New England Patriots Honor Mass Audubon Volunteer Ruth Connaughton

Release Date:
October 17, 2012

LINCOLN, MA—Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk served as a perfect autumn backdrop on Tuesday, October 16 for the New England Patriots’ Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, which honored Mass Audubon and longtime member and volunteer Ruth Connaughton.

Mass Audubon’s statewide commitment to member volunteerism earned it a selection in the Green/Environmental category of the Patriots’ community involvement program. Connaughton, a former teacher and a 15-year volunteer at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet, was recognized as “Patriots Difference Maker of the Week.” She was presented with a medal and an autographed football.

Those on hand for the event included volunteers from Franklin-based HMEA, an organization committed to working with people with developmental disabilities, and a trio of Pats players, Danny AikenRyan Mallett, and Zoltan Mesko.

All were soon “digging in” to help spread mulch for Stony Brook’s new Nature Play Area—at the direction of 16-year-old Daniel White of Wrentham, who is constructing the play area as his volunteer-service project to become an Eagle Scout.

Pats' punter Mesko praised Mass Audubon for its community engagement, its position as a New England conservation leader, and for being “pro-active in thinking about the future” of sustainable practices and the environment. "Mass Audubon is leading the way," he said.


Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at