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 is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.