Author Archives: Hillary T.

About Hillary T.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln Who: Massachusetts transplant by way of Florida and New York. Raising two young girls, who she hopes will be budding naturalists Favorite part of the job: Learning something new every day from some of the smartest and most enthusiastic groups of people

loving our local outdoors in partnership with REI

UPDATE: REI Member Vote Grant

Great news! Mass Audubon received 34% of all votes in REI’s first-ever “Loving Our Local Outdoors” member vote grant in New England.

The Award

As a result, we will receive $15,500 to split between two projects.

  • On the South Coast of Massachusetts, we will build new trails at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary to create an amazing eight-mile circuit trail that allows hikers to experience beautiful beach, grassland, and salt marsh habitat.
  • Just west of Boston, at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, we will repair and reroute nine miles of hiking trails that have eroded due to heavy use and flooding over the years, creating an improved visitor experience.

Both projects will include ADA-accessible trail additions and enhancements, such as observation platforms and a boardwalk, so that people of all abilities can get out and enjoy nature.

Here’s How it Worked

Between March 7 and April 9, 2019, REI members who made an in-store purchase were encouraged to vote for one of three local stewardship projects—Mass Audubon, Appalachian Mountain Club, or Save the Bay—via an in-store display. Participating stores included Boston, Cranston (RI), Framingham, Hingham, and Reading.

Our sincerest thanks to our supporters and to REI members for making this happen! And to REI for supporting our mission to connect even more people with nature.  

Make the World a Greener Place

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million Americans demanded clean air and water. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, the Clean Air & Water Act passed, and the Endangered Species Act was implemented to protect our most vulnerable wildlife.

While much has improved over the last 49 years, we are still fighting for our planet. And Mass Audubon continues to be at the forefront by:

  • Protecting 38,000 acres of land across Massachusetts
  • Fighting for strong environmental policies on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill
  • Teaching kids and adults about the importance of protecting nature for people and wildlife
  • Providing places for everyone to get out and enjoy nature

You can help us do so much more. In honor of Earth Day, make the world a greener place with a gift to Mass Audubon.

Osprey © David Ennis

What To Do This Weekend: April 20-21

Take part in an egg hunt, check for osprey, clean up a beach, go birding, search for salamanders, look for wildflowers, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Osprey © David Ennis
Osprey © David Ennis

South of Boston

Go on an Egg Hunt at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Dye eggs with natural dyes, create a bird nest, match different eggs to the animals that laid them, meet live rabbits, and search the sanctuary for hidden eggs! (families, registration required)

Help Allens Pond in South Dartmouth conduct Osprey Nest Checks along the Westport River. Along the way, learn valuable insight into the lives of osprey. (all ages, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

During Bird Research in Action! at Wellfleet Bay, meet James and the rest of the bird banding team to learn about banding methods and the information gathered from this research. You will likely get to see live birds up-close and observe the banding process. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Take part in an Earth Day Beach Clean Up at Felix Neck in Edgartown. Walk along our shoreline collecting trash along the way. Afterwards head on over to the after-party at Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs.

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Central Massachusetts

Get to know Spring Wildflowers during one of Broad Meadow Brook’s Essential Nature classes in Worcester. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

North Shore

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

Make a Cedar Bark Basket at Ipswich River in Topsfield. While working, discuss the harvest and preparation of materials, as well as the history behind the discovery and replication of these very old baskets. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Birders and non-birders of all ages and skill levels are invited for a Morning Bird Walk at Habitat in Belmont. Look for signs of migrating species, mating behaviors, and nest building.

During Salamanders and Citizen Science at Moose Hill in Sharon, hike to a vernal pool, look for egg masses, determine if they are yellow spotted salamander or wood frog, and count how many egg masses of each type we find. (families, registration required)

Become a Neighborhood Naturalist at Boston Nature Center. Using the iNaturalist app, identify the wildlife we find and help scientists collect valuable information on species populations and distributions. (families, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

Tree Swallow

What To Do This Weekend: Apr 13-14

Practice yoga, go on a nature walk, search for hawks, learn how to garden for butterflies, attend a sheep festival, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Tree Swallow

Greater Boston

Experience Yoga and Mindfulness at Habitat in Belmont. After a 45-minute slow and gentle yoga class indoors, head outside to explore the trails. (adults, registration required)

Go on a Naturalist Walk at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, exploring the sanctuary’s different habitats looking for signs of spring. (adults and children ages 12+)

Meet at Blue Hills Trailside Museum for a Woodcock Walk. Learn a little about these strange birds before venturing out in search of a male bird displaying. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Enjoy a Spring Nature Walk at Boston Nature Center. Observe the beauty of spring flowers in bloom, listen to the birds as they start returning from their winter grounds, and watch for animals tracks in the fresh mud. (families, registration required)

Are you Wild about Reptiles? If so head to Broadmoor in Natick to meet some of the species of reptiles up close and take a short walk to see more reptiles in the wild.

