Town opens Charlotte's Quest nature center


Manchester has unveiled "Charlotte's Quest for the Outside World," a nature center for the students and residents of Manchester.

The name, chosen by the Manchester elementary school children, serves two purposes, said Acting Town Manager David Warner: "First, it was named for Charlotte Collett, a councilwoman who has been the visionary and a person who brought the nature center to reality. The other part is because it is a nature center. And a nature center is to learn about the outside world."

Ms. Collett, a retired Manchester teacher, would rather go unrecognized for her work of this sort. "I'm very appreciative of the name, although I wish they would have left the Charlotte off," she said.

Mr. Warner said the center will be used mainly by the elementary school children for their outside classes, but he would like for the community, as well as other schools, to use it.

Charlotte's Quest, which sits on 46 acres, will offer recycling, land preservation and composting activities, hiking, fishing and bird watching to community members. "There are places to be off by yourself if you like solitude," Mr. Warner said.

The center building will be a classroom for the elementary school children when the weather is bad, and their artwork will be displayed there. Mr. Warner said he eventually would like to showcase local artists and crafts people in the display areas.

Charlotte's Quest is off York Street and Wilhelm Drive. Mr. Warner said the best way to get there is to park at the elementary school and walk to the nature center on the marked trail.

The center is always open to schoolchildren. The public can schedule its use through the town office. "The area around the center is open from sunrise to sunset," Mr. Warner said.

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