DPNC announces one promotion and one new hire this summer to the staff at DPNC and Coogan Farm.

Tessa Stuart, Neighbors & Nature Director

Tessa Stuart, a three-year veteran of the Nature Center’s education staff, has been promoted to director of the Neighbors and Nature program at Coogan Farm. Neighbors and Nature is a partnership with Precious Memories Place providing before and after school care and enrichment for school-aged children.  Tessa’s background in psychology and early childhood education, as well as her master’s thesis examining how unstructured play in nature supports child development, is a tremendous foundation for her work at the DPNC.

“Being with kids out in nature, watching the excitement on their faces when they learn a new fact or hold a bug they used to be scared of…this is exactly what I want to be doing,” Tessa says. “Modeling a passionate and respectful relationship with all of nature goes a long way for kids, and I feel like I am fostering future stewards of the natural world.”

Tessa spends her free time enjoying the outdoors, hiking with her dog and rehabilitating turtles for release in the wild. Neighbors and Nature follows the Stonington Schools calendar, and busing to and from Deans Mill School is available.

Anna Sawin, Marketing and Communications Director

Anna Sawin comes to the Nature Center this summer with a background in communications work at Mystic Seaport, Pfizer, Middlesex School, Wheaton College and most recently, Williams College. In addition to her experience with organizations in marketing and communications, Anna has run her own photography business in Stonington and done communications consulting and writing for creative small business owners for more than ten years.

She lives in Stonington with her husband and two boys, both Nature Center summer camp graduates, and her black-and-white dog, Nellie, who enjoys walks on the trails at Coogan Farm and head rubs from Giving Garden volunteers. (Say hello if you see Nellie and Anna at Coogan Farm!)