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 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