A Message from Mass Audubon's President

David O'Neill - Mass Audubon's 11th President

It's hard to believe it has only been a few months since I began as president of Mass Audubon. Stepping into a role in the middle of a pandemic was not how I envisioned beginning this new chapter. That being said, I feel honored to lead this storied organization through this tumultuous time and set us up to emerge even stronger than before.

I'd like to share a few updates on where we are today and where we are headed. Back in late June, we had to make difficult decisions due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 that included a reduction of staff and an update on how we manage our wildlife sanctuaries. The new structure is intended to increase efficiency, conservation impact, partnership, and collaboration, while still celebrating what makes our sanctuaries unique and providing wonderful experiences for visitors and program participants alike.

Your membership and financial support will continue to make this impactful work possible at the local, regional, and state level. Some examples of what we have recently been able to accomplish because of you include:

  • Reopening our trails, welcoming back people all across Massachusetts to connect in—and restore with—nature.
  • Protecting key parcels of land in Hampden, Northampton, and Cuttyhunk Island as well as helping to conserve properties in Orange and Marshfield for the benefit of wildlife and for people.
  • Safely welcoming campers to 11 day camps across the state, providing a much-needed respite for kids and parents.
  • Protecting 214 pairs of Piping Plovers this summer, an increase of 13% compared to 2019.
  • Advocating successfully for A 2050 Roadmap to a Clean and Thriving Commonwealth bill that was passed by the Massachusetts House and is a win for climate action, natural lands, and frontline communities.
  • Embarking on a historical reckoning. You can read more about this in the "Our Historical Reckoning" article in the fall issue of Explore member newsletter, which takes a closer look at our namesake, John James Audubon, and his racist past.

This period of transition may be bumpy at times, but thanks to our talented and dedicated staff, volunteers, Board, and Council, I am confident that we're heading in the right direction. To guide us, we're developing a new Action Agenda that will set our priorities and focus to enable us to be the strongest, most impactful, and most welcoming environmental organization in the state.

I invite you to join us by reading in the fall issue of Explore about the wonderful places to visit, the people making a difference, and all the ways to celebrate the wonders of nature, and by sharing your feedback with me by emailing [email protected].

Thank you again for your support.

Yours very truly,

David J. O'Neill signature

David J. O'Neill