President Gary Clayton
|Region served Massachusetts|
Main organ Board of Directors
Founder Harriet Hemenway
Type Nonprofit organization
|Purpose Protecting the nature of Massachusetts|
Headquarters Massachusetts, United States
Similar National Audubon Society, The Trustees of Reservations, Appalachian Mountain Club, Sudbury Valley Trustees, Museum of Science
The Massachusetts Audubon Society, founded in 1896 by Harriet Hemenway and headquartered in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "Protecting the nature of Massachusetts." Mass Audubon is independent of the National Audubon Society, and in fact was founded earlier.
Mass Audubon protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.
The Massachusetts Audubon Society (or Mass Audubon) was the born out of Harriet Hemenway's desire to stop the commercial slaughter of birds for women's ornamental hats. Hemenway and her cousin, Minna Hall, soon enlisted 900 women and formed a partnership with many from Boston's scientific community to form their organization. They named the organization the Massachusetts Audubon Society in honor of the bird painter John James Audubon. In 1905, a national committee of Audubon societies was developed. This committee was vital in passing the Migratory Bird Conservation Act in 1913 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 with Great Britain. The passage of these measures effectively eliminated the commercial plume trade. Mass Audubon’s first wildlife sanctuary, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon, Massachusetts, dates back to 1916 when the board accepts an offer of Sharon resident George Field to use his property as a bird sanctuary. Mass Audubon purchased the parcel in 1922.
Mass Audubon's statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries, in 90 Massachusetts communities, welcomes visitors of all ages and is a home for more than 150 endangered and threatened native species.