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.
An indoor play and learning area for children. The ceilings are painted a sky blue, trees are painted on the walls with different interactive exhibits around the room.
Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Milton

Senator Timilty secures $1 million in State Senate budget to support Blue Hills Trailside Museum

Press Release
June 13, 2023

MILTON, MAState Senator Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton) has secured $1 million for the much-loved Blue Hills Trailside Museum in the Fiscal Year 2024 Senate Budget. This funding will both enhance the visitor experience and benefit the animals in residence at the Mass Audubon nature center, located in the state-owned Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.

Timilty has advocated for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum for years, securing much-needed funding for this popular destination, which features a natural history museum, outdoor wildlife exhibits, school programs, summer camps, and more.

“The Blue Hills Trailside Museum is truly a gem in the Commonwealth and serves as the public’s window into the Blue Hills Reservation. The reservation is one of the Commonwealth’s most important ecological and environmental locations due to its wildlife, vegetation, and habitat. This funding will allow inclusive upgrades to be made to the grounds and exhibits of the museum, augmenting the educational quality of the visitor’s experience,” said Timilty.

Students experience Trailside through field trips to the museum. Moreover, Mass Audubon staff at the museum bring an array of educational experiences to school districts, as well.

“Funding that I have secured through an amendment to the FY24 State Senate Budget that I have filed and successfully adjudicated for its adoption will support the Trailside as a beacon for nature and science education, throughout the Commonwealth,” Timilty stated.

Mass Audubon Regional Director for Metro South Lauren Gordon thanked Senator Timilty for his support and echoed his comments about the museum’s value as a community and environmental resource.

This year alone, 6,000 school students participated in Trailside education programs;10,000 community members participated in a Trailside education program; and 850 campers are registered for summer camp this year, starting in June. 

Additionally, the museum has worked with 60 different schools this year; 24 schools participate in a “deep engagement” programing, meaning that Mass Audubon naturalists are in those schools multiple times throughout the academic year to teach programs.  Furthermore, Trailside staff have helped provide overnight experiences in the Blue Hills for 300 Boston Public School seventh-grade students this year, with 500 students registered for the next school year.

“These visits truly bring science textbooks to life,” Timilty noted.

 A version of the state budget having previously been passed in the House of Representatives, a conference committee will now seek to reconcile any differences within the budget.

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at massaudubon.org.

Media Contact:

Michael P. O'Connor

Blue Hills Trailside Museum
Policy & Advocacy