Published on September 23, 2021

50 Years (Take Two) Celebrated with Special Summer Events

Felix Neck 50th Anniversary logo superimposed on an image of the sanctuary © Lynne Chevoya
Image © Lynne Chevoya

Felix Neck became an official Mass Audubon sanctuary in December 1969. By that time, Fern & Feather Day Camp had been running for five years and Felix Neck was already in the hearts of many Islanders.

Some 50 years later, we launched the Felix Neck Forever fund with a goal to help secure the future of the sanctuary for the next 50 years and beyond.

We began our celebrations in December 2019, with a potluck in our Camp & Education Barn inviting the community to gather together and share their favorite dishes. It was a lovely night sharing stories of Felix Neck from first to fifth generation campers, volunteers, and members of the public.

Then COVID-19 hit, and the rest of our celebration events were curtailed. We then decided to postpone the remaining events until we could do so safely and together in person.

This summer we were able to begin our celebrations again. "50 Years (Take Two)" was launched with Sanctuary Supper: Evening Eating for the Planet at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a beautiful night with love for planet and people filling the air. After a very hard year it was uplifting and affirming to see our community come out to support our climate education programs. With Education Manager Josey Kirkland and Ben Hughes hosting the live auction, and serenading us with their musical talents, we were able to raise funds that support scholarships for local students to ensure equitable access to programming at Felix Neck.

The moon rose, the stars twinkled, and joy filled the field as we celebrated the many ways that climate action can be delicious. With everything from wild drinkables—made using foraged ingredients and a special anniversary Shad Trail Ale that Bad Martha crafted just for our 50th anniversary—to the local, regeneratively grown meals handcrafted by Kyleen Keenan, it was the perfect reminder that taking action against the climate crisis ensures our health as well as our planet’s.

The anniversary celebrations continued with the sanctuary's first-ever Amity Shark Race. Hand-crafted wooden shark fins raced through Sengekontacket Pond vying for the coveted Amity Shark Trophy. It was an exciting yet quick race, with Shark #7 pulling ahead in the final moments and taking the win for Pyramid Property Management.

The Chum Bucket award, featuring a seal stuffie to "bait" a faster shark for next year’s race, went to the very last shark to cross the finish was won by Shark #15, sponsored by the Stapleton Family. It all went swimmingly and while the sharks are resting for now, they will soon start preparing for next year's race with a rigorous training schedule!

To close out the summer we brought back Foot It for Felix, a 5K trail course through the beautiful expanse of the sanctuary. With over 100 participants, our many trails were filled with people of all ages running and walking as well as the encouraging cheers of volunteers. Everyone completed the course to erupting applause as they crossed the finished line and got their well-deserved tree cookie medals.

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Felix Neck's 50th anniversary this summer!