Blue Heron ribbon cutting

From left are Board Chair Justin Van Etten, trustees Ken Evans and Emily Preston, School Director Laura Mammarelli, Construction Manager Barry Gaw of Sippican Partners, Architect Rob Turpin of Misiaszek Turpin pllc, Executive Director Iain MacLeod, and Honorary Trustee George Carr. (Courtesy photo)

HOLDERNESS — Over 100 supporters came to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to celebrate the grand opening of the new Early Childhood Education Center on Sept. 7. It will house the expanded Blue Heron School, allow for additional summer programming for young children, and provide a base for teacher training.

Blue Heron School began as a pilot program at the science center in the fall of 2010 as the first nature-based Montessori early learning center in New Hampshire.

The science center launched the Education Matters campaign last year with a goal of raising $2.8 million for four projects. In addition to the Early Childhood Education Center, projects include the completion of the Lake Education Headquarters, a new raptor exhibit, and a scholarship fund.

The building was designed by architects Sonya Misiaszek and Rob Turpin of Misiaszek Turpin pllc, with construction management by Barry Gaw and Sippican Partners.

"To have a space designed specifically for young children that combines the indoors and outdoors seamlessly and allows for child growth and independence is the greatest asset to our children. We are so appreciative of all of the support of the science center community in helping develop all the future naturalists who will go through this program in this wonderful building,” said Blue Heron School Director Laura Mammarelli.

Blue Heron School is a nature-based Montessori school for ages three to six. Learn more by visiting www.nhnature.org/programs/blue_heron_school.php.

For more information about Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, call 603-968-7194, or visit www.nhnature.org.

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