Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Four volunteers moving bags of debris in a cart

Over 400 Volunteers Make Statewide Volunteer Day a Success

May 31, 2024

This year’s Statewide Volunteer Day took place under sunny skies and with warm weather on Saturday, April 27. More than 400 volunteers came together at 16 wildlife sanctuaries, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands, to lend a hand.

Four volunteers moving bags of debris in a cart

Volunteers Tackle Different Projects Throughout the State 

More than 25 projects at sanctuaries across the state were accomplished on this year's Statewide Volunteer Day. Here are just a few examples of some of the work that was done.

Volunteer adding cut branches to a pile of debris

Joppa Flats Volunteers Clear Trash from Salt Marsh

At Joppa Flats in Newburyport, volunteers spent the morning removing debris from the salt marsh that borders the education center. Over 40 volunteers were able to pull 43 pounds of plastic, 14 pounds of glass, 12 pounds of metal, and over 25 pounds of other materials, including car tires and a vacuum, from the marsh. When trash and litter accumulate in a habitat, wildlife is at risk of ingesting the debris. This work is crucial to maintaining this delicate ecosystem.   

Broad Meadow Brook Volunteers Remove Invasive Garlic Mustard

In central Massachusetts, at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester, volunteers removed 120 pounds of invasive garlic mustard, filling four 13-gallon bags. Garlic mustard is an herb from Europe that was likely introduced for use in cooking. Today, it invades fields and woodlands, displacing native vegetation. Garlic mustard can also change soil conditions to inhibit the growth of most other plants. When invasive species like garlic mustard outcompete native plant species, the wildlife that depend on them for food suffer.

The volunteers’ work not only helped to maintain over half a mile of trail, but also supported native wildlife and the food they depend on.   

Wellfleet Bay Volunteers Support Terrapin Nesting Sites

Further east at Wellfleet Bay in South Wellfleet, volunteers worked to clear grass and debris from 600 square feet of Diamondback Terrapin nesting area. The Diamondback Terrapin is officially listed as "Threatened" in Massachusetts. Local populations have fallen dramatically, especially on Cape Cod. By clearing debris and grasses from their nesting areas, volunteers contributed to ongoing efforts to bolster the Diamondback Terrapin population in Massachusetts. 

Large group of volunteers posing for a photo in a cleared field

Thanks to Our Volunteers

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our volunteers across the state, we removed hundreds of pounds of invasive species and debris from our sanctuaries, cleaned up eight pollinator gardens, prepared over two miles of trail for the busy spring and summer, and spruced up four nature play areas for our youngest visitors. 

None of this work would have been possible without the efforts of our incredible volunteers and supporters, thank you so much for your passion, time, and effort.

Interested in lending a hand? Volunteers support our sanctuaries year-round through a variety of different projects. Find an opportunity near you to help protect the nature of Massachusetts with us.

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