As a unique benefit to membership, the Foundation invites our members to explore Foundation properties this season with staff from our Science & Stewardship Department. Select a fun and informational walk at one of the Foundation-owned destinations. On our Ecology Excursions, the locations and topics discussed feature the ecological resource management and research being undertaken by the Foundation’s Science & Stewardship Department. All programs bring members into contact with the special places and rare resources they are helping to protect.

Please note that this program is reserved for up-to-date members of the Foundation. If you are not currently a member or are unsure about your membership status, you may call us at 508- 228-2884 or enroll here.

General Information for Excursions

  • Due to the popularity of the program, reservations may only be made for a limited number of walks. Requests for additional walks will be wait-listed so that we may accommodate as many members as possible. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and fill up quickly. If your plans change, lease contact us as soon as possible to allow someone from the waitlist to attend.
  • Once your reservation is processed, we will send you a confirmation email. If you do not have access to e-mail, please call the Foundation’s office (508-228-2884) to submit your reservation request.
  • You will receive directions to the meeting location 24 hours before the event.
  • Ecology Excursions are planned for around 2 hours in length and start at various times of the day.
  • Please wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared for inclement weather.
  • Participants are also encouraged to bring water, bug repellent and sun protection

Birding With Woody

A new program focused on the wonderful world of birding! Join Woody Newell, one of our NCF Trustees, on an adventure through an NCF property to find and appreciate avian residents and migrants. Woody’s passion for birding is helpful for novices and seasoned birders alike. June 4th’s walk will focus on our nesting shorebirds and the stewardship work on Nantucket’s beaches. No previous experience needed, but binoculars encouraged!

Shorebird Walk

Take a beautiful beach walk out to Eel Point and see shorebird conservation in action. Led by ecologist Neil Foley and our wildlife technician Gracie Bell, visit an important breeding site, learn about the nesting ecology of our annual residents, and appreciate their complex journey of protection. Open to all birding levels. This walk will go through soft sand and can be strenuous. Please bring sunscreen, water, binoculars, and walking shoes that could get wet. Space is limited.

Birding Folger's Marsh

A collaborative program between NCF, Egan Maritime and Linda Loring Nature Foundation explores the active birds and history of Folger’s Marsh. Viewing the marsh from Egan Maritime’s Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, this program showcases the importance of seabirds and waterfowl in storied maritime history, to enrich and inform membership of all 3 organizations. Register for free through Egan Maritime at

Spring Wildflowers of Squam Forest

Join NCF Plant Research Ecologist/Botanist Kelly Omand for a loop tour of the emerging spring plant life through the more open landscapes of Squam Farm and the vibrant understory of Squam Swamp. Learn the spring and early summer wildflowers of our forests and fields and view the forest in fresh spring foliage.

Native Plant Landscaping Tour

Visit the NCF office at 118 Cliff Road to learn how native shrubs, trees, wildflowers can find a home in your own yard. Planting native supports fascinating insects and wildlife, and connects conservation lands. NCF Plant Research Ecologist/Botanist Kelly Omand gives a tour of our office grounds showcasing the makeover of our office landscape, from removal of invasives to building a biodiversity meadow highlighted with educational signs sponsored by a generous Nantucket Garden Club Grant.

Botanical Arts & Science Foray

Join Plant Research Ecologist/Botanist Kelly Omand in collecting, pressing, and mounting plants for botanical preparation while identifying and recording the species on iNaturalist. Learn how a botanist approaches collection for learning and scientific research. Materials will be provided for participants to make their own
mini plant pressings.

Southern Pine Beetle Walk

This ecology excursion will give a close-up view of the damage caused by Southern Pine Beetles. Walk with Wildlife Research Ecologist Danielle O’Dell as she describes the recent outbreak of pine beetles and how NCF is managing the infestation. You will learn the signs to look out for and how you can report them so that further outbreaks can be avoided and hear about what NCF and our island conservation partners are doing to create healthier pitch pine forests that will hopefully be more resilient to future southern pine beetle outbreaks.

Nighttime Horseshoe Crab Walk

(1.0 mi) Join NCF’s Environmental Educator, Isaac Hersh, on an exciting new program at Little Neck in Madaket Harbor. Learn about our ongoing research at the height of horseshoe crab mating season and experience the ecology of Nantucket’s harbor-facing beaches at night. Get acquainted with some of the island’s nocturnal wildlife like horseshoe crabs, eels, night herons, and more! Space is limited. Water shoes/boots required. Headlamps/flashlights recommended.

Folger's Marsh Kayak Paddle

These popular paddles in collaboration with Egan Maritime are a spectacular opportunity to paddle through this beautiful and vibrant ecosystem at Folger’s Marsh. Drift along with our ecologists and better understand the true value of a saltmarsh ecosystem. Critically important for our coastal resiliency as an island and rich with biodiversity, these habitats take center stage on this kayak adventure. Space is limited. Register through Egan Maritime at

Polpis Harbor Kayak Paddle

Join Dr. Jen Karberg and staff from the Town of Nantucket’s Natural Resources Department to paddle Polpis Harbor and learn about harbor health, saltmarsh ecology and nature-based resilience solutions using oyster reefs. See NCF’s saltmarsh restoration from the water and paddle past our inter-tidal oyster reef, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. Water, sun, and bug protection recommended. Space is limited.

Folger's Marsh Restoration Walk

A new walk that explores climate change future adaptation while walking Folger’s Marsh. Dr. Jen Karberg will be joined by Leah Hill, Town of Nantucket’s Coastal Resilience Coordinator. Learn about current research and monitoring of this salt marsh and the Polpis Rd culvert which will help NCF and the Town of Nantucket plan restoration and adaptation of Polpis Rd to sea level rise. Learn about the goals for this crossing in the Town of Nantucket’s Coastal Resilience Plan and how restoration will improve this important salt marsh.

Climate Change Awareness Walk

(1.5 mi) During September’s Climate Change Awareness Month, join Dr. Jen Karberg at Folger’s Marsh
and journey on a walk through Nantucket’s current climate change impacts. Envision the future of climate
change along Folger’s Marsh and explore Nantucket’s many ways to use existing natural resilience and
build nature-based resilience. Learn about ongoing research at Folger’s Marsh that will inform adaptation
around the island.