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Connolly Ranch Education Center, a Napa nonprofit committed to connecting kids and families to nature through farm-based education, announced that the 12-acre farm will now be open every Saturday, beginning February 1, according to a news release.

The educational center is set to offer weekend programs that includes a farm open house from 9 to 10:30 a.m. for community members and visitors of all ages and themed camps that alternate between eco-art, music, movement and farm-to-table cooking from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for children ages 6 to 11 years-old.

“We’re very excited to be extending our programs into the weekend and to make the farm available to more people in our community,” said Per Casey, board president of Connolly Ranch Education Center.

“This is the first time in our 29-year-history that we’ll be open every Saturday and we’re looking forward to see how the kids respond to the new camps we’ll be offering,” Casey said.

Casey continued, “It’s a big change for Connolly Ranch but one that was easy to make after we studied it. Being open on Saturdays will give us a chance to connect with more school-aged kids in the Valley and to reach families visiting wine country for the day or weekend. We’re delighted to give more people a chance to be outside and to experience the farm and our wonderful animals.”

Connolly Ranch Education Center’s Saturday programs were developed within the nonprofit’s discovery-based curriculum, which focuses on cultivating students’ 21st Century Learner Skills (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication) in an outdoor environment, said the release. “Combining this educational approach and its farm setting provides visitors a very unique Napa Valley experience,” said the release.

“Connolly Ranch captures our region’s well-known agricultural landscape,” said Gene Kelly, past board president of Connolly Ranch Education Center and a Napa Valley grape grower.

With 85 barnyard animals on the historic farm, “children of all ages come to learn about life on the farm and the wonders of nature. It’s a great place for locals and visitors to gain an appreciation for Napa Valley,” Kelly said.

Connolly Ranch Education Center, located at 3141 Browns Valley Road, serves as a multi-faceted outdoor classroom for over 10,000 children and adults annually, said the release.

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You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com

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