Published on June 17, 2021

New Addition to Program Barn Unveiled

Cutting the ribbon at the entrance of the barn's new addition at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Pleasant Valley has officially opened the doors of the brand-new addition to our 18th-century Program Barn!

The year-long expansion project was the centerpiece of our $1.125 million Opening Doors to Nature campaign. The new addition includes a number of features designed to make the barn—and the sanctuary overall—more accessible and welcoming to people of all abilities. These include:

  • a lobby area where visitors can view interpretive maps of Pleasant Valley and interact with educational displays
  • extensive decking that creates an accessible outdoor space for programs and activities as well as sitting and relaxing in nature
  • a small, accessible kitchen that enables refreshments to be served at rental functions, programs, community gatherings, and fundraisers
  • modern restrooms, including those that are gender neutral, fully accessible, and family-friendly

"Pleasant Valley’s programs and initiatives already align with our new Action Agenda priorities in multiple ways, including promoting broader access to nature," noted Mass Audubon West Director Becky Cushing Gop. "And the improvements to the Program Barn will further this commitment to accessibility."

The opening of the addition was celebrated with supporters of the project including representatives of the Mass Cultural Council, whose Cultural Facilities Fund granted $300,000 for the addition over two rounds of funding. Representatives from the Town of Lenox’s Selectboard were in attendance as well. 

The town’s Community Preservation Committee helped launched the campaign in 2019 with $300,000 in support. Other foundations supporting the project include the Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust, the Feigenbaum Foundation, and the Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation. More than 300 individuals donated to the campaign, with gifts starting at $10.

While this project focused on building an addition to the barn, upgrades to the insulation and heating system of the historic structure itself will come in a later phase.

Read more coverage of this special event.