Frequently Asked Questions

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Where is Penikese?

Penikese Island is located at the mouth of Buzzards Bay, not far from Cuttyhunk Island. Penikese Island School has offices in Woods Hole.

 

Penikese Island is 13 miles from Woods Hole and the boat trip from Woods Hole takes about 1 hour.

Image by Joshua J. Cotten

Who owns Penikese?

Penikese Island belongs to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which operates it as a wildlife sanctuary with a focus on providing safe nesting ground for endangered terns and other seabirds. Penikese Island School has state permission to run programs there using the rustic buildings that belong to the School. The island is open to the public during daylight hours.

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What is it like on the island?

Penikese Island is 75 acres of windswept beauty. During nesting season (May - September) birds dominate the landscape. There are walking trails and the foundations from some of the leper colony buildings remain, as well as a graveyard.

 

Penikese Island School has a small "campus" with a main building for cooking and sleeping, a school house, and a workshop. Island life is off the grid. We use kerosene lamps in the evening. We have hot and cold running water and composting toilets.