Accessibility at Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries
To best meet the needs of all our visitors, and to invite everyone to connect with the natural world, Mass Audubon is working to make our wildlife sanctuaries with nature centers welcoming to people of all abilities. This includes ADA-compliant Nature Centers and universally-accessible All Persons Trails.
Accessible Nature Centers
Mass Audubon manages 20 staffed Nature Centers at wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Many of these buildings were older private estates that were renovated to include ADA-compliant parking, entrances, restrooms, admissions areas, educational activity spaces, exhibits, and galleries.
Policies & Guidelines
All Persons Trails
What began in 2008 with the construction of a pilot "sensory trail" at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk has evolved into Mass Audubon’s Accessible Interpretive Trails Project, funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
To date, Mass Audubon has developed and installed 12 All Persons Trails at wildlife sanctuaries across the state, with more on the way.
How are they different from typical trails?
First and foremost, All Persons Trails are designed and constructed to physically meet or exceed Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. But they also incorporate universally-accessible interpretive features like educational stops, wildlife viewing boardwalks and platforms, picnic and play areas. Trail navigation resources include guide ropes, curbing, handrails, and audio directions.
All Persons Trails are typically 0.5-0.75 miles in length and feature:
- Smooth, gentle grades for improved access by foot, stroller, or wheelchair
- Sensory-rich audio tours (available by cell phone and/or audio players)
- Braille texts and tactile maps
- Tour booklets and maps designed for high readability for visually impaired and sighted visitors
- Improved signage (also Braille) along trails
- Wider boardwalks with bumpers as needed
- Post-and-rope guiding systems
- Interpretive content focusing on the natural and cultural history of each site
- Accessible outdoor wildlife observation structures, specialized gardens, seating, play areas, and picnic areas
|Boston Nature Center, Mattapan||Ipswich River, Topsfield|
|Joppa Flats, Newburyport|
|Broadmoor, Natick||Wellfleet Bay, South Wellfleet|
|Drumlin Farm, Lincoln||
|Felix Neck, Edgartown|
|Blue Hills, Milton||
|MABA, Canton||Broad Meadow Brook, Worcester|
|Moose Hill, Sharon||Wachusett Meadow, Princeton|
|Stony Brook, Norfolk||
|Pleasant Valley, Lenox|
|Allens Pond, Dartmouth||Arcadia, Easthampton & Northampton|
|Attleboro Springs, Attleboro|
|Daniel Webster, Marshfield|
|North River, Marshfield|
|Oak Knoll, Attleboro|
|Tidmarsh, Plymouth (early 2022)|
|Universally Accessible Nature Center/Museum|
|Universally Accessible Restrooms|
|Universally Accessible Trail|