2021 Annual Report
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Nature is playing an outsized role in society today, as more people get outdoors, celebrate its importance, and awaken to the challenges it faces. We see this every day—Mass Audubon sanctuaries experienced record-breaking visitation as people of all ages found solace in nature during the pandemic, and our membership has grown significantly.
It is clear that protecting the nature of Massachusetts is more important now than ever before. Climate change, the lack of equitable access to nature and open spaces, and the loss of biodiversity are the challenges of our time. In March 2021, Mass Audubon adopted its Action Agenda—a bold, ambitious, and hopeful plan that sets out to address these challenges.
The Agenda’s three goals—resilient land, inclusive and equitable access to nature, and climate change—are linked and interdependent. Achieving these goals requires us to draw on the collective talents of our staff and volunteers and work across our sanctuaries, which bring our mission to life and are the engine for the implementation of the Action Agenda. It also requires that we build stronger partnerships and mobilize the influence of our expansive membership, now 140,000 strong.
Since adopting the Action Agenda, we have been busy building the organizational infrastructure to position us for long-term success, while making significant progress on our goals. While much more must be done, we made significant strides in becoming the most inclusive conservation organization we can be, including hiring a vice president of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, launching a new urban greenspace, and building the Environmental Fellowship Program.
We also successfully advocated for the passage of the nation’s strongest policy to combat climate change and pushed for investments in nature-based climate solutions. The Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy commits the state to meet net-zero emissions in 2050 and furthers the Commonwealth’s efforts to combat climate change and protect vulnerable communities. And in December, state legislative leaders agreed on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending bill, which included $377 million for nature and climate.
While international and national leaders struggle to find a path forward on climate change policy, it is critical that Massachusetts lead and provide a roadmap not only for the Commonwealth, but for the nation and the world. We are moved every day by the passion and devotion of our supporters, volunteers, and members, and we are inspired by the beauty and wonder that nature brings to our lives. We enter 2022 with a deep sense of urgency, but also with hope and optimism that comes from the joy we see when people of all ages and backgrounds experience our sanctuaries.
Thank you for joining us in shaping a brighter future for the nature of Massachusetts and in this next exciting chapter at Mass Audubon.
Beth Kressley Goldstein
David J. O'Neill