Author Archives: Kelly R.

About Kelly R.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln & Metro West Sanctuaries Who: Farm-fanatic, house plant caretaker, and hiking aficionado living in Salem, bringing sustainable practices and outdoor adventures into everyday life. Favorite part of the job: lunch break walks around Drumlin Farm

Take the City Nature Challenge!

Ready for a competitive weekend of exploration in nature? You’re invited to compete worldwide for the Boston area team in the upcoming City Nature Challenge! The City Nature Challenge (CNC) encourages everyone within the I-495 corridor to get outside and record as many nature observations as possible. Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries across the eastern side of the state are gearing up and excited to support the annual bio-blitz with our visitors.

This international citizen science project takes place Friday April 27 to Monday April 30, where cities worldwide compete to explore and record all kinds of plants, animals, fungi, and even microorganisms in their area using the free iNaturalist app. All you need to do is take pictures of your observations and post them to the app!

Photo Credit: Amy Letourneau

The City Nature Challenge is a great opportunity to collaborate with your community, Mass Audubon, and scientists to properly map and analyze biodiversity data in the Boston area. Several Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries will be actively exploring and recording with visitors.

Participating Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries include:

  1. Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Milton
  2. Boston Nature Center, Mattapan
  3. Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, Belmont
  4. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln
  5. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick
  6. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield
  7. Joppa Flats Education Center, Newburyport
  8. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon
  9. Museum of American Bird Art, Canton
  10. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Norfolk
  11. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield
  12. Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield

More Ways to Get Involved

You don’t have to observe on your own. Join the BNC BioBlitz program at the Boston Nature Center on Saturday, April 28, to participate in the CNC and learn how scientists sample and use field guides.

Drumlin Farm in Lincoln will have various visitor education opportunities as well, connecting visitors to the app and working together to log observations on guided walks.

And, if you’ll be taking part in Mass Audubon’s Statewide Volunteer Day on Saturday, April 28, you’ll have even more opportunities to improve the environment by adding plant, animal, fungi, and insect sightings.

Participating is easy! Just upload photos of your observations to the iNaturalist App.



What To Do This Weekend: Oct 28-29

Celebrate Halloween, learn how to be a beekeeper, volunteer at a sanctuary, look up at the stars, and more this weekend.

North Shore

Learn how to paint birds during Birds in Watercolor in Topsfield. Take a short walk to observe the resident birds of Ipswich River, and then return to the barn to paint images of birds in their natural habitats. (adults, registration required)

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, at Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

More in the North Shore

Greater Boston

Celebrate the fall harvest with all things pumpkin. Boston Nature Center’s Pumpkinfest is filled with pumpkin games, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin history. You’ll also get to enjoy yummy fall food. (all ages, registration required)

Moose Hill’s 35th Annual Halloween Prowl is happening this weekend in Sharon! Visit their barn filled with Jack-o-lanterns, discover the history of Halloween, meet costumed characters, and more. (all ages, registration required)

Get squirrel-y this weekend and learn about these cute creatures that seem to be all around us. Saturday Family Science will focus on squirrels, covering their adaptations, nests, and food activities. (families, registration required)

If you’re contemplating beekeeping or want to know more about the fascinating and vital insects, attend Drumlin Farm’s Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping in Lincoln. You’ll learn a ton, as well as get a chance to visit the hives and sample various honey. (adults, registration required)

Broadmoor’s Creepy Crawlies program in Natick features some of the strange and creepy critters from our wild and wacky world of animals. Get up close and personal with tarantulas, amphibians, snakes and even some cool cockroaches! (families with children ages 4+, registration required)

Birders and non-birders of all ages and skill level are welcome at Habitat Education Center’s Morning Bird Walks in Belmont. Come and enjoy gentle strolls through the sanctuary and look for signs of winter approaching. (all ages)

More in Greater Boston

South of Boston

Look up this weekend and learn about supermoons and other lunar phenomena. Supermoon with the South Shore Astronomical Society in Marshfield will be a fun way to learn about and watch the new moon and other objects in the sky. (all ages, registration required)

Teen Conservation Club is a new monthly program at Oak Knoll in Attleboro that explores environmental science with activities like monitoring local amphibian populations, exploring the health of local wetlands, creating enrichment for our nature center’s animal collection, and investigating local conservation topics. (teens ages 13-16, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod and the Islands

Felix Neck invites you to celebrate Halloween with them at Creatures of the Night on Martha’s Vineyard. There’ll be hayrides, self-guided night walks, animal masks, marshmallow roasting, and more. (all ages)

See live birds up-close and observe the bird banding process at Bird Research in Action! Wellfleet Bay’s bird banding station is a unique opportunity to see how scientists conduct bird research up close. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

More in Cape Cod and the Islands

Central Massachusetts

Wachusett Meadow’s Halloween Night Hike & Hayride in Princeton is not to be missed. Listen to the enchanting sounds of the night with family and friends while learning about nocturnal wildlife, making crafts, and enjoying the warmth of the bonfire. (all ages)

More in Central Massachusetts

Connecticut River Valley

Celebrate Halloween by learning about nocturnal animals and enjoying a night hike at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. During their Halloween Night Hike for Families, you’ll call for owls, see what colors we can see at night, and enjoy a “sparkle party”. (adults and children ages 5+, registration required)

More in the Connecticut River Valley


Help care for beautiful community gardens and the rest of the sanctuary at Canoe Meadows Volunteer Day. Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of projects including meadow restoration and fall garden clean up. (all ages, registration required)

More in the Berkshires