Mass Audubon Nantucket Grant
Today's Nantucket

Mass Audubon Announces Challenge Grant to Benefit Nantucket Youth

by Sam Kefferstan

Now in its second year, Mass Audubon Nantucket Sanctuaries’ Youth Environmental Stewardship Program puts island youth out on the trails, fields, and beaches of our Nantucket 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 school 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, earning and learning.

Generous donors William and Laurie Schutt of Surfside and Doylestown, PA are issuing a challenge to fund this important program.  The cost for each youth is $7,500 for the eight weeks of learning and work.  The Schutts will once again fund a student at $7,500, and with a gift challenge match, one additional student if we can raise $7,500 in donations. Our dearest hope is to raise enough to have as many as three island youth working and learning this summer. “We are so impressed with what this program can do for our youth, that we want to see this continue and grow,” the Schutts said.

To learn more about the Youth Environmental Stewardship program, or if interested in applying, please contact Sam Kefferstan, Nantucket Wildlife Sanctuaries Director, Mass Audubon at (508) 228-9208 or via email at

To make a donation:  Mass Audubon Nantucket Sanctuaries, 153 Hummock Pond Road, Nantucket, MA 02554 Attn: Youth Environmental Stewardship Challenge Match

Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half-million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at

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