles Stahmann, and make sure to include your phone number so that he can call you to confirm your reservation. As a reminder, camping at Spoonwood Pond is carefully managed, and available by reservation only to Harris Center donors at the $75 level and above.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Thank you.