Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary - Camp & Education Barn

Explorers July 24-28.JPG

It was a historic year for Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Early 2017 brought the end of a very quick and successful fundraising campaign and the construction of the Sanctuary’s first new building in fifty years. The Education and Camp Barn was built in record-breaking speed by Autumn Construction with the assistance of an Amish post and beam construction team. After obtaining permits, the Barn shell was raised in just over two months to accommodate Felix Neck’s Fern and Feather Day Camp which had doubled its participation over the last few years and was bursting at the seams in the existing Nature Center. A very successful 2017 summer camp season served 425 children (aged 4-16) and youth (aged 17-25) who were able to use the insulated barn shell. Contractors began phase 2 (restrooms, electric, heat, etc.) in October. Restrooms are now functional, electricity, heat and lighting are complete, and the last few punch list items were completed by December. The Education and Camp Barn served as a gathering place this past fall for two community events that welcomed over one thousand people. Once final permits are received, planning the space, furnishing the building, and landscaping the area will commence. Two grants totaling $6,500 were received for these purposes and fundraising is ongoing for our future nature-based preschool startup costs, which include staff, educational materials, office and safety equipment, etc. A community survey was developed and distributed to island families and Felix Neck staff have spoken with other Island preschools to identify existing services and needs. Ten families have already expressed interest in our nature based preschool and we have begun to explore the licensing process for the program.