Published on September 23, 2022

A Fall Message from Our President

Orange leaf on a tree in the woods © Steve Mulder
© Steve Mulder

Over the summer, I had the privilege of traveling across the state to visit our wildlife sanctuaries, see some of the amazing work we are doing, and meet with partners and supporters to hear what matters most to them.

During these trips, I couldn’t help but be reminded of just how important nature is for the health of our planet and for our own well-being. And while Massachusetts has an amazing amount of land that is protected, it is not often in the communities that need it most or it is not accessible to all people.

One of the top priorities in our Action Agenda is advancing inclusive and equitable access to nature, and we are honoring that commitment on many organizational fronts. I’m incredibly excited about the launch of our Nature in the City program (, which represents our deep commitment to partnering with local organizations to add parks, open spaces, trees, and trails in communities and neighborhoods that suffer from a “nature deficit.” This important work sits at the intersection of climate resilience, biodiversity, and equity. In “Accessibility in Nature” (page 5), read about our vocational/transitional internships for people with neurological and intellectual disabilities, our inclusive volunteer programs, and our expanding network of All Persons Trails.

Speaking of trails, now’s an amazing time to visit our sanctuaries. While you’re there and enjoying the foliage, keep an eye out for some of our most unique trees. Learn their stories and how Mass Audubon is monitoring the impact of climate change on trees in “Buds, Bark, Branches, and Beyond” (page 8).

If you’re delighted by the red, yellow, and orange leaves but dread their falling to the ground, you should definitely check out “Skip the Autumn Cleanup” (page 12). Your back will thank you! With all the time saved from raking, you’ll have more time to watch for waterfowl, which are plentiful this time of year, from the coast to the Connecticut River Valley. Get some fast facts in By the Numbers (page 3).

Once night falls, be on the lookout for shooting stars. Kids and kids at heart will enjoy our Young Explorers section on meteor showers (page 16).

And I would be remiss if I didn’t call out superstar Lorna Gibson, a longtime member, current Board member, a recently retired MIT professor, who shares her connection to Mass Audubon in In Your Words (page 4). I am so grateful for Lorna’s ongoing contributions. She is a shining example of how our membership is second to none.

— David J. O’Neill