The live animal exhibit trail and all hiking trails are open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last trail admission at 3:30 p.m.) Squam Lake Cruises run daily. BUY/RESERVE TICKETS
Blue Heron School building with flowers

Education Matters Capital Campaign

Since its founding in 1966, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has become a respected statewide leader in teaching and promoting environmental education. Thousands of children and adults have learned about ecology, wildlife conservation, and the natural world in meaningful and memorable ways.

Message from Executive Director Iain MacLeod and Campaign Chair Kein Evans

Through the Education Matters Capital Campaign, we were proud to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Early Childhood Education Center in 2019 – the new home of Blue Heron School, which doubled its capacity and expanded our community. Now in its eleventh year, Blue Heron School is a core part of the Science Center. More than 100 students have taken part in Blue Heron School and their families have become part of our extended community.

The campaign has created more great things. Our Lake Cruise Headquarters gives us a prominence and a presence on the lake we never had before.

Construction of the new bird and raptor exhibits are continuing apace and on target to open in May. The new interactive exhibits and aviaries will be a source of pride for many years to come.

The Education Matters Capital Campaign started 2021 with $125,000 left to raise. As we near our $2.8 million goal, we reach out to you to join others in our community to help us fully fund the last component of this important campaign – the Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide resources for more children to learn, grow, and discover through our nature-based education programs, such as Blue Heron School, summer children’s programs, and teacher training.

Please consider helping us meet our goal. Education Matters is all about allowing our visitors to love the Earth, so that we all may save it. Thank you.

Education guides everything we do - from teaching natural science in classes and programs, to trails, animal exhibits, lake cruises, and more.

Our vision is that visitors of all ages will gain a greater understanding of ecology and a lifelong respect and appreciation for the natural world leading to active environmental stewardship.

In 2016, the Board of Trustees and Staff created a Strategic Plan, which led to the Education Matters Campaign. It has four goals focused on enhancing the quality of education we provide.

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Early Childhood Education Center

A new building will double Blue Heron School’s capacity, allow expansion of summer programming for children, and provide a base for teacher training in early childhood nature-based education.

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Scholarship Fund

A well-supported Scholarship Fund will provide resources for more children to learn, grow, and discover through the Science Center’s unique nature-based education programs. Scholarships will also be offered to teachers participating in early childhood education training programs.

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Lake Cruise Headquarters

Our new Lake Cruise Headquarters provides a safe and efficient launch site with educational interpretation and visitor facilities. Lake education for students and the general public fosters appreciation for New Hampshire’s lakes, how they work, and how they can best be protected over time.

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Exhibit Trail Enhancements

A new Raptor Exhibit will completely replace the current exhibit with state-of-the-art enclosures to house more raptors and to upgrade and enhance interpretive exhibits.

Questions about the Education Matters Capital Campaign? Contact Development and Communications Director Amanda Gillen at or 603-968-7194 x 134.