Take a Sunday Saunter at Moose Hill in Sharon to experience nature through the seasons. This walk will focus on vernal pool ecology. (adults)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Head over to Ipswich River in Topsfield to learn how to Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Landscape. Get info on landscaping with native plants and learn why they are necessary to sustain native insect, bird, and animal species. (adults, registration required)

Experience Spring Hawkwatching with Joppa Flats in Newburyport. Start with an indoor presentation to find out everything you need to know before heading out on a field trip to Plum Island to practice your hawk ID skills. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Meet Finch, Monarch, Willow, and the rest of Wachusett Meadow’s flock during the Sheep and Wool Festival in Princeton. Enjoy sheep shearing demonstrations, local vendors, crafters, kid’s activities, and more.

Bring your preschooler to Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester for Story Hour. Listen to a story, go for a walk, and make a craft. (families, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Explore Arcadia’s unique floodplain forest during Canoeing Mill River in Easthampton and Northampton. Identify spring plants on the shore, as well as aquatic plants, look for returning songbirds, and watch for Great Blue Herons. (adults registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Cape Cod and Islands

Celebrate Spring at Wellfleet Bay during a leisurely hike to discover flowers blooming, birds returning and more as the sanctuary springs back to life. (adults registration required)

Spend the afternoon in the Chillmark Library for Chowder and Chat. Learn about Felix Neck’s citizen science programs and enjoy some chowder.

More on Cape Cod and Islands

blue spotted salamander

What To Do This Weekend: April 6-7

Watch for woodcocks, explore vernal pools, learn how to bird by ear, get tips on how to garden for pollinators, go on nature hikes, attend a climate cafe, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

 Blue-spotted Salamander
 Blue-spotted Salamander

North Shore

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

During a Vernal Pool Exploration at Ipswich River in Topsfield, walk to these special wetlands and look for wood frogs and salamanders that use these pools to reproduce. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Take part in a Fiber Arts Exploration at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Spend the afternoon spinning, needle felting, and natural dyeing, then visit the ewes and new lambs. (adults, registration required)

Go on a Saturday Morning Hike at Moose Hill in Sharon to learn about the changing seasons, local geology, and conservation. (adults and children, registration required)

Head to Boston Nature Center for Marvelous Mud. Learn who lives in mud, how it helps the forest grow, and try your hand at some nature and art. (families)

Celebrate Big Night at Stony Brook in Norfolk by walking the lantern-lit trails to encounter costumed characters waiting to teach you about amphibians. Inside check out live specimens from vernal pools and make crafts. (adults and children, registration required)

Experience Wacky Woodcocks at Broadmoor in Natick. Watch and listen as they rocket up 300 feet, then call loudly as they zigzag during their dive back towards earth. (adults, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

South of Boston

On a Welcome Spring Nature Hike at Tidmarsh in Plymouth, observe all the sights and sounds — peepers chorusing, basking turtles, buds bursting — that come back to life with longer and warmer days after a long winter. (adults and children ages 10+, registration required)

During Timberdoodles and Tapas at North River in Marshfield taste a variety of delicacies and then witness the amazing courtship display of the male American Woodcock. (adults, registration required)

Attend a free Family Habitat Day at Oak Knoll in Attleboro to look for interesting animals, plants, and see what has visited the sanctuary. (families, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Berkshires

Learn how to Bird by Ear at Pleasant Valley in Lenox. Get tricks to sound identification while hearing how bird sounds go hand in hand with habitat, behavior, and other clues. (adults, registration required)

More in the Berkshires

Connecticut River Valley

Find out how to Garden for Pollinators at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. Get ideas and tools for creating or transforming your garden into a pollinator haven. (adultes, registration required)

During Vernal Pools at Night, take a short evening walk to listen for these awesome amphibians at Arcadia’s vernal pool. (families, registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Martha’s Vineyard

Attend a Climate Cafe at the Chillmark Tavern to have a conversation about oceans. Don’t forget to bring your mug! (adults and children ages 10+)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Central Massachusetts

Get to know Spring Tree Flowers during one of Broad Meadow Brook’s Essential Nature classes in Worcester. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

What To Do This Weekend: March 30-31

Celebrate all things sheep, experience Big Night, go on a bird walk, look at the stars, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Sheep and lambs

Greater Boston

Head to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln for Woolapalooza, the annual festival about all things sheep! Meet our new lambs, watch sheep shearing demos, shop items created by local fiber artisans, and much more.

