Erin Kelly Named Boston Regional Director
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon has named Erin Kelly its new Regional Director, Boston, responsible for the statewide conservation organization’s Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary in Mattapan. Kelly had been serving as the Acting Director of the Boston region for the past seven months following the retirement of longtime Director Julie Brandlen last year.
Prior to taking on the Acting Director role, Kelly worked as Education Manager at Boston Nature Center since 2017, where she managed summer camps attended by more than 1,200 children; collaborated with Boston Public Schools on outdoor education programs; and oversaw the Youth Leader Program.
Her promotion to Director means Kelly will continue directing all operations of the Boston region. Those include overseeing a licensed preschool, nationally accredited summer camps, and comprehensive educational programs. She will also continue to lead her excellent staff team in the day-to-day operations of the wildlife sanctuary and see to the ongoing ecological management of the 67-acre wildlife sanctuary, as well as partnering with Mass Audubon’s Nature in the City program to implement the Boston Tree Initiative.
“Being named to this position on a permanent basis is extraordinarily meaningful and a significant responsibility that I will perform thoughtfully and with unwavering passion,” Kelly said. “One of my top priorities is ensuring everyone in our communities has access to natural spaces, particularly those in Boston’s most disinvested neighborhoods.”
Kelly’s love of nature stemmed from her childhood in Newark, New Jersey—a place where green space was scarce. But it was in the shade of that city’s trees that Kelly decided she not only wanted to enter the environmental field but would make supporting access to the natural world in urban areas a priority.
During her 15 years at Mass Audubon, Kelly has implemented a wide array of educational programming focused on exposing kids in urban areas to the outdoors; built strong and diverse partnerships with local, state, and national groups; and supported the conservation organization’s goal to increase community engagement and DEIJA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility) work among staff educators.
“Erin is an invaluable team member who has accomplished so much in her time here,” said Gail Yeo, Vice President for Wildlife Sanctuaries and Programs. “She will leverage all the expertise of Mass Audubon for the good of the Boston Region and the Boston Nature Center while working to bring more access to nature for all the residents of Boston. We are thrilled to capitalize on Erin’s thoughtful and collaborative leadership style providing impact across the Boston region while working with partners to address the effects of climate change on the region.”
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.