Tag Archives: climate champions

February Climate Champions Update 

Climate Champions is a Mass Audubon grassroots volunteer program to advocate for policies that advance nature-based climate solutions. With training from policy experts, Climate Champions advocate for local and state policies that help achieve the state’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reverse negative health impacts of climate change for Environmental Justice communities.     

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

How It’s Going 

We’ve wrapped up our 2022 Climate Champion actions and meetings. Together we have: 

  • Lobbied the state legislature in support of investments in climate and nature & won $540 million in the final Economic Development package, bringing total very close to $1B goal  
  • Advocated for Massachusetts’ landmark climate law 
  • Weighed in on the state’s proposal for net-zero buildings 
  • Elevated natural and working lands policies as an integral piece in Massachusetts’ climate plans 
  • Called for streamlining wetland restoration regulations, that are slowing pace of wetlands restoration
  • Made “Get Out the Vote” calls to environmental voters 
  • Led coalitions fighting for investments in open space and climate adaptation 
  • Promoted solar and wind policies that protect natural and working lands, wildlife, and habitats 
  • And so much more! 

In December, Climate Champions were trained by Mass Audubon’s policy experts about local town government, how to take local climate action, and the resources available to facilitate that action. Champions began researching their local legislators, learning about their influences and interests, to support our advocacy engagement. 

In January, the Policy and Advocacy staff shared Mass Audubon’s legislative priorities for the 2023-2024 legislative session and the Climate Champions jumped into action. They have been emailing and calling their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor our prioritized climate legislation.

Why is co-sponsoring a big deal? Co-sponsoring means the legislator commits in writing to support the bill, and a high number of co-sponsors is the best way for a bill to get early momentum. Our goal is to contact 100 state legislators to ask them to co-sponsor our priority climate legislation. 

What’s Next 

Climate Champions will be supporting Mass Rivers Alliance in a day of climate action at the State House for Lobby for the Rivers Day on March 15. Together we’ll speak up for drought management and nature-based climate solutions to make our communities more resilient to climate change. At pre-lobby day workshops, champions will also have training on the legislative process, environmental issues, and tips on talking with their legislators. 

As legislative hearings ramp up in April and May, Mass Audubon’s policy experts will train Climate Champions on how to give testimony in support of our prioritized climate legislation.  

Learn More 

Become a Climate Champion, no matter your time constraints or experience level! 

Find out more and sign up > 

Stephanie standing in a forest, smiling with a green shirt and blue Mass Audubon hat.

In Your Words: Stephanie Kane

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.

Stephanie with a blue Mass Audubon hat and gently holding a bird with her hands. Jon stands next to her with a hand underneath hers.
Stephanie Kane (left) with Jon Atwood (right) at the Birding Certificate Program © Lauren Ramos

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.

Stephanie stands smiling in the forest with a green shirt and blue Mass Audubon hat.
Stephanie Kane

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.