Mass Audubon’s Annual Meeting Centers on Hope, Urgency, and Action; Honors Gov. Baker, Lowell Conservation Group, and Teachers
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon, the state’s largest nature conservation organization, held its Annual Meeting Wednesday evening, November 2, at the Museum of Science in Boston, energized by the theme of Hope. Urgency. Action, and presenting several environmental awards.
Governor Charlie Baker was presented with the Nature of Massachusetts Award. The award goes to an “individual or group, to a business, government or non-government organization, or other entity, which has furthered the cause of conservation, and environmental protection or which has broadened the public awareness of the nature of Massachusetts.”
Baker could not attend the meeting, but in a video shown to a packed audience of Mass Audubon members, supporters, and partners as well as those participating online, he thanked the conservation organization for the honor.
“I can’t tell you how honored I am that you thought of me,” he said. “This really means a lot.” The Governor lauded Mass Audubon’s hard work: “Your mission has been critical to protecting the Commonwealth’s environment and natural resources, and we’re grateful for all that you do.”
The meeting also included an inspiring conversation with City of Boston Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, Reverend Mariama-White Hammond, who was joined by Mass Audubon Board of Directors Chair Beth Kressley Goldstein and President David O’Neill.
Rev. White-Hammond recounted her life experiences, which led her first to advocate for equality and equity, and then to the realization that supporting a healthy environment — especially for historically under-resourced communities — is part of the same quality-of-life journey.
During Board Chair Kressley Goldstein remarks, she noted how she is “thrilled that Mass Audubon and its Action Agenda prioritized addressing the nature deficit that exists in our most under-resourced communities—fewer parks, trees, and trails and less access to programs that expose people to the nature that exists all around us.
“You can’t help but have noticed that we have a theme for tonight: Hope. Urgency. Action,” she said. “This really reflects the sentiment among all of us who are working for Mass Audubon. The time to act to protect nature is now.”
President O’Neill echoed those sentiments, and more. “A year and half ago, we committed to our Action Agenda—hopeful, ambitious, and urgent strategy to protect the nature of Massachusetts. We’ve made great progress and we must take advantage of this moment in time to propel our agenda and meet our shared goals. Together, we can build on the successes of Mass Audubon, work with partners, and address our greatest conservation needs.”
The evening also honored Conservation Teachers of the Year and the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust (LP&CT), which received Mass Audubon’s Allen Morgan Award for “distinguished achievement in the environmental arena, including extraordinary effectiveness as an advocate for the environment, or sustained efforts to protect a special location or category of locations.”
LP&CT Executive Director Jane Calvin accepted the award on behalf of the organization and was also featured in the evening’s opening video about Mass Audubon’s signature Nature in the City program.
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 160,000 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.