Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Welcomes "Milt's Woods"

Release Date:
May 2, 2018

LENOX, MA—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.

Ms. Bass has been a dedicated conservationist, as was her late husband—newspaper editor, theater critic, and columnist Milton Bass; she has made the donation in his honor.

“With the addition of our 15 acres, Pleasant Valley Sanctuary comes over the ridge from Lenox into Richmond.” she said. “We’ve been involved with the sanctuary since the 1970s when our children first went to day camp there and acquired a life-long fascination with nature.

“It was my husband, Milton, who was most intent on preserving that land, and so it now officially becomes ‘Milt’s Woods’,” Ms. Bass noted. “We are happy we can share land we’ve loved with those who visit Pleasant Valley, one of the Berkshire treasures.”

Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said, “This acquisition on the west side of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary not only enhances a larger complex of protected land in the Berkshires but also provides wildlife an important means by which to connect with other biologically rich lands in Lenox and Richmond.

“And we could not be more grateful to Ruth Bass and her late husband, Milton, who’ve personified the very best in environmental commitment and devotion to land,” Clayton added.


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