Program Partnership: Elder Services of Cape Cod & The Islands
Felix Neck is grateful for all the volunteers that help out at the wildlife sanctuary. For this Volunteer Spotlight, we wanted to highlight our volunteer partnership with Elder Services of Cape Cod & The Islands (ESCCI).
Elder Services of Cape Cod & The Islands (ESCCI) is collaborating with Felix Neck this year though their Mature Workers Program. The goal of the program is to link mature folks seeking part-time, meaningful work with non-profit organizations in need of extra help and expertise.
Felix Neck is lucky enough to have two staff members through the program—Marianne Green and R George Eli.
R George Eli is no stranger to ESSCI. He served for more than a decade with their Home Care and Protective Services Management programs on the Vineyard. His other part-time work is in writing, with two books in preparation to be published—Think Hard, Write Well and Jacob’s Ladder.
Dr. Eli says his favorite part of working at Felix Neck so far is simply the “nature of the job” (pun intended). He also likes the staff because “they make working fun!” George believes in the great cause of Mass Audubon so much that he has been inspired to continue his education with a focus on climate change studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s School for the Environment.
His excitement for Mass Audubon’s mission is palpable. “It’s a great cause that provides huge opportunity to every one of every age,” he said. Dr. Eli hopes to spend the next few years working at Felix Neck.
Marianne Greene has been at Felix Neck for the past three months as a property worker. When asked how she came to the Sanctuary, she said only, “I was brought here by the birds.” She has particularly enjoyed walking and clearing the trails, taking in the great vistas across the marshes, clearing the butterfly garden and getting it ready for the spring, and dodging the chickadees while filling the birdfeeders.
She has really helped make the Nature Center building shine too. She also relishes having a chance to interact with the education animals. “When cleaning the Discovery Room, I take a little time to visit with the spotted turtle who is very sociable and with the corn snake who is very shy," she said.
Marianne speaks highly of her experience at the wildlife sanctuary. “I feel I'm always in the presence of wildlife—learning about ospreys and anticipating their arrival back in the spring, the varieties of owls native to the Island, the living shoreline, and watching the weather and the direction of the wind and the changes in temperature as I trek closer to the shore, hoping to spot an otter or a deer. I like the kid-friendly approach here, encouraging 'hands-on' discovery of nature that makes learning so accessible and creative. There is a welcoming attitude toward everyone.”
One thing is for sure—Marianne has never been bored in her work. “Something is always happening at Felix Neck. It has been an exciting time to be here during the recent 'barn building' campaign. We are all elated by the successful fundraising and the award of a grant that will make it happen. Everyone is looking forward to groundbreaking!”
She encourages other people to get involved. “For anyone who feels a need to be outdoors and to be in the company of wildlife, this is the place to spend or share a few hours as a volunteer. You will find yourself in the good company of staff who are working for us all and enjoying what they do.”