Discover the connections between Henry David Thoreau, climate change science, and Concord while attending the Stone Memorial Lecture at The Center for the Arts in Natick. (registration required)

Go on a Woodcock Walk with Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. Learn about these strange birds before venturing out in search of a male bird displaying. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

Enjoy a Spring Bird Walk at Boston Nature Center to observe resident birds and spring migrants. Local bird enthusiasts will help find and identify birds through field marks, sounds, and behaviors. (adults, registration required)

People of all ages and skill levels can meet up at Habitat in Belmont for a Morning Bird Walk. Look for signs of migrating species, mating behaviors, and nest building.

Take part in an Evening Wildlife Prowl at Stony Brook in Norfolk. The pace will be relaxed and senses heightened as you look for creatures that come out just as the sun is setting. (families, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Head to Ipswich River in Topsfield for Deep Sky Astronomy to look for variable stars, binary stars, star clusters, gaseous nebulae, galaxies, and more using a large reflector telescope. (adults and children ages 10+, registration required)

Go Saturday Morning Birding in the Newburyport/Plum Island are — one of the best year-round birding locations in the country. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Connect with the natural world in a healing, calming, grounding, and replenishing way through a guided Forest Breathing Walk at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. (adults, registration required)

Go on a Broad Meadow Brook field trip to Bird Sachuset Point in Rhode Island. Scan the rocky coast for Horned Larks, Buffleheads, Harlequin Ducks, and more. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

It’s Big Night at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. Spend an enchanted family evening celebrating the annual migration of thousands of amphibians. (registration required)

Cape Cod

Celebrate Spring at Wellfleet Bay with a leisurely, naturalist-guided hike to discover flowers blooming, birds returning and more as the sanctuary springs back to life. (adults, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

South of Boston

Help Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Team for a Coastal Waterbird Work Day in Westport by erecting fencing that is used to symbolically fence off areas where Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers nest. (adults and children ages 12+, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Woodcock © William Freedberg

What To Do This Weekend: March 23-24

Attend a maple sugaring festival, learn how to make cheese, watch for woodcocks, enjoy a pancake breakfast, celebrate seals, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Woodcock © William Freedberg
Woodcock © William Freedberg

Greater Boston

Head to the Blue Hill’s for Maple Sugar Days at Brookwood Farm. Taste maple syrup, warm up by a bonfire, watch skilled artisans will demonstrate traditional, hand-powered crafts, and grab a bite to eat from a food truck. (all ages)

Try your hand at Simple Cheesemaking at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Sample homemade cheeses while learning the skills you need to make your own cheese at home! (adults and children ages 12+, registration required)

Journey back in time to enjoy the time honored tradition of turning sap to syrup at Moose Hill in Sharon during a Sugaring Weekend. Savor maple delicacies such as hot pancakes with maple syrup, “sap” dogs on buns, and maple sugar popcorn.

During Wacky Woodcocks at Broadmoor in Natick, watch and listen as these birds rocket up 300 feet, then call loudly as they zigzag during their dive back towards earth. (adults, registration required)

Go on a morning Spring Tree Identification Walk at Boston Nature Center to take a closer look at the forest around us. Along the way, find out how climate change is impacting and changing the forest compositions in Massachusetts. (adults, registration required)

Scan the marshes and ponds at Stony Brook in Norfolk for Wood Ducks, Buffleheads, Mallards, and more on a Waterfowl Walk. (adults, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Wrap up the maple sugaring season with our Spring Flapjack Fling at Ipswich River in Topsfield. Enjoy a hearty breakfast followed by an hour-long sugaring tour to see how to transform sap to syrup.  (all ages, registration required)

Celebrate the Seal at a Joppa Flats Family Open House in Newburyport. Play ocean-themed games, create seaworthy art, and find out how to protect our oceans and coastline as they show signs of climate change. (all ages)

More on the North Shore

South of Boston

Enjoy a Welcome Spring Walk at Tidmarsh in Plymouth. The peepers are chorusing, basking turtles emerging, and buds bursting. (all ages, registration required)

Go on a Wild, Wild Woodcock Walk at Allens Pond in South Dartmouth to witness their courtship ritual at dusk. (adults, registration required)

Find out Who’s Who in the World of Hoots at North River in Marshfield. Hone your observation and listening skills on a night walk and take part in activities like dissecting pellets. (adults and children ages 6+, registration required)

