Step up—And Spruce up Nature—at Mass Audubon’s Statewide Volunteer Day, Saturday, April 27
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Ready to put winter behind you and put a spring in your step as we all welcome warmer temperatures and longer days? Sign on for some healthy outdoor activity and join hundreds of like-minded nature lovers during Mass Audubon’s 13th-annual Statewide Volunteer Day, Saturday, April 27.
Mass Audubon is inviting individuals, families and friends, students and community groups, and others to help spruce up wildlife sanctuaries owned by the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit. Volunteers can choose among 14 sanctuaries, from the Cape and Islands to the Berkshires, and spend that Saturday morning helping to get them ship-shape for another busy visitation season.
Participants will be able select from an array of work projects suitable for all ages and abilities. Here’s just a sample: preparing gardens that support species including birds, butterflies and turtles; removing invasive plants; cleaning driveways and entranceways; and general spring cleaning projects.
The work parties will wrap up by noon, so volunteers are encouraged to bring lunches, enjoy some down time, and then explore the natural amenities the sanctuaries have to offer.
While Statewide Volunteer Day is designed as a fun way to form a community with a common cause, it has a serious side as well: that of helping Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries protect the thousands of acres of sensitive habitats under their stewardship.
Last year, 650 volunteers dug in and helped out wildlife sanctuaries. The 2018 event showed what can result when enthusiastic volunteers, teamwork, and a worthy goal combine on a weekend morning in spring. Among their accomplishments:
- Pulled 12 truckloads of invasive species
- Cleared and prepped 32 gardens
- Groomed more than 2 miles of trails
- Cleared 21 truckloads of brush and winter debris
- Spread 24 yards of compost
- Planted 70 trees
- Planted 147 flowers and shrubs
“Statewide Volunteer Day provides a terrific opportunity to connect with nature in communal settings, while engaged in ‘spring cleaning’ at wildlife sanctuaries throughout the state,” said Jackie Zwahlen, Coordinator of Mass Audubon’s Statewide Volunteer Programs.
“The work projects are designed to be fun and satisfying,” Zwahlen added. “But the team efforts of hundreds of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds provide substantial benefits to Mass Audubon’s statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries, which engage more than a half million visitors each year.”
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 www.massaudubon.org.