Teaching About Environment: The New Pond Farm Education Center

The New Pond Farm Education Center is a place for growth, learning, and connection. Sitting on an expansive and stunning property, the Center strives to elevate visitor’s knowledge and understanding of the environment through technology, old and new.

Among a dairy farm, observatory, and maple syrup shed, you can find a PurpleAir sensor. Initially donated to the center, the sensor has quickly become an exemplary tool for air quality education and awareness.

Who is NPFEC?

For over 30 years, NPFEC's year-round environmental education center with a small working farm has been dedicated to its mission: On every acre, in all we do, we plant seeds for a lifetime of active engagement with the natural world, which it delivers through school field trips, adult lectures, family programs, children's classes, and a summer camp. NPFEC's beautiful 102-acre property, located in West Redding, Connecticut, was once the home of the farm's founder, actress Carmen Mathews. "Carmen's Dream" was to find a way for her beautiful property to "serve youngsters who might never have this kind of opportunity.”

NPFEC provides an outstanding array of outdoor classrooms, including woodlands, wetlands, an evolving scrub and shrub area, a pollinator meadow, and rolling pastures. The Science program facilitates student and community learning in Astronomy, Weather, Ornithology, Geology, Botany, and more, all of which help fulfill Carmen's Dream.

PurpleAir on the Farm

A board member of NPFEC, who is also a member of the Science Committee, previously published air quality research with Sierra Club Connecticut using PurpleAir sensors located all across the state. Included in this research was a PurpleAir sensor deployed at his home in West Redding, near the Farm.

Sadly, the sensor was unfortunately the victim of a power surge and failed in 2023. PurpleAir provided support for bringing the sensor back online, but it was deemed beyond repair, and a substitute sensor was provided pro-bono, based on the awareness of PurpleAir created through the publication of "open-access" (free of charge) air quality research using PurpleAir sensors. The board member, in turn, paid this good deed forward by donating the replacement unit to NPFEC to supplement its already impressive array of scientific technology used for the benefit of the community. The replacement sensor is now doing its part to fulfill Carmen's Dream as an educational tool supporting visitors' awareness of the importance of air quality.