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.
Green trees with Boston Skyline

Equitable Access to Nature

Mass Audubon is committed to increasing equitable access to nature for everyone, regardless of income, physical ability, or location. This includes access to greenspaces, environmental education, career opportunities, and more.

Why Equitable Access to Nature Matters

Everyone has a right to enjoy nature’s benefits—from clean air and water to shade and recreation. Unfortunately, many people face barriers that make it difficult for them to enjoy greenspaces. This could include too few community parks, limited transportation options, inaccessible design, or a lack of environmental education programs.

We must invite everyone to the conservation conversation to make effective, lasting change and can only achieve our goals collaboratively. That's why Mass Audubon is working to expand equitable access to nature for all.

What We're Doing to Increase Equitable Access to Nature

Our multi-faceted approach includes lifting the barriers to Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries while working with local communities and partner organizations to create more strategically located greenspaces. 

In addition, we're making summer camps more affordable and bringing environmental education to school systems in disinvested communities throughout the state. And by expanding early career options, we can kickstart a growing workforce of young professionals with historically underrepresented identities in the conservation field.

What We're Doing

Two Mass Audubon staff members standing in front of "Nature in the City" banner

Nature in the City

Mass Audubon is working to increase and restore urban greenspaces in communities that have historically lacked access to nature.

A group photo of the 2022-2023 Environmental Fellows. From Left to Right: Anna Cass, Jovan Bryan, Amara Chittenden, Isabela Chachapoyas, Isabella Guerero
The 2022-2023 Environmental Fellows, from left to right: Anna Cass, Jovan Bryan, Amara Chittenden, Isabela Chachapoyas,and Isabella Guerero

Early Career Programs

Young professionals with underrepresented identities in the conservation field are encouraged to apply to our growing early career programs.

A Sensory Trail sign about butterfly life cycles
Sensory Trail sign about butterfly life cycles

Making Nature Accessible

Our accessible wildlife sanctuaries, sensory friendly nature programs, and more invite everyone to join us in the great outdoors.

Campers playing on hill behind BNC

Camp for All Pricing

Sliding-scale tuition eases financial barriers so that every child can experience the wonders of nature camp.

Educator leading program in classroom

Broadening Nature Lessons

Mass Audubon is committed to providing high-quality environmental education to students in disinvested communities, in and out of the classroom.

Family hiking up rocky forest trail
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

Expanding Access to Wildlife Sanctuaries

Free admission for select groups and accessibility features enables more people to get outdoors.

Our Goals

As we strive to protect the nature of Massachusetts, we will do so with an eye toward greater equity.

  • 20

    New urban greenspaces including 3 new wildlife sanctuaries

  • $2 million

    Scholarships awarded to low-income families for nature education and camps.

  • 300,000

    Children who will benefit from our education, preschool, and camp programs.

Featured Stories

  • Trees in a field at Pawtucket Farm

    Protecting Pawtucket Farm in Lowell

    When Rollie Perron and his family decided it was time to sell their 20-acre Christmas tree farm—the last one in Lowell—they hoped it might be possible to benefit the community.

  • Group of young men planting trees
    Boston Nature Center, Mattapan

    Nature in the City: Boston Tree Alliance

    Created by the City of Boston’s Cabinet of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, the Boston Tree Alliance aims to equitably grow the urban tree canopy in Boston through tree planting and care on privately-owned land in environmental justice communities in Boston.  

  • Magazine beach building with people out front and a bicycle next to a bench
    Magazine Beach Nature Center, Cambridge

    Old Building Becomes New Nature Center

    Thanks to a partnership between Mass Audubon and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, we will bring nature education programming to Magazine Beach.

  • A wooden bridge crosses over a small pond, surrounded by lush, green shrubs and trees.
    Canoe Meadows, Pittsfield © Jan Werner

    Doctor-Prescribed Nature Through the Culture Rx Program

    The benefits of nature offered at Mass Audubon's wildlife sanctuaries will now be directly available to patients of three Berkshire health care providers.

  • Spotted Salamander resting on a fallen leaf on the trail
    Spotted Salamander

    Creating Greater Access to Nature

    I've been seeing firsthand how Mass Audubon is creating opportunities for people like you and me to get out and experience all that nature has to offer.

  • Green trees with Boston Skyline

    City Living for Trees

    Urban trees are a bit different from the ones populating more rural forests and face unique challenges. Mass Audubon’s first urban ecologist, Erica Holm, shares some of the thoughts and considerations that play into urban forestry.

  • Sensory display on the All Persons Trail

    Pleasant Valley All Persons Trail Expansion

    Access to nature is one of the top three organizational priorities in Mass Audubon’s five-year Action Agenda: we’re strengthening our capacity to welcome individuals of all abilities into our programming, nature centers, and onto our trail systems.

  • Small group of students observing a hawk shown to them by an educator

    Rites of Passage Program Connects Boston Students with Nature

    The “Rites of Passage” program to connects Boston middle school students with the wonders of nature.

  • All Persons Trail at Tidmarsh

    Accessibility in Nature

    For decades, Mass Audubon has made nature experiences universally accessible by providing supported opportunities for people of all abilities. Recently, we expanded offerings to include career training, volunteer programs, sensory days, and more. 

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