Otter Exhibit Maintenance Fund

American River Otter at Trailside © Shawn Carey
American River Otter at Trailside © Shawn Carey

Norman Smith's Tenure at Trailside

Sanctuary Director emeritus Norman Smith was a fixture at Blue Hills Trailside Museum for over 50 years. He started volunteering at age 13 and steadily advanced through various positions until he was named the sanctuary's director in 1990. Countless children, adults, and families are able to enjoy richer experiences at Blue Hills thanks to his contributions.

Norman retired from his role as Sanctuary Director in early November 2019. The transition provided us with an opportunity to reflect on his extraordinary devotion to raptor research, wildlife conservation, and environmental education—all of which he used to help people of all ages develop an appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

A Passion Realized 

One of Norman's particular passions has always been the North American River Otter exhibit at the sanctuary. Originally constructed in 1960 as one of Trailside's very first exhibits, the enclosure started undergoing a total renovation for the first time ever in late spring 2019. 

The new exhibit will not only enrich the life of its very engaging resident, it will also enhance every visitor's educational experience of—and appreciation for—this native species. In addition, the improved design meets modern standards for animal husbandry and will allow sanctuary staff to provide even better care for Trailside's resident 13-year-old otter.

We invite you to celebrate Norman's remarkable tenure with a gift to the Otter Exhibit Maintenance Fund in honor of his retirement.

Donate Today >