The SM&NC offers fun, hands-on exploration of the world. Whether it's art, farm, science, nature, or history, we have it all.

Our program calendar is now full for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. If you are interested in a self-guided visit for Spring 2024, please contact Brian at

Our on-site school programs are designed to enhance your school's curriculum by providing interactive learning experiences. Our engaging facilities include: an educational farmnature centermuseum galleries; lakeside picnic area; unique Nature's PlaygroundHeckscher WILD! exotic animal exhibit, and an 80-acre hardwood forest with miles of trails.

For schools, learning pods, and homeschool groups that are looking for on-site field trips, we have availability! With our great outdoor classrooms and spaces available, we can adjust many of our programs to small-group experiences.  Spend your school day on site at the SM&NC and have parents pick up and drop off for transportation ease!  Please call 203.977.6568 or e-mail for more information.

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Meet Our Staff

All SM&NC school programs are taught by professional environmental educators, many of whom hold Master's Degrees. Our educators all have extensive experience teaching children about nature and the natural sciences in both indoor and outdoor settings. We look forward to meeting your group!

Lisa Monachelli, Director of Education
Lisa has been with the SM&NC since 2010. She holds Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and English/Creative Writing from WV Wesleyan College and a Master's Degree in Environmental Education from Southern CT State University. Before coming to SM&NC, she worked for CT DEP Divisions of State Parks and Education, Maine Audubon Society and the New Canaan Nature Center. In 2009, she was named the Outstanding Outdoor Educator for Connecticut by the CT Outdoor & Environmental Education Assoc. Her favorite part of sharing nature with children is to instill appreciation for "nature's underdogs" - those plants and animals often disliked. She is responsible for scheduling all programs, creating many of our public programs, teaching school and after school programs. She is responsible for program scheduling, creating curricula, teaching school and public programs. She is also one of SM&NC's beekeepers and serves as our Summer Camp Director.

Emily Carreiro, Environmental Education Supervisor
Emily Carreiro serves as the Environmental Education Supervisor at the SM&NC. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Colby College where she studied Environmental Education, Creative Writing, and Theater.  As a Massachusetts native, she built her career with Mass Audubon, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the South Shore Natural Science Center.  Upon relocating to Connecticut, she provided hands-on environmental education at the South Kent School including opportunities for students to study abroad with her, emphasis on ELA students in science, and outreach to the community.  Along these lines, she has also served in various capacities on her local and regional Environmental Education Boards.  She is also proud to have served her community as a guest artist on the Morgan through Mystic Seaport.  With her background as an ACA Accredited Camp Director, she serves as a back-up Camp Director at SM&NC as well as her other educational and supervisory responsibilities.

Victoria Jaffery, Manager of Heckscher Farm Administration
Victoria has been with the SM&NC since 2007. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Rhode Island. Before coming to the SM&NC, she worked at the Bronx Zoo, the CT Humane Society and various horse farms in the area. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Victoria is responsible for the overall care of our animals, managing farm staff and volunteers and working with our oxen team and working goats. She teaches many of our farm classes, including Otterly Amazing and Hands-on Heckscher.

Mark Mogensen, Manager of Heckscher Farm Operations
Mark has been with the SM&NC since 2008. He Holds a B.A. in Natural Resource Management and Engineering with a concentration in Wildlife Management from the University of Connecticut. Before the SM&NC, he worked for the State of CT Department of Environmental Protection for three years. Mark has a true passion for everything outdoors with an affinity for wildlife and landscape photography. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Mark is responsible for the daily operation and the maintenance of all farm grounds and buildings. Mark also teaches many classes on the farm including Hands-on Heckscher and the Junior Curator Program. Mark can often be found outdoors on the grounds tending to the farm.

Kaitlyn Duclos, Lead Animal Care Specialist
Kaitlyn joined the SM&NC team in 2018. She earned her Certificate in Zoo and Aquarium Science from the Animal Behavior Institute and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Before coming to SM&NC, she worked with a variety animals while interning at the Beardsley Zoo and volunteering at Mystic Aquarium. At the SM&NC, Kaitlyn oversees the animals living in Heckscher WILD! and Overbook Nature Center and can often be found caring for the animals around the farm.