I was first introduced to Mass Audubon when I attended the Field Naturalist Certificate Program in 2021 at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Then, my connections strengthened through the yearlong Birding Certificate Program. With my growing knowledge about the natural world from these two programs, and countless others, my understanding, experience, and relationship with the environment deepened, along with my concern about climate change.
As an individual, I had taken steps to reduce my own environmental impact. However, I wanted to do more, because we need to do more. I just didn’t know what to do or how to go about it. I sought out groups that make meaningful, impactful changes that are driven by science and nature-based approaches. I found that, and more, in Mass Audubon’s new Climate Champions program.
In the first month I joined, I learned about local and state programs, current legislative issues, and concrete opportunities I could participate in, at different levels of involvement. With the support and education of the Mass Audubon team, I participated in my first Lobby Day. This was more than I ever thought I could do. I was able to reflect on my experience with nature, why it matters to me, and how I could clearly communicate that to others. As part of the advocacy, I even led my group of constituents to advocate for key environmental and conservation funding with a state senator.
In hearing others’ experiences and reasons for advocating for nature, my understanding of nature’s role and impact across many facets of our lives expanded. Our personal stories represented a broad and diverse set of experiences with nature and its unique impacts on our lives.
As a result of Climate Champions, I’ve continued to learn more about climate-related issues, complexities, and ways I can Influence and support impactful actions at a new level. I’ve shared what I’ve learned with others and used these skills to find new ways to advocate for the environment in my community and with my local legislators.
Overall, I am grateful for the Mass Audubon team and the Climate Champions community. In this community, each of us is heard, informed, and empowered. We’ve learned from each other’s unique perspective and supported each other as we work toward meaningful solutions. I am grateful for the opportunity to empower others to advocate for the issues that are meaningful to them. Overall, I am most grateful for the opportunity to do more and be a larger part of much needed climate solutions.
To learn more about Climate Champions and how you can become one, visit massaudubon.org/climatechampions.