Published on June 12, 2014

$100k Grant From Cummings Foundation Will Support Preschool Outreach Program

Boston Nature Center preschool kids playing with soil

Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Mattapan has been selected as one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program.

The Boston Nature Center was chosen from more than 430 applicants during a very competitive review process. The grant will support the wildlife sanctuary’s Pathways to Nature Preschool Outreach Program for a three-year period, from 2014-2017.

Using Boston Nature Center’s 67 acres of meadows, woods, and wetlands as an outdoor classroom, young children in Head Start and other community-based preschool classrooms will learn about science and nature through active discovery, stories, poems, and songs.

Each classroom will visit the sanctuary monthly, and the preschool teachers will receive professional training and resources in how to use the outdoors as a learning space.

Julie Brandlen, Anne and Peter Brooke Director of the Boston Nature Center, said the grant provides important support for the sanctuary’s outreach to underserved children in the community.

“The Boston Nature Center is honored to be a recipient of this generous award, which will help us connect young people from Boston to the natural world around them. With the support of Cummings Foundation, we can provide educational–and fun–outdoor experiences for these preschoolers and their teachers,” Brandlen said. “We hope they will enjoy exploring our trails and habitats, playing in our natural play space, the Nature Nook, and develop an appreciation of nature.” 

The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s Executive Director, said, “Cummings Foundation is very committed to the local communities where the staff and clients of the Cummings organization live and work. We are delighted to support very worthy nonprofits like Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center that are working tirelessly for the benefit of the people they serve.”