History of Broad Meadow Brook

Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary opened to the public in 1991. The sanctuary, Mass Audubon’s first ‘in-city’ sanctuary, and still New England’s largest urban sanctuary, is a tribute to creative collaboration. In 1989, Mass Audubon identified the opportunity to protect the 15-acre Holdredge property on Massasoit Road. The property provided critical access to 137 acres owned by the New England Power Company (now National Grid) and 120 acres designated as conservation land owned by the City of Worcester.

Local foundations and generous friends donated the funds to support the Holdredge acquisition. National Grid entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement allowing Mass Audubon to build trails and manage their property as wildlife habitat. The City of Worcester similarly joined in.

Broad Meadow Brook’s neighbor to the east, Wheelabrator, Inc., provided essential start up operating funds, —$100,000 over 5 years.  

Over the years, many parcels have been added, some by gift, others by purchase. Today, Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Center encompasses more than 400 acres, miles of trails, and a fun, information-packed Visitor Center featuring exhibits about the Blackstone River Watershed, energy conservation, native wildlife and more.