Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox has been awarded a $200,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) that will provide crucial support for the popular wildlife sanctuary’s capital campaign.The $1.125 million Opening Doors to Nature campaign will help ensure Pleasant Valley’s aging facilities are brought up to date, with a focus on accessibility and related amenities.
Mass Audubon has re-opened trails on many of its wildlife sanctuaries across the Commonwealth, from the Cape and Islands to Worcester County, the Connecticut River Valley, and the Berkshires.
Its nature centers and other buildings remain closed at present, but after careful analysis and discussions with local officials and community leaders, the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit is welcoming its members and other visitors to miles of trails on two dozen wildlife sanctuaries.
Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, through its Drumlin Farm Food Donation Project, is partnering with Food For Free of Cambridge to provide fresh vegetables and eggs to Cambridge families in need.
Each week, the popular Lincoln wildlife sanctuary and working farm delivers some of its sustainably grown bounty to Cambridge, where Food For Free distributes it to those facing food insecurity, a crisis made more dire because of the coronavirus.
Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon, which typically sends teams of birders rambling throughout the Commonwealth in a friendly competition to identify the most species in 24-hour period, is staying at home this year, to respect social distancing. Participants in the statewide event, taking place Friday-Saturday, May 15-16, will spend time observing and identifying species from selected observation spots—a window, backyard, or a green space within short walking or biking distance from their homes.
Mass Audubon, like every public and private institution in Massachusetts and across the country, is confronting enormous challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since mid-March, our offices and wildlife sanctuaries have been closed and all programs cancelled for the safety of staff and visitors. These actions, while necessary, have led to a substantial loss of income.
Despite implementing many cost-saving initiatives, we have come to the distressing realization that further measures must be taken including furloughing a number of employees and reducing the salaries of remaining staff based on salary levels.
Mass Audubon has named David O’Neill the 11th President of the state’s largest nature conservation organization.
O’Neill has dedicated his professional career to conservation. For the last five years, he has served as the Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO of National Audubon Society (NAS). While there, his powerful vision, collaborative nature, and ability to raise critical funds elevated the entire organization.
Manomet, the respected environmental organization that is marking 50 years as a leader in avian research and conservation, has been awarded Mass Audubon’s Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award for 2020. The Award is named for Mass Audubon founders Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, who in 1896 organized what would become a successful national campaign to stop the slaughter of birds for their feathers.
Carroll School and Mass Audubon, longtime neighbors in south Lincoln, have re-affirmed that sense of community with a generous donation by the School of 85 acres to the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit.These 85 acres are part of an acquisition of 103 acres made possible by a generous donation to Carroll School.
The property is located adjacent to Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.
The second annual Alternative Spring Break for Aspiring Environmental Leaders program will take place on Nantucket from Monday, March 16 to Saturday, March 21. As Massachusetts continues to grow more diverse it is vital that Mass Audubon, Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation non-profit, create opportunities for communities to connect students with local landscapes while mindfully providing opportunities to historically underrepresented low-income communities and people of color.
The state continues to conserve land at an encouraging rate, but development is also increasing in a time of climate crisis when every acre lost is worrisome, according to Mass Audubon’s Losing Ground: Nature’s Value in a Changing Climate. The study is the sixth in a series by the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit, documenting changes in land use across the Commonwealth over four decades.
Rebecca Goodlett of Fitchburg’s South Street Elementary School and Erin Sarpard, formerly of New Covenant School in Arlington, have been named recipients of Mass Audubon’s Conservation Teacher of the Year Award for 2019, sponsored by the New England Farm and Garden Association.
Mass Audubon, the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit, has named Sam Kefferstan to oversee its wildlife sanctuaries on Nantucket. Mass Audubon’s most notable wildlife sanctuary there is Sesachacha Heathlands, an 875-acres expanse of rare heathland and sandplain grasslands on the eastern side of the island.