Published on October 1, 2019

Arcadia is Celebrating 75 Years in the Pioneer Valley

Morning view of Mt. Tom from Arcadia's meadows © Phil Doyle
Morning view of Mt. Tom © Phil Doyle

75 Years of Inspiring Nature Heroes • Community-Supported Since Day One

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is an ecological gem and educational innovator. In 1944, a gift of 141 acres of land from the Chafee family brought Arcadia into being. Each generation since has added to the area of land protected, designed environmental education programs to respond to the needs of the time, and created facilities conducive to learning and connecting with nature.

Today, Arcadia encompasses 724 acres and serves over 7,000 people of all ages. Through seven decades, Arcadia has fostered generations of nature heroes and helped make the Valley such a special place to live, work, and play.

Two young children with nets in Arcadia meadow

Pass It Forward

Leave a gift for future generations

The demand for Arcadia's innovative educational programs that nurture nature heroes exceeds the available resources. Your contribution will help make it possible to complete three special 75th anniversary projects:

  • Outdoor Education Pavilion – Constructing a teaching pavilion in the field would allow us to host more school groups at the same time; expand offerings for preschoolers and their families; and provide an additional shaded space for day campers to use in summer.
  • Financial Aid for More Families – Expanding the scholarship fund would allow families experiencing economic obstacles to connect with the natural world by receiving financial assistance to attend programs like summer camp and preschool.
  • Secure the Sanctuary's Future – Sustaining Arcadia's conservation work, expanding our reach, and ensuring stewardship of the sanctuary for years to come requires reliable financial support. You can help increase that sustainability by making an annual gift to Arcadia each year! 

Your gift of $75, $150, $750, or whatever you can afford makes a real difference!

Donate today >

→ Matching Gift Opportunity!
A generous donor will match the gifts (up to $750) of the first 10 donors who become new Leadership Friends members in 2019. This dedicated and passionate group of donors provides critical funds to Arcadia and embodies what it means to be a nature hero.

75th Anniversary Sponsors

We are incredibly grateful to the following companies for sponsoring Arcadia's year-long 75th Anniversary Celebration!  


Our History

B&W image of group netting at Arcadia

In 1944, a gift of land from the Chaffee family brought Arcadia into being and created a natural oasis for people and wildlife within miles of the busy downtowns of Northampton and Easthampton.

For its 75 years of existence, Arcadia has been a protector of land and important wildlife habitats as well as an innovator in environmental education and addressing the climate crisis.

Arcadia’s many firsts include:

  • First land conserved in Northampton
  • First Mass Audubon nature camp
  • First nature preschool in Massachusetts
  • First middle and high school climate science curriculum developed for Pioneer Valley schools
  • First Mass Audubon Climate Action Center

The people of Arcadia—volunteers, camp families, program participants, preschoolers, visitors, donors, and staff—made these firsts happen. And seven decades of work have had a powerful positive impact on the Pioneer Valley.

Before Arcadia’s formation, Northampton had no protected land. Today 25% of Northampton is conservation land.

Support and engagement through our 75th Anniversary Celebration makes it possible for Arcadia to provide high-impact public programs for youth and adults that:

  • Nurture nature heroes through the Life in Changing Climate program for middle and high schoolers, nature preschool, adult education programs, and camps for young people.
  • Provide habitat for wildlife on our protected lands that stretch across the Valley.
  • Give people hope and tools to address climate change through serving as a Climate Action Center and bridging the work of environmental education, advocacy, and conservation.
  • Support high school students to implement climate solutions here in the Valley by organizing Youth Climate Summits in collaboration with the Hitchcock Center.