“Tis a wonderful thing to sweeten a world which is in a jam and needs preserving,” sums up the philosophy of renowned children’s author and naturalist Thornton W. Burgess (a Sandwich native). Young Thornton wandered these woods adjacent to Ida Putnam’s vintage jam kitchen, which still cranks out an array of fresh jams almost daily in the old, aromatic cookery.
15,000 stories, 170 books, and about a hundred years later, the descendants of the critters that inspired characters such as Peter Cottontail still roam these serene woods, pond, gardens, and even cranberry bog — and so can you. Trails are accessible year-round.
Enjoy interpretive trails and inventive natural history programs such as “Wooing the Woodcocks,” “Creatures of the Dusk and Dark,” and “Jimmy Skunk’s Perfumery,” guided canoe trips in nearby creeks, and two-hour preserving workshops in Ida’s jam kitchen. Time your visit to coincide with your favorite berry: June for strawberries, August for blueberries, and September for cranberries.
Although the beloved Thornton Burgess Museum is closed, the Burgess name and his characters remain alive at the nature center.