Debuting Renovated Trails & Mass Audubon's Action Agenda
Thanks to the generous community of donors and hardworking staff, volunteers, and Terra Corps service members, Broadmoor rerouted trails, made trails more accessible, built bridges and boardwalks, and created new trails for the benefit of people and wildlife.
A 2015 assessment indicated that more than half of the sanctuary’s nine miles of trails needed major improvements due to increasingly extreme weather events connected to the changing climate; beaver activity that has resulted in flooding and erosion; and annual visitation now approaching 50,000 people. Habitat and wildlife preservation remained a top priority when making these improvements, and the finished product allows visitors to more easily and safely access areas to help ensure meaningful nature moments and connections.
Broadmoor credits the ability to complete the ambitious project to the remarkable generosity of their community. To date, donors have contributed $420,000 for this work, including an endowment to ensure ongoing maintenance. A volunteer trails team, including Terra Corps members, students, and other nature lovers, have logged thousands of hours of work over the course of the project and expect to continue into 2022.
“Summer campers helped reroute one of the first sections of Indian Brook Trail. Now, they love to show their parents and friends ‘their trail’ with enthusiasm and pride,” Broadmoor Community Advocacy and Engagement Manager Elissa Landre said. “This project has resonated with the community of people who know and love Broadmoor. Their enthusiastic response to the improvements is gratifying.”
Renata Pomponi, Director of Mass Audubon’s Metro West Sanctuaries, added, “The project demonstrates Mass Audubon’s desire to steward our statewide trail network in harmony with the natural ecology of the landscape. The dedication of the donors and volunteers who made these improvements possible will allow thousands of people to enjoy the outdoors at Broadmoor in new ways.”
Mass Audubon President David O’Neill explained how investing in sanctuary improvements that benefit the community reflects the organization’s commitment to allowing as many people as possible to experience the outdoors.
“Improving access to the outdoors, whether it is at a suburban sanctuary like Broadmoor or an urban greenspace, is critical to allowing more people to learn about, enjoy, and protect their environment,’’ O’Neill said. “Our ability to combat the threat of climate change depends on involving thousands of people each year in the work of protecting land, developing nature-based solutions, and ensuring that the outdoors is open and accessible to all.”
On Wednesday, May 26, Broadmoor hosted a ceremonial ribbon cutting of the improved trail systems, coinciding with the launch of Mass Audubon's Action Agenda, a roadmap for the organization over the next five years. The Action Agenda focuses on three main goals: protect resilient landscapes, advance inclusive and equitable access to nature, and mobilize to fight climate change. The Pathways to Nature trails project is a wonderful example of how we can accomplish these goals with the support of our community and partners.
The next time you're looking to get outdoors, stop by Broadmoor to check out the new trail improvements and learn all about what's on the horizon for our innovating organization.
Advanced registration is required to visit the sanctuary. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary is open Tuesday-Sunday, dawn-dusk.