Annual Statewide Volunteer Day Set For Saturday, April 30
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon’s Statewide Volunteer Day marks its 10th anniversary this year with an opportunity to break the 2015 record turnout of more than 800 volunteers. This annual spring cleanup event brings together individuals, family, and groups committed to helping the organization’s wildlife sanctuaries get ready to welcome the hundreds of thousands of people who visit them each year.
The morning of volunteer projects will take place Saturday, April 30 at 14 Mass Audubon sanctuaries, from the Cape and Islands to the Berkshires, the North Shore, and the South Coast. Some activities may feature a “100” theme, since Mass Audubon, which opened its first wildlife sanctuary in 1916, is celebrating “100 Years of Sanctuaries” this year.
The projects are planned to accommodate a range of ages and abilities. Many are of the “low-exertion, sprucing up” variety, suitable for families with children. This year’s to-do lists include (depending on the sanctuary) removing invasive species; preparing garden beds to attract a variety of visitors, from birds and butterflies to people; cleaning nature play areas; restoring habitats; maintaining trails; and improving entrance areas.
Last spring’s event showed what working together—and in large numbers—could accomplish. Here’s just a sampling:
- 605 yards of trails groomed
- 95 trash bags of trash and recyclables collected
- 50 cubic yards of mulch spread
- 44 truckloads of invasive plants (bittersweet, multiflora rose, buckthorn) pulled
- 29 gardens cleaned and prepped
- 24 cubic yards of wood chips spread on trails
- 13 truckloads of winter debris and brush removed
“After a season of so many weather ups and downs, the people who love our wildlife sanctuaries—and love caring for them—are eager for Statewide Volunteer Day. It’s a dependable and satisfying rite of spring,” said Peggy Sagan, Coordinator of Mass Audubon’s Statewide Volunteer Programs. “We are again expecting an excellent turnout, as we prepare our properties for another season of discovery and enjoyment.”
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 www.massaudubon.org.