Ribbon-Cutting Marks Grand Opening for Drumlin Farm’s New Environmental Learning Center
Michael P. O'Connor
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s Grand Opening celebration of its new Environmental Learning Center took place Saturday afternoon, June 9.
The gathering at the popular Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary and working farm in Lincoln commenced with a ribbon-cutting, followed by building tours, opportunities to meet raptors and Drumlin Farm’s resident fox, hands-on science activities, and educational program highlights.
The 3,700 square foot Environmental Learning Center (ELC), and its neighboring outdoor classroom structure, the Bluebird Pavilion, are situated between the wildlife sanctuary’s nature center and the site of the former education building.
The ELC and the pavilion will serve as the hub from which all of Drumlin Farm’s environmental education programming will flow. They will provide 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.
Featuring a 42.8-kilowatt system of rooftop solar panels and many other energy-conserving construction methods and materials, the facility will be net-positive, annually generating more energy than the building will consume.
Wildlife sanctuary staff and representatives from Maclay Architects and Chapman Construction/Design were on hand to discuss how the ELC will enhance the engagement experience of visitors of all ages, as well as the building’s innovative design and sustainability features.
Drumlin Farm Director Renata Pomponi described the Grand Opening of the new facility as a “watershed moment” for the wildlife sanctuary.
“Mass Audubon’s enduring commitment to nature-based education has never been stronger,” Pomponi added, “and Drumlin Farm is excited about the pivotal role the Environmental Learning Center will play as we build on that legacy, developing environmental and climate science programs that further conservation in the 21st century.”
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.