Letter from Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton


Gary Clayton outdoors in late summer

Dear Mass Audubon Family,

For more than 30 years (five as president), I have had the privilege of working with an amazing staff, dedicated Board of Directors and Council, and countless enthusiastic volunteers, members, donors, and conservation partners. Thus, my decision to retire in May 2020 has not been an easy one to make.

With your ongoing support, I know Mass Audubon is thriving as a strong leader in environmental education for all people in communities across the state and beyond. We preserve a growing statewide network of protected natural areas encompassing more than 100 properties where hundreds of thousands of visitors explore, connect, and discover the beauty of Massachusetts each year. And our advocacy efforts within communities, on Beacon Hill, and with our Congressional delegation remain more effective than ever. I'm also particularly proud of the initiatives we accomplished during my tenure as president, which include:

  • Leading successful multi-million dollar capital campaigns to acquire Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, the ecologically restored, 481-acre former cranberry farm in Plymouth, as well as other major additions to our wildlife sanctuary system in Princeton, Wareham, and Wendell. And of course, facilitating the remarkable donation of Brewster’s Woods in Concord, which represented the single largest gift in Mass Audubon’s history!
  • Working aggressively to develop and implement a comprehensive climate action strategy that now includes managing more than 10,000 acres of Mass Audubon forested lands as a major reserve for carbon sequestration, as well as shaping and helping secure passage of the state’s Climate Adaptation Management legislation—the first in the nation.
  • Growing nature heroes of every age! For example, we now have five Nature Preschools throughout the Commonwealth and we plan to add more, which will complement our existing camp, school, and internship programs that reach 250,000 young people every year.

None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for your support, enthusiasm, ideas, and commitment!

Change allows us to look forward to new aspirations and opportunities. I am confident that Mass Audubon’s Board of Directors will find the most qualified and passionate individual to propel Mass Audubon forward. I hope that you will continue to support our work—as will I!

Let’s not forget that in the year ahead there will be much for us to do. We will stay focused on realizing our critical goals while we look to the future and continue to do what we do best – protect the nature of Massachusetts.

Yours very truly,

Gary Clayton's signature

President