Nature Heroes Help Mass Audubon Achieve ‘Down to the Wire’ Fundraising Success to Protect 110-Acre Sacred Hearts Property at Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Wareham

Release Date:
March 20, 2019

WAREHAM, MA—Mass Audubon is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Purchase & Sale contract to acquire the 110-acre Sacred Hearts property at Widow’s Cove in Wareham, immediately abutting the conservation organization’s Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.

The anticipated purchase will ensure the permanent protection of nearly 200 acres on Buzzards Bay, enhance the wildlife and habitat diversity at Great Neck, and enable the wildlife sanctuary to provide more expansive nature experiences for members and the broader public.

Sacred Hearts has been a presence in Wareham for generations. Its decision to sell the property in December triggered Mass Audubon’s option to match any offers, which, fortunately, had been established years earlier. The agreement was due to expire on February 14, allowing little time to raise the funds needed to secure the opportunity to buy the land and protect it from certain development.

Facing this extremely short deadline, 100 generous and farsighted individuals proved to be true “nature heroes,” raising more than $2.6 million in a mere two weeks to allow Mass Audubon to purchase and forever protect the land.

 “On behalf of Mass Audubon and our more than 125,000 members across the state, I extend our deep gratitude to all those who answered the call to protect the beautiful and ecologically important coastal property,” President Gary Clayton said.

“The swift and very generous responses by so many donors demonstrated they appreciated both the importance of ensuring the permanent protection of this land, and the urgency of raising the necessary funds within an extremely small window of opportunity,” Clayton added. “We are very grateful.”


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