LINCOLN, MA—Evan Guarino of Worcester has been named Grand Prize Winner in Mass Audubon’s 2018 Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest. His winning photograph was a nighttime image of pier pilings on a Falmouth beach under a luminous Milky Way, with the lights of Martha’s Vineyard glowing in the background. This year’s competition drew more than 4,000 entries, submitted by nearly 700 photographers.
Mass Audubon is offering military veterans and their families free admission to its statewide network of nearly 60 wildlife sanctuaries on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11. Sanctuaries that are open Monday, November 12, when the holiday is formally observed, will also offer free admission to vets and families.
Cape Cod’s cold-stun season for endangered or threatened sea turtles has started with the rescue of four Kemp’s ridleys October 22, at beaches in Eastham and Brewster. The marine reptiles were recovered by staff members of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mass Audubon’s annual statewide photo contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, which wraps up Sunday, September 30. Contest participants may compete in one of two age categories, 18 and Older and Under 18. Subject areas include: People in Nature, Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Landscapes, and Plants and Fungi.
Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future of Your Community program has received a grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to advance conservation and climate-smart development in local communities. This grant will highlight successes in the City of Framingham, which updated its local regulations to better promote cost-effective, nature-based solutions to climate change.
Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary has been certified as an official “Service Enterprise” for its growing number of volunteers who encourage people throughout Greater Attleboro to connect with nature. The Service Enterprise program is administered by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service and founded by President George H. W. Bush.
Mass Audubon has succeeded the Museum of Science in overseeing the Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project, which encourages volunteers to look for fireflies in their backyards or nearby fields and provide data in support of these amazing creatures and their habitats.
For the fifth consecutive year, Mass Audubon’s demonstrated financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most consulted evaluator of charities. Charity Navigator has placed Mass Audubon within the top 10 percent of the thousands of charities the organization assesses, outperforming not only most environmental nonprofits but most American charities as a whole.
Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary is offering a Field Naturalist Certificate Program designed to prepare students for work in nature-based education, citizen science, habitat management, and other environmental fields. The 11-week course taught at a college level, which runs from August 29 through November 17, is geared to individuals seeking to increase their understanding of the natural world in a professional setting.
Do you enjoy taking photos of woodland paths and shining shorelines, songbirds and bunnies in the backyard, family members and friends reveling in nature? Then you’ll be excited to know that Mass Audubon’s annual statewide photo contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, is now under way and continuing through Sunday, September 30.
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s Grand Opening celebration of its new Environmental Learning Center (ELC) took place Saturday afternoon, June 9. The ELC will serve as the home base for the programs through which Drumlin Farm teacher-naturalists and other educators support Mass Audubon’s mission to connect people and nature.
Bird walks, bug discoveries, and botanical explorations drew plenty of nature-loving visitors to the Open House held Saturday, June 2, for Mass Audubon’s newest property, Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary. But the biggest buzz focused on the wildlife sanctuary itself, a 481-acre oasis in Plymouth that has been restored from a century-old cranberry bog to its natural habitat of lush meadow, meandering stream, and woodlands.
Mass Audubon has bestowed one of its highest honors, the Audubon ‘A’ Award, on Deborah Cramer, whose books on marine and coastal habitats and the creatures dependent upon them have established the Gloucester author as a recognized 21st-century voice for the environment. The Award salutes an individual, group, or organization that has furthered the cause of conservation and environmental protection or has broadened the public awareness of the nature of Massachusetts.
Mass Audubon is holding an Open House at its newest property, Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth, on Saturday, June 2. The celebration will include a full day’s schedule of fun, nature-focused activities for kids and adults alike, including bird walks, bug discoveries, nature journaling, botanical explorations, and more.
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature preschool and its director, Jill Canelli, have been honored with a Secretary’s Award for Excellence, which recognizes schools and teachers from throughout Massachusetts for their outstanding efforts to improve energy and environmental education. The awards are presented by the office of State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton.
Mass Audubon had added 15 and a half acres to its Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to a generous and far-sighted gift of land by journalist and novelist Ruth Bass. Pleasant Valley encompasses more than a thousand acres of forest and wetland rising to Yokun Ridge, and the new parcel will enhance the wildlife sanctuary’s connections to Richmond while affording fine views of the Taconic Range to the west.
Mass Audubon has partnered with the City of Northampton and local landowners to protect more than 50 acres of valuable open space that will connect the conservation organization’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rocky Hill Greenway. The land is situated on the wildlife sanctuary’s western boundary and just south of the Greenway, a collaboration between the City and Mass Audubon, the state's largest nature conservation nonprofit.
Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon fundraiser will take place Friday and Saturday, May 11-12, when teams of birders of all abilities will compete to identify the most species statewide over a 24-hour period. Upwards of 750 people are expected to participate in Bird-a-thon, the biggest single fundraising event of the year for the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit.
Mass Audubon is helping put “the spring” back in everyone’s step with an invitation to participate in its 12th annual Statewide Volunteer Day on Saturday, April 28. Families and individuals, students, community-service groups, and others can choose from 17 of the conservation organization’s statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries and help get them ready for another busy visitation season.
Mass Audubon has recently protected 5.4 acres of land adjacent to its Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary that will further enhance ecological and recreational values in Princeton and the surrounding region. While modest in size, the parcel connects to the 136-acre Four Corners Conservation Area and to several hundred acres of conserved land within the Ware River Watershed as well as north over to the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation.
Mass Audubon has worked with local landowners, the Housatonic River Natural Resource Damages Fund, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to add almost 120 acres to the wildlife sanctuary in Sheffield, which will now total more than 360 acres.
The Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award recognizes an individual for success in the preservation, enhancement, and restoration of a New England species and/or their habitat, as well as an enthusiasm for sharing information about their efforts and a commitment to inspiring future generations of conservation professionals. The awardee is Carolyn Mostello, a coastal waterbird specialist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife) who has devoted her career to restoring populations of federally endangered roseate terns and other island nesting species in Buzzards Bay.
Mass Audubon’s Birders Meeting, the largest conference of its kind in New England, returns to the UMass Boston campus Sunday, March 11, when hundreds of birding enthusiasts will gather to hear the latest avian news from experts, learn more about specific species, and catch up with like-minded nature lovers they’ve met at previous Meetings.
Mass Audubon’s new Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on a former Plymouth cranberry bog being restored to its original freshwater wetland habitat, is now open and welcoming all visitors from the community, throughout Southeast Massachusetts, and beyond. The 480-acre wildlife sanctuary offers three miles of trails that invite Mass Audubon members and the general public to discover a protected oasis located within one of the most development-intensive corners of the state.
LINCOLN, MA — Ms. G. saw her shadow at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln on February 2, Groundhog Day. As the official Groundhog of the Commonwealth, her body-language prognostication was clear: six more weeks of winter. The enthusiastic assemblage of mostly kids and parents (with a contingent of Groundhog Day buffs also on hand) seemed fine with the forecast, as they cheered Ms. G’s always accurate prediction, her 11th at Drumlin Farm.
State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew A. Beaton will join the Groundhog Day celebration at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln Friday, Feb. 2, when Ms. G, the Official Groundhog of the Commonwealth, will make her annual prediction on the length of the remaining winter.