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 protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at