Reasons to Support Joppa Flats

Woman showing kids a bird at Joppa Flats Education Center

Since 2003, Joppa Flats Education Center has been providing nature education for all ages in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and around the world. We could not accomplish all that we do without the generous support of our members, donors, volunteers, and program participants.

Find out how you can help

Birds and So Much More

Joppa Flats reaches thousands of adults and children with over 300 natural history education programs and trips every year.

  • Seasoned and beginning birders join us throughout the year for weekly birding excursions on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the greater Newburyport area.
  • We also run seasonal workshops, a wintertime birding competition (Superbowl of Birding), and extra programs at the height of spring and fall migration.
  • Our college-level ornithology course, the Birder's Certificate Program, sells out every year.
  • Our trips to exciting destinations like Cuba, Kenya, and Big Bend National Park are open to anyone who wants to learn about birds and habitats around the world.
  • Families flock to our Free-for-All open houses, parent-and-child walkabouts, cruises on the Merrimack River, afterschool and homeschool programs, and our summer day camp. See all upcoming programs.
  • And, of course, there’s the free Merrimack River Eagle Festival!

School Work

Natural science comes alive for students through field trips and school visits led by Joppa Flats’ excellent education team.

  • We run more than 100 school programs and reach nearly 10,000 school children every year.
  • In 2013, we constructed an education platform at our Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley, owned jointly with Essex County Greenbelt, from which we will run a brand new series of programs on salt marsh and other habitats.

Mentoring Educators

Joppa Flats volunteers augment our education staff of three with a whopping 8,300 hours of volunteer assistance every year. To prepare these volunteers, our education staff trains teachers of all ages, from middle school students to retirees. Upon completing our training...

  • Teen volunteers present marine touch tank interpretation;
  • College students lead our summer camp; and
  • Adult interns and volunteers co-lead our programs.

Bird Science is International

Joppa Flats birding leaders engage in environmental education and habitat protection on a global level.

  • Currently in our 16th year of bird banding on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, we have banded, analyzed, and released over 36,000 birds of 122 species, some of which travel thousands of miles in migration.
  • We collaborate on Mass Audubon’s State of the Birds reports and participate in many outreach and research projects.
  • We offer a bird ecology course and internships to naturalist guides from Central and South America, having worked directly with almost 100 naturalists from other countries.

Ways to Help

Make a donation

Every little bit helps Joppa Flats continue its educational mission. Donate today

Become a Leadership Friend

Leadership Friends gifts are particularly important to Joppa Flats, giving us the security we need in order to plan and provide the best possible natural history education experience for our many constituents. Please consider joining our:

  • Founder’s Circle with a gift of $2,500+
  • President’s Circle with a gift of $1,250+
  • Guardian level with a gift of $750+

For more information on Leadership Friends or to join, please contact Joppa Flats Sanctuary Director Bill Gette.


We are always looking for helping hands for Visitor Services, Children/Family/Schools Education, Bird Banding, and Gardening/Landscaping/Facility Care. Find a list of current volunteer opportunities or contact us to learn more.