Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s ‘Ms. G’ Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter
Michael P. O'Connor
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.
If the weather-wise woodchuck had not seen her shadow, the region would have been anticipating an early spring. 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.
In remarks made after the ceremony, special guest State Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Sec. Matthew A. Beaton said, “This is always a fun gathering for kids and families, and through the Ms. G event at this amazing wildlife sanctuary, the littlest children can learn a bit more about the natural world.
“Mass Audubon has been a great partner with EEA in a whole range of ways, from land protection to wildlife stewardship," Beaton added. “And it’s important to note that hibernating animals such as groundhogs may be impacted by the growing effects of climate change. As temperatures continue to rise, there may be long-term negative effects, so we must be cognizant to teach those lessons.”
After the mid-morning festivities, attendees enjoyed family-friendly nature activities such as meeting Drumlin Farm’s resident wildlife; exploring the sanctuary’s network of trails; and learning how to identify animal tracks in the snow. Don McCasland of Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center in Milton shared lessons in understanding local climate. Hot cocoa helped keep everyone warm.
A bill declaring Ms. G the official state groundhog was passed into law in 2014, thanks largely to a campaign by students of Wellesley’s Hunnewell Elementary School and former broadcast meteorologist Mish Michaels.
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.