Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary - Mass Audubon -
Mission: To protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife.
A Massachusetts in which nature—whether found in a city park or deep inside the forests of western Massachusetts or within an urban greenway, or along the 1,500 miles of Massachusetts coastline—is valued as essential to quality of life in the Commonwealth, and people live with appreciation and respect for the complex ecological systems that sustain life on earth, working together to ensure that they are protected.
History: Mass Audubon’s was established in 1896 by Harriet Lawrence Hemenway and Minna B. Hall, who persuaded ladies of fashion to forgo the cruelly harvested plumage that adorned their hats. The Massachusetts Audubon Society is the oldest, and with the exception of the National Association of Audubon Societies, the strongest and most active bird-protection society in the country.
Moose Hill in Sharon, MA was our first Wildlife Sanctuary. It promoted education—introducing natural history programs for schools and day camps. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1944.
Mass Audubon has tackled causes such as pesticide regulation while never losing sight of its origins in bird conservation. It helped pass Massachusetts wetlands protection legislation, and spearheaded passage of critical land and water protection legislation. Mass Audubon opened 16 more staffed wildlife sanctuaries across the state, pioneered a comprehensive program of sustainable practices at our properties, and strengthened our commitment to reaching new audiences and urban environmental education.
Spanning Easthampton and Northampton, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s diverse terrain (forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh, and wetlands) attracts an extraordinary variety of wildlife. You will also find a thriving population of wildflowers, thanks to its rich, loamy soil, which is characteristic of the Connecticut River floodplain.
From the founding of Mass Audubon in 1896, the organization has been inextricably linked with art. Named for John James Audubon, the legendary painter of American birds, Mass Audubon quite naturally was the recipient of generous gifts of artworks.
The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon (MABA) is a professional art museum within New England’s largest conservation organization, connecting people and nature through art. Our exhibitions feature art by internationally recognized artists inspired by nature.
The connection between beauty and nature at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is evident in the fields, flowers, ponds, woods, abundant wildlife and radiant faces of the many visitors and members who enjoy this magnificent space four seasons of the year. We are beginning a program to explore this connection.
At the core of our planning is an inter-generational arts program with multiple opportunities for all age groups to experience and delve into the connection between art and nature. Along with an already successful photography program, we hope to add a variety of art experiences to the program catalog. For every age group, from our youngest visitors to families and seniors, we aim to provide appropriate classes, workshops and events throughout the year that will bring the joy of artistic connection to nature to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.