A Message from Mass Audubon's New President
June 01, 2020
What an absolute thrill and honor it is to be elected to serve as the 11th president of Mass Audubon and take the helm of a storied organization that protects the natural world and brings joy to so many people.
Of the many factors that drew me to this position, it was the people that rose to the top of the list.
The incredibly talented staff, a devoted Board of Directors, and hundreds of thousands of members, donors, and volunteers are the beating heart of Mass Audubon. The opportunity to work with all of you to build on a history of conservation success, community stewardship, and environmental education is an opportunity of a lifetime.
If people are the heartbeat, it’s the wildlife sanctuaries that serve as the local embodiment of Mass Audubon and its mission. Dating back to 1916, our sanctuaries are where recreation, conservation, science, and education converge. As you know well, these places connect the institution to communities and people across the state, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands.
There is so much more to be excited about at Mass Audubon:
- A robust land protection program that continues to succeed at expanding the acres of protected and well-managed land across the state
- A renowned bird conservation program, including the nearly 35-year old Coastal Waterbird Program that has brought back Piping Plovers and terns to our shores
- A steadfast advocacy team that uses science and pragmatism, as well as the passion of our membership, to advance conservation priorities
- An accomplished science division that, among other things, ensures that we are model stewards of the lands for which we are responsible
- A world-class education program that reaches more than 225,000 adults and children each year through programs at our sanctuaries and schools as well as summer camps
- A growing climate change team that is bringing innovative ideas to move the residents of Massachusetts to action
- A dedication from all staff to address diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that everyone has access to the wonders of nature
This is a historically challenging time, but nature continues to bring great solace to our lives. Today, bird songs are just a little louder and cheerier; walks in the woods just a little more bright and invigorating. Mass Audubon gives so many of us the opportunity to connect with the natural world and take actions to protect it now and into the future. It is a great privilege to be part of this organization, and I look forward to meeting so many of you in the weeks, months, and years to come.
Yours very truly,
David J. O'Neill