Mass Audubon 5-Year “Action Agenda” Prioritizes Land Protection and Biodiversity, Equitable and Inclusive Access To Nature, and Climate Action
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon is embarking on a bold plan that is built on 125 years of conservation success and focuses on tackling the urgent environmental challenges of our time—the loss of wildlife and biodiversity, the lack of inclusive and equitable access to nature, and the fight to address climate change.
As we begin to emerge from a global pandemic during which more people than ever found sanctuary in nature, signs of hope and optimism abound. With the launch of its multi-tiered Action Agenda, Mass Audubon is determined to meet these challenges and capitalize on people’s connection to nature with transformational actions.
The high-level goals of the Action Agenda are ambitious, yet eminently achievable. They include:
- Ensuring the Commonwealth’s most ecologically important landscapes are protected, restored, and stewarded to enhance biodiversity and ensure clean air and clean water. Mass Audubon will work with partners to protect 30 percent of Massachusetts by 2026, while enhancing the management of forests, coastal watersheds, and river corridors.
- Expanding Mass Audubon’s work in low-income communities and with communities of color to provide greater access to nature and nature-based educational programming. Mass Audubon will protect 20 new urban greenspaces, create three new urban wildlife sanctuaries, and grow our educational scholarship fund to $2 million. Mass Audubon will also advance the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice throughout the organization.
- Mobilizing to fight climate change by harnessing the voices of Mass Audubon’s 135,000 members, 14,000 volunteers, and partner networks to advocate passionately on behalf of nature. Mass Audubon will help the state fully implement its carbon emissions goals by 2030 and 2050 and train more than 1,000 adults, college students, and youth to become champions for climate and conservation policy.
Board of Directors Chair Beth Kressley Goldstein noted that the Action Agenda capitalizes on what Mass Audubon does best—promoting profound engagement between people and wildlife—while taking the organization’s work into a new level of visibility, impact, and consequence.
“Today, Mass Audubon’s statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries, our camps and school programs, and adult education opportunities all support and expand our mission to connect people with the natural world,” Kressley Goldstein said. “The Action Agenda envisions an even more vital and inclusive future, with many more people of all backgrounds and experiences forging their own relationships with nature.”
President David J. O’Neill said this five-year plan will guide Mass Audubon as it evolves into a more efficient and effective organization.
“We are at a pivotal moment in time—one of great possibility and potential,” O’Neill stressed. “Our growing commitment to collaborations will be crucial to achieving our goals. Conserving resilient landscapes, supporting environmental justice meaningfully, and meeting the unparalleled challenges of a warming planet will all require partnerships and other cooperative efforts. Mass Audubon is confident we will collectively ensure a healthier environment for people and wildlife."
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.