Category Archives: Wildlife Sanctuaries

A Trip Down the Conn River

Becky Cushing-Gop, Director of Mass Audubon West, recently joined legislators, state officials, and environmental, cultural, and Indigenous leaders for a paddle down the Connecticut River on a gorgeous fall morning.  

The goal of the event, organized by State Senator Jo Comerford and nonprofit All Out Adventures, was public awareness about the Connecticut River’s importance to the environment, farms, economy, culture, as well as its significance to Indigenous communities.  

It was an opportunity to gather a broad range of stakeholders dedicated to the river’s well-being and a celebration of the partnerships that protect it. Becky highlighted two current projects Mass Audubon is working on with local and state partners to protect the nature of the Connecticut River Valley:

  • In West Springfield, just two miles from the Connecticut River, we’re in the process of permanently protecting the 1,500-acre Bear Hole Reservoir in partnership with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the City of West Springfield.  

After the trip Sen. Comerford, whose district includes communities located along the river and within its watershed, gave a shout-out on social media to Mass Audubon for its steadfast role in protecting and promoting the natural and environmental values of the Connecticut River Valley.

Manchaug Pond, Sutton, MA © Marty Jo Henry

Fall Fest Fun for All

Manchaug Pond, Sutton, MA © Marty Jo Henry
Manchaug Pond, Sutton, MA © Marty Jo Henry

From October 24–31, Mass Audubon’s Fall Fest offers in-person and virtual programs, free activities, and unique fall experiences for all ages throughout Massachusetts. Here are all the ways you can get in on the fun!

Family Fun Days at Wildwood

Kick off Fall Fest a little early at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp in Rindge, NH this weekend (October 17–18) where you can enjoy canoeing and kayaking, guided nature walks, archery, tie-dying, campfires, and more fall fun!

Fall Fest Programs

Howl at the full Halloween moon, prowl for owls, travel by hayride, and more with fall fest programs across the state, both in-person and online.

Nature Play Days

Create your own Fall Fest wherever you are with downloadable bingo cards, scavenger hunts, activity sheets, crafts, and more for Young Explorers during Nature Play Days.

Follow Along on Facebook

Make fall crafts, explore the outdoors, and meet spooky animals with us all week long through fun and interactive videos on our Facebook page.

Pumpkin Carving & Painting Contest

Enter our contest by sharing your artistic creations to our Facebook page from October 24–31. Try one of our pumpkin carving stencils or design your own masterpiece!

Fall-unteer at a Sanctuary

There are lots of great ways to give back to your community this fall by volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary near you. Volunteer projects take place outdoors, so you can spend some time working in nature and be socially distanced, too.

Exclusive Mass Audubon Experiences

During our “Fall Fun-raiser” silent auction, you can bid on exclusive Mass Audubon experiences like private strawberry-picking at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, unique animal encounters at Habitat in Belmont, Cape Cod adventures, and more.

Lauren Kras looking through binoculars

The Latest from Tidmarsh

Last spring, we asked for your help to raise the $3.6 million needed to turn a 481-acre former cranberry farm in Plymouth into a wildlife sanctuary for all to enjoy. And so many of you responded with enthusiasm and generosity.

Sanctuary Director Lauren Kras

Sanctuary Director Lauren Kras

Since that time, we officially purchased the property, welcomed the sanctuary’s inaugural director, created trails, installed signs, and added a parking lot. In January, the ribbon was figuratively cut on Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary. And that is just the beginning, thanks to the leadership of Lauren Kras, Sanctuary Director.

Lauren comes to Mass Audubon from New Hampshire where she served as the President of the Seacoast Chapter of NH Audubon and Conservation Easement Steward at the New Hampshire Forest Society. An avid birdwatcher, conservationist, photographer, and hiker, Lauren holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Biology from the University of New Hampshire where she studied rare, threatened, and endangered plant species.

Alder in bloom at Tidmarsh

Alder in bloom at Tidmarsh

Putting her skills to work immediately she began the sanctuary’s sandplain restoration, opening more trails, and working with members of the community to share this beautiful sanctuary and programs with people of all ages and abilities.

See the progress for yourself this spring. In addition to Statewide Volunteer Day projects and weekly Herring Walks with Living Observatory, there will be a family-friendly Open House on Saturday, June 2. The Open House will provide opportunities to explore on your own, join a guided walk, meet the Tidmarsh team, and watch for herons and kestrels soaring overhead.

ICYMI: Wachusett Meadow’s Instagram Takeover

Our Sanctuary Instagram Takeover is back! Last week, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary shared a little bit about what you can see and do at the sanctuary. In case you missed it, check out the photos below. And stay tuned this week for a closer look at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden.


ICYMI: Trailside Museum’s Instagram Takeover

In case you missed it, the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton was the latest sanctuary to takover the Mass Audubon Instagram feed. See the week’s worth of posts below, and follow along this week to learn more about Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield.


ICYMI: Wellfleet Bay’s Instagram Takeover

Last week, Wellfleet Bay on Cape Cod took over the Mass Audubon Instagram feed, highlighting what’s happening at the sanctuary this time of year. Check out the week worth of posts below. (Please note: email subscribers need visit to the blog here to see the images). And be sure to follow along this week to learn more about Broadmoor in Natick.