Explore Awesome Amphibians and their wetland homes at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. After a short talk, we’ll go for a hike to see where we might find some! (all ages, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and Islands

Meet up at the Chillmark Community Center on Martha’s Vineyard for a Climate Cafe on Extreme Weather. Enjoy coffee and community conversations; don’t forget to bring your mug! (adults and children ages 10+)

Go on a Wellfleet Bay field trip to Bird Sachuset Point in Rhode Island. Scan the rocky coast for Purple Sandpipers, Harlequin Ducks, loons, and grebes; then seek out sparrows, Horned Larks, and Eastern Meadowlarks in the grasslands. (adults, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Central Massachusetts

Learn all about Spring Tree Flowers at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester, part of their Essential Nature Series. (adults, registration required)

More in Central Massachusetts

A Greener Way to Fly

Reducing or avoiding air travel is one of the most effective steps we can take as individuals to combat climate change. But, it’s not the most realistic proposition for many of us.

Through a new initiative called Jet-Set Offset, when you can’t reduce air travel, you can mitigate the impact of carbon emissions from flying by contributing to organizations like Mass Audubon working to reduce carbon emissions in other ways.

Here’s How it Works

You sign up at Jet-set Offset via email and select Mass Audubon as your favorite environmental cause.

Then, every time you fly, you will automatically donate one cent per mile to Mass Audubon. Why one cent per mile? It’s an average estimate of the cost to offset carbon emissions from individual air travel based on multiple carbon calculators.

Why Choose Mass Audubon

By partnering with us, Jet Set Off-Set participants will respond to a changing climate through our work:

Advocacy – Mass Audubon fights for legislation and funding that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps communities adapt to the inevitable challenges of a changing climate.

Education – By teaching people of all ages about climate change, we inspire them to take direct action and combat climate change in their homes, schools, and communities. We also host Climate Cafes and Youth Climate Summits to convene people around this urgent issue.

Conservation – Scientific research helps determine how climate change affects the most vulnerable and endangered birds, amphibians, and mammals. With this research, we protect the land and habitats – and wildlife corridors – those animals need to thrive.

Learn more and read the FAQs >

loving our local outdoors in partnership with REI

Shop at REI and Support Mass Audubon

REI is awarding grant money to three local nonprofits, including Mass Audubon! But how much we get depends on you.

If you’re an REI member, shop at one of their stores in Massachusetts or Cranston, RI, now through April 8 to cast your vote for us!

The money we receive will go toward building universally accessible trails at our Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in South Dartmouth and Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick so everyone can get out and enjoy nature.

© Sarah O'Connor

An Alternative Spring Break

While some college kids will be heading to the beach during Spring Break, Mass Audubon has teamed up with UMass Boston to offer its conservation-minded students another option.

During the first-ever Alternative Spring Break for Aspiring Environmental Leaders, an idea hatched by TerraCorps member Sam Kefferstan, six students will spend six days getting a “crash course” in Mass Audubon, including our work in conservation science and research, advocacy and community engagement, and education.

© Sarah O’Connor

UMass Boston Connection

UMass Boston’s student population reflects the remarkable diversity of its Boston surrounds, with 57% of the student body being students of color and 56% first generation college students. As part of our commitment to becoming more inclusive and equitable, Mass Audubon partnered with UMass Boston to develop the Environmental Career Pathways Program. As part of this program, Mass Audubon will recruit students to employ in a variety of internships, work-study placements, and summer jobs.

The Alternative Spring Break is just another option to give students exposure to the environmental field through hands-on programming where they will actively participate in on-going conservation projects. This program will also provide professional development and networking to students who may not be able to take summer conservation internships due to financial barriers.

The Itinerary

First up is Nantucket where students will conduct deer density monitoring research at Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary and water quality monitoring at UMass Boston’s field station.

Following the time on Nantucket the group will head to Drumlin Farm and Mass Audubon’s Headquarters in Lincoln, where students will meet with Mass Audubon’s leadership to determine where their skillset and passions could best be utilized.

Last stop is Wildwood, Mass Audubon’s overnight camp in Rindge, New Hampshire. Here, the students will participate in a Leave No Trace trainer course, in which they’ll learn how to enjoy shared natural spaces while preserving their integrity for future generations as well. The course will conclude with a winter hike up nearby Mount Monadnock where students can put their new skills into action.

The Payoff

Sam’s hope (as well as Mass Audubon’s) is that the students who participate in the Alternative Spring Break will come out of this program as more confident, experienced, and qualified job candidates, leaving them better prepared for future careers in conservation.