Published on November 7, 2017

Dianne Engelhardt Fund Permanently Endowed

Stop 2 on Diane Engelhardt Discovery Trek
Marker on the Diane Engelhardt Discovery Trek

In 2010, a few years after her passing, friends and family of Dianne Engelhardt determined that the best way to honor Dianne would be to establish a permanent fund at Wachusett Meadow that would further work that touched her heart and inspired her to take action: teaching children about nature. Dianne’s good friend, Ed Metivier, and her son, Karl Engelhardt, led the effort, which resulted in the establishment of the Dianne Engelhardt Fund for Nature Education.

Today, we are excited to announce that the Dianne Engelhardt Fund has reached its initial goal! It is now an endowed fund of Mass Audubon restricted to supporting children’s educational programs and initiatives at Wachusett Meadow. 

This means the fund will continue to support the types of efforts Dianne would endorse well into the future. 

About the Fund

Dianne was highly motivated to create opportunities to connect children to nature. One of Wachusett Meadow’s earliest summer camp programs was designed and run by Dianne and volunteers she recruited. This summer, as the sanctuary had its most active summer camp season in history, with over 321 campers enrolled, we thought often of Dianne and her legacy.

In 2015, as a project of the Fund, Wachusett Meadow installed the Dianne Engelhardt Discovery Trek, a self-guided activity that directs children and families to sites along the sanctuary’s trails where they learn about the many animals and plants that thrive in the diverse protected habitats.

Trekkers collect a rubbing from a marker with a relief of the salamander, beaver, fern, or lady’s slipper that might be found nearby.

This installation has been a big hit—school groups, our own preschoolers, campers, and many, many families exploring and enjoying Wachusett Meadow have appreciated the extra fun and learning it provides.

If you are interested in contributing to this fund and supporting nature education at Wachusett Meadow, please contact Sanctuary Director Deb Cary.