Volunteer Spotlights

Marj Rines, volunteer at Mass Audubon © Joe Brown
© Joe Brown
Wildlife Expert

As an avid birder, nature enthusiast, and active member of several conservation organizations, Marj Rines had no trouble deciding how she wanted to spend her free time when she retired from a career in advertising: she wanted to volunteer with Mass Audubon and share her knowledge and interest in wildlife.

Dick MacKinnon
Volunteer at Broad Meadow Brook

About five years ago, Dick MacKinnon, who had recently retired, read an ad recruiting volunteers for Mass Audubon’s Central Sanctuaries. The ad drew his interest, so he went to Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester and met Sanctuary Director Deb Cary. “She had a list of all the jobs that needed to be done,” Dick recalls, “so I chose from the list and have been coming here ever since.”

Cathy Campbell
Volunteer at Boston Nature Center

Cathy Campbell has been volunteering for the Boston Nature Center since the 1990's, serving on the advisory committee that established BNC and ultimately becoming a board member at Mass Audubon. Her family has been involved with events and programs at BNC for many years. 

Bill Hobbie at Marblehead Neck

Volunteer at Ipswich River

Bill Hobbie has enthusiastically taken on volunteer duties at Ipswich River, as well as at unstaffed sanctuaries including Nahant Thicket, Marblehead Neck, Cedar Pond in Wenham, and Eastern Point in Gloucester.

Ann Gurka and Bill Gette

Volunteer at Joppa Flats

Ann Gurka has been a volunteer extraordinaire for Joppa Flats in Newburyport for 14 years. The wildlife sanctuary–just a recently purchased property when she began donating her time—is now a hub of activity, featuring a green nature center at the gateway to Plum Island.

Hillary Cressey volunteer
Volunteer at Long Pasture

When it comes to horseshoe crabs, Hillary Cressey knows what she is talking about. Wading along banks of slender cordgrass, she keeps a sharp lookout for their telltale shapes crawling along the sand. When she spots one, she jots down in a waterproof notebook the location of the animal and whether it is accompanied by a mate.

Wellfleet Bay Ridley Rescuers © Ann Prince, Mass Audubon
Volunteers at Wellfleet Bay

Every year in late fall and early winter, 50 intrepid Wellfleet Bay volunteers walk miles upon miles along the beaches of Cape Cod, on foggy frigid days and dark icy nights, bundled up to endure the chill. Their goal: to save the lives of sea turtles.

Susan Bragg
Volunteer at Oak Knoll

“Mass Audubon is an environmentally minded organization,” she says, “and I like to be outdoors, so I called Oak Knoll.” Bragg was immediately enlisted as a volunteer  there and at sister sanctuary Attleboro Springs—clearing trails, putting up flyers, advertising activities, laying out bricks for garden paths, and helping out in any other way needed.