Published on September 13, 2019

New Fern & Feather Preschool Welcomes Its First Class

Hanging up the Felix Neck preschool's state license in the classroom

We're beyond thrilled to announce that Felix Neck opened Mass Audubon's fifth nature preschool on September 3! 

Fern and Feather Nature Preschool recently welcomed its first class of 19 students into the classroom to begin a new school year of nature-based education and exploration. The preschool itself is housed within the sanctuary's Education and Camp Barn, a pinewood post and beam barn that was completed in 2017 thanks to the generous support of the Island community.

Opening this preschool is the result of a vision long in the making. It's estimated that, for every one licensed preschool space, there are four children that need care. With the great need and Felix Neck's expertise in providing environmental education, Mass Audubon committed to starting a nature-based preschool on the Island to provide care, immersion in nature, and opportunities for children to learn and grow in an outdoor environment.

Preschool Director Ryan Ofsthun, lead teacher Christina Raichle, and teacher Beth Shattuck are beyond excited to start sharing the sanctuary's forests, field, ponds, and seashore habitats with their students. They were incredibly proud to hang up the school's state license, which Mass Audubon received at the end of July.

This momentous achievement would not have been possible without the tremendous support the sanctuary received from generous donors and friends, both on and off the Island. Thank you! We're honored to have the opportunity to help the preschoolers in our community discover a lifelong appreciation of nature—in this year's class and the many classes to come.