Giving Thanks in 2018

Many Americans gathered with family and friends to give thanks last week.  Earlier this month, many of those who play a role in Mass Audubon’s land conservation efforts gathered to give thanks for the land.  Almost 100 people attended our eleventh Giving Thanks for the Land event, and nature smiled on us with a rare (this year) sunny fall day.  After chatting and enjoying some refreshments outside, we gathered inside the Great Room at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.

Judy Williams shows the barn where she and her husband "camped out" the first few years after they bought their property.

Judy Williams shows the barn where she and her husband periodically “camped out” the first few years after they bought their property. The porcupine living there at the time was a somewhat reluctant but gracious host.

What does “Giving Thanks for the Land” mean?

At Mass Audubon, it means an annual event where we gather and celebrate the conservation of key pieces of land by those who help make these projects happen—financial supporters, partner organizations, conservation-minded landowners and the Mass Audubon Board, staff and members.

Sharing personal stories is at the heart of the day.

Among those that spoke to the crowd was a retired school teacher named Judy Willliams.  Thirty years ago, Judy saw a small notice in Mass Audubon’s Sanctuary magazine looking for conservation-minded buyers for a property in western Massachusetts. She spoke of jumping in the car with her husband Dudley, driving out to Plainfield, and immediately falling in love with the property and the area.  Turn the clock ahead to the present day and find the Williamses have been responsible for the protection of almost 350 acres of land linking West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and Hawley State Forest.

David Gould, a self-proclaimed “Fish Nerd”, told of a career dedicated to protecting our natural resources.  The Director of Marine and Environmental Affairs for the Town of Plymouth, fishing with his grandfather hooked David on the outdoors at an early age.  Without someone to guide him and easy access to a river, David may have chosen a different career and never gotten the opportunity to protect that special fishing spot he shared with his grandfather.

Do you feel a strong connection and love for the land in Massachusetts?  Then we hope you will join us at next year’s Giving Thanks for the Land celebration and swap stories with others who share that passion.

 

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About Nancy C.

Nancy Cowan is the Land Conservation Program Administrator at Mass Audubon. She enjoys working on projects behind the scenes as well as being outside on a trail. Nancy is not a naturalist, however, and is more likely to ask you to identify a plant than be able to identify it herself. She is working on those skills, though, and remains optimistic about her learning potential!