New Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth Now Open
Michael P. O'Connor
PLYMOUTH, MA—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. Songbirds, river herring, and other animals and plants are returning to what was a working cranberry farm for more than a century and now features a free-running stream that nourishes marshland, an array of restored native plant species, and upland woods.
This ongoing ecological renewal—and related research, grounded in sound science—will be front and center as Tidmarsh staff develop nature-based education programs and activities. The sanctuary is already partnering with Plymouth North and South high schools on place-based STEM learning opportunities; the wildlife sanctuary intends to expand these activities to other grade levels and into public programming in the coming months.
In addition to these initiatives, the wildlife sanctuary is working with partners including the non-profit Living Observatory, founded by former cranberry farm owners Glorianna Davenport and Evan Schulman, to ensure that Tidmarsh will continue to be a place of scientific discovery. Both the sanctuary and Living Observatory will be offering opportunities for volunteers to engage with citizen science monitoring efforts.
Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary encourages non-motorized recreation such as walking, snowshoeing, nature photography, wildlife viewing, and other forms of nature-based recreation and science learning. Motorized vehicles (including ATVs) and dogs are not allowed on the property, in order to encourage wildlife to continue to return after the restoration activities. The sanctuary is open daily from dawn to dusk, with limited parking available at 60 Beaver Dam Road.
“We could not be more excited and optimistic about Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary and how we will engage the residents of Plymouth and the entire region,” Sanctuary Director Lauren Kras said. “Mass Audubon members and the general public are encouraged to discover the wonders of this amazing landscape as it continues to evolve.”
Mass Audubon protects 36,500 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—a 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 125,000 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 massaudubon.org.