Mass Audubon’s Accessibility Outreach Project Wins State Award

Release Date:
April 27, 2016

LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon will be recognized for its accessible trails expertise by the office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton on Monday, May 2, at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

The respected conservation organization will receive a Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education for its All Persons Trails Guidelines Project. The project, which has emerged from Mass Audubon’s commitment to developing trails at its wildlife sanctuaries for visitors with a full range of functional abilities, will provide guidance and support materials for like-minded organizations nationwide.

A guidelines manual, providing best practices for other organizations and agencies interested in developing similar trails, will be available online at no cost. A chief goal is for a much broader audience of individuals, families, and groups to be able to independently enjoy experiences along these interpreted, accessible trails opening all over the country.

Mass Audubon will be opening its 12th All Persons Trail this year at Habitat Education Center in Belmont. Trails at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton and at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport and Dartmouth are underway or in the planning stages. This organization-wide initiative has been overseen by Statewide Education Projects Manager Lucy Gertz and Stu Weinreb, Director of Capital Assets and Planning.

“As an organization committed to encouraging all people to connect with nature, we are particularly honored to receive the Secretary’s Award,” Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said.

“Our All Persons Trails initiative introduced at our wildlife sanctuaries has not only been a tremendous success statewide, it has become a national model, encouraging other groups and agencies across the country to engage their own communities as broadly as possible,” Clayton added. “We congratulate the other winners, and thank Secretary Beaton for providing this important platform to promote energy and environmental education.”

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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 www.massaudubon.org.