State cultural grant supports Pleasant Valley barn addition
Michael P. O'Connor
LENOX—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.
The centerpiece will be an energy-efficient addition to the 18th-century program barn that includes modern restrooms, expanded lobby area, expansive decking, and a small kitchen, all with the goal of broadening the engagement and experiences of visitors of all ages and abilities.
The MCC grant lifts fundraising above the $850,000 mark, to more than three-quarters of the campaign’s goal.
Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries Director Becky Cushing expressed gratitude for the award and excitement for what the project will mean for Mass Audubon members, other visitors, and the greater Berkshires community.
“We could not be more thankful for this very important support from the Cultural Facilities Fund and the Mass Cultural Council,” Cushing said. “When the Opening Doors to Nature project is completed, and visitors are discovering the ‘new’ Pleasant Valley, all of our generous supporters and friends will have reason to appreciate the value of such partnerships.”
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.