Published on May 17, 2021

Challenge Grant to Benefit Island Youth

Youth volunteers help plant seedlings at Nantucket Sanctuaries

Providing an Opportunity to Earn & Learn

Now in its second year, the Youth Environmental Stewardship Program at Mass Audubon's Nantucket Sanctuaries puts island youth out on the trails, fields, and beaches of our properties including Lost Farm, Sesachacha Heathlands, and Smith's Point.

Youth stewards will work alongside sanctuary staff to steward land including maintaining trail systems, and educating the public on plastic pollution impacts, all while learning about Nantucket’s flora and fauna.

Participants in this paid internship program will also gain hands-on experience in wildlife conservation and management through exposure to our Coastal Waterbird Program (CWP). Through the CWP we monitor and protect threatened shorebirds as well as educate members of the public on ongoing recovery efforts for species such as Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and the federally endangered Roseate Tern.

The youth are encouraged to apply by their schools and Mass Audubon staff. They then follow an application process where they submit a resume, cover letter, and participate in a formal interview. This provides the opportunity to build essential and transferable life and job skills. Last summer two young people completed the program.

Matching Challenge

The total cost to fund each youth is $7,500 for the eight weeks of learning and work. Generous donors William and Laurie Schutt of Surfside and Doylestown, PA, are issuing a challenge to fund this important program. 

The Schutts will once again fund the costs for one student this year. What's more, they've put forth a matching challenge—if we can raise $7,500 in donations for the YES program, they will match that amount dollar-for-dollar! That means we might be able to fund as many as three YES interns to work and learn at the sanctuaries this summer.

"We are so impressed with what this program can do for our youth," the Schutts said. "We want to see this continue and grow."

Help Us Meet the Challenge!

Your gift has the potential to go twice as far thanks to this generous matching challenge! The easiest way to donate is to make your gift online.

Donate Online >

If you prefer to donate offline, please send a check (payable to "Mass Audubon") to the following address:

Mass Audubon Nantucket Sanctuaries
Attn: YES Challenge Match
153 Hummock Pond Road
Nantucket, MA 02554 

More About the Program

If you'd like to learn more about the Youth Environmental Stewardship program—or are interested in applying—please contact Sam Kefferstan, Nantucket Wildlife Sanctuaries Director, at 508-228-9208 or by email.