“Sanctuaries 100th” Celebration Takes Place Saturday, April 9 at Wildlife Sanctuaries Statewide
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA— Exactly 100 years ago, Mass Audubon was offered a 225-acre hillside property in Sharon as a protected oasis where people could learn about birds in their natural habitats. In the creation of the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the organization in a single stroke broadened its mission of bird advocacy and education to include land conservation, and began its evolution into a regional conservation leader.
Mass Audubon will commemorate this signature event from 1916 across its statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries with a Sanctuaries 100th celebration on Saturday, April 9, the 100th day of the year. On this day, visitors will be able to enjoy guided nature walks and other free family-friendly activities at most staffed sanctuaries, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.
Today, Mass Audubon manages 100 wildlife sanctuaries statewide, comprising more than 30,000 acres of protected land and laced by 160 miles of walking trails
People connect with nature at Mass Audubon sanctuaries in all four seasons through an array of nature activities; school and group programs; and myriad opportunities for personal engagement with the outdoors. These include enjoying contemplative moments on beaches and trailside benches, taking woodland walks, and making pond-side discoveries.
The Sanctuaries 100th celebration on April 9 will present an opportunity to look back on how they’ve evolved as community resources for conservation, nature-based education, and environmental advocacy, and how they are positioned to inspire even more people to forge their own bonds with the natural world.
“Throughout the last century, our wildlife sanctuaries have served as primary entry points and gathering places for members and the broader public who support our mission, which is to connect people with nature,” Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said. “The sanctuary-based nature centers and the thousands of protected acres they anchor invite people to get outdoors and understand that a healthy environment is crucial to our quality of life.”
Mass Audubon is proud to partner with The North Face in recognition of the Sanctuaries 100th celebration. Employees from Natick, Boston, and Braintree stores will attend April 9 festivities at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Boston Nature Center in Mattapan, and Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, where they will hand out store coupons in exchange for donations made to the company’s Clothes the Loop recycling program.
Launched in 2013, Clothes the Loop reduces landfill by repurposing clothing for reuse or recycling it into raw materials for use in products such as insulation, carpet padding, and fibers for new clothing.
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.