Massachusetts Audubon Society
The Massachusetts Audubon Society, founded in 1896 by Harriet Hemenway and headquartered in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "protecting the nature of Massachusetts." Mass Audubon is independent of the National Audubon Society, and in fact was founded earlier. Mass Audubon protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all with its wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers.
Environmental Education and Wildlife Sanctuary Stewardship$21m
Mass audubon maintains 25 field offices and staffed wildlife sanctuaries (including 19 sanctuaries with nature centers) and an additional 33 unstaffed wildlife sanctuaries which are prepared for public visitation. Mass audubon sanctuaries serve as the base for nature and environmental education courses and programs, scientific research, ecological management and other conservation-related activities. As of June 30, 2018, mass audubon protects 38,003 acres of open space in massachusetts, owning 31,948 acres in fee and protecting the remainder with conservation easements. These diverse protected habitats range from the berkshires to cape cod and the islands and help preserve the biodiversity of massachusetts. Mass audubon actively pursues donations and purchases of additional conservation land and is one of the largest conservation landowners in the commonwealth. An estimated 493,000 visitors came to enjoy mass audubon properties in fy 2018.mass audubon is the largest non-governmental provider of nature education in the state. Mass audubon develops educational materials and environmental policy materials for students, teachers, legislators, and the general public. In fy 2018, mass audubon taught nature programs to more than 163,000 children and adults, enrolled more than 11,000 children in its summer day and residential nature camps, and conducted science/nature training for more than 950 teachers. Special events attracted another 45,000 participants. In addition, mass audubon was fortunate to have more than 14,800 volunteers contribute more than 155,000 hours of service across the state in fy 2018.
In addition to the member services provided by the network of sanctuaries and education programming referenced in 4a above, mass audubon produces a newsletter four times per year for members (explore), a comprehensive annual report, and publications to increase public awareness of wildlife, nature, and environmental issues. For example, in fy 2018 mass audubon started work on the sixth edition of its definitive report entitled losing ground which calculates and analyzes the causes associated with the loss of open space in massachusetts. This report is scheduled for release in the spring of 2019 and will focus on the impact of climate change on water resource lands. Also in fy 2018, mass audubon completed a report entitled the state of the birds: massachusetts birds and our changing climate, a first-ever, comprehensive overview of the challenges facing bird species in massachusetts as the climate changes. This report was published in September 2017 and received coverage on the front page of the boston globe. In addition, the mass audubon website (www.massaudubon.org) offers a wide variety of information on mass audubon's sanctuaries, conservation efforts, land protection projects, advocacy issues, climate change/energy conservation work and the natural world. Currently, mass audubon has 22 sanctuary e-newsletters and nine other e-newsletters on specific topics, as well as a number of blogs. Mass audubon also operates a gift shop in lincoln which sells merchandise related to nature, wildlife observation and environmental education to both members and non-members.
Mass audubon utilizes and develops scientific knowledge to support a longstanding tradition as a science-based organization for its education, land protection, advocacy and stewardship activities. Current research and/or ecological management work focuses on the protection and stewardship of selected massachusetts habitats such as grasslands, coastal heathlands and salt marshes. In addition, statewide monitoring of key groups of organisms like birds, amphibians, invertebrates and plants continues across the state in order to provide an important baseline to evaluate changing environmental conditions associated with climate change and land development. Mass audubon has also developed and implemented an invasive species management strategy to protect the integrity of its lands as well as to provide guidance for other landowners throughout the state.mass audubon lands play a critical role in the delivery of its mission and its land protection efforts focus on conserving ecologically significant tracts of land adjacent to existing wildlife sanctuaries, thereby protecting and enhancing their biological integrity and viability as program sites. Mass audubon also advances the protection of selected high priority focus areas beyond its existing wildlife sanctuaries through collaboration with state and local agencies and local and regional land trusts. Collectively, these protection priorities include a wide range of massachusetts habitats.