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 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 140,000 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 www.massaudubon.org.