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A Newsletter for The Leadership Friends Program

So Much More to Explore!

Greetings! I hope this finds you well and that you are having a wonderful summer. The past few months have been very busy and exciting at Mass Audubon! I had the distinct pleasure to honor the last five Chairmen of Mass Laura Johnson Audubon’s Board of Directors at the Summer Garden Party at our Headquarters in Lincoln, travel throughout the state attending some wonderful special events like Crickets, Critters, and Cocktails in the Berkshires and Wild, Wild Wellfleet! on the Cape, and take part in some fantastic celebrations marking openings of new buildings and properties in our sanctuary system. It has been nice to connect with so many friends across Mass Audubon. Thanks to those of you who joined us for these wonderful events. It really is amazing to think that this summer we have added our 53rd Wildlife Sanctuary, Barnstable Great Marsh, to our diverse portfolio of 35,000 protected acres. I say a collective “we” because many of you have helped make these accomplishments possible through your generosity and support. I really can’t thank you enough for all you do to make Mass Audubon such a success. Please be sure to mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting on November 8 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. I hope you will join us. With appreciation, Laura Johnson President


Great things are happening at Mass Audubon. Here’s a list of recent and future openings of incredible new spaces and wild places across the state. We hope you will join us this fall. May 2012 Bradstreet House Opening Ipswich River,Topsfield The completion of Phase I of the Campaign for Ipswich River brought the opening of the new Bradstreet House Bradstreet House Opening Visitor Center. This bright and fully accessible welcome area offers visitors the chance to view trail maps, ask questions at the reception desk, read about the latest wildlife sightings, and stop in at the gift shop. Stone Barn Opening Allens Pond, Dartmouth The citizens of Dartmouth and funding from the Community Preservation Committee helped Mass Audubon restore a historic Stone Barn Opening 150-year-old horse barn into a beautiful multi-purpose program and learning space for the community. The Stone Barn is a unique fieldstone structure that will serve as a center for program activities at Allens Pond.

© Kyle Bornstein

President’s Update

What’s Inside: Mass Audubon Openings 1 Leadership Profile 2 Update: President Search 3 Leadership Friends in the News 3 Save the Date! 4

Summer 2012

June 2012 Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary Opening, Rowley Rough Meadows’ 250 acres of salt marsh, tidal creek, and upland woods helped fill an important gap in the 8,000 Rough Meadows Opening acres of contiguous protected land within the Great Marsh—New England’s largest salt marsh. This land is designated as an Important Bird Area, a BioMap and Living Waters Core Habitat, and a Massachusetts Area of Critical Environmental Concern. continued page 2


July 2012 Barnstable Great Marsh Opening, West Barnstable Located on Cape Cod Bay, Mass Audubon’s 53rd Wildlife Sanctuary offers over 120 contiguous acres of salt marsh, freshwater wetland, upland, a network of trails, and stunning views of salt marsh and barrier beach.

Upcoming Grand Openings: September 23, 2012 Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Opening, Groton This 400-acre sanctuary features woodlands, beaver ponds, rocky outcroppings, red maple swamp, and vernal pools. Join us to learn about the natural history of this special land, appreciate its diverse plant and animal species, and enjoy a guided walk. October 14, 2012 Sibley Farm Opening, Spencer Discover and explore over 350 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands of this historic property that will be a part of Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. Join us for a celebratation of this incredible land protection accomplishment.

Summer Garden Party: Celebrating a Legacy of Leadership

John Thorndike Board Chair, 1984-1989

Alan Wilson Board Chair, 1990-1995

Lee Spelke Board Chair, 1996-1999

Jonathan Panek Board Chair, 2007-Present

Leadership Profile: Arthur Blackman As a young boy growing up in Cambridge, President’s Circle member Arthur Blackman spent summers in his family’s summer home, high in a mix of upper fields and woods in New Hampshire. At night he fell asleep on a porch to the sounds of insects buzzing against the screens, the calls of WhipAr thur Blackman poor-wills, and the sounds of the wind and rain on the roof overhead, fostering what was to become a lifetime intimacy with nature and a growing sense of wonder.


In the 1950’s, Arthur and his wife Camilla moved with their family to Indian Hill Road in Groton, eventually settling in a house just below the brow of Indian Hill Ridge. At this high elevation, he was always moved by the open expanse to distant sights; Mt. Monadnock in the north, Mt. Wachusett to the west, a blinking light over Boylston to the south and once, the fireworks display in Boston Harbor on New Year’s Eve. As years passed Arthur noticed more and more lights in the woods below. This unpopulated landscape was changing before his eyes, except for one area of the woods that was always dark. This mysterious dark place became fodder for the fanciful bedtime stories he made up for his daughter every night. As former chair of the

Planning Board, Arthur was acutely aware of proposed developments creeping into Groton from the east. The corporation that owned the dark area of the woods was putting that tract of land up for sale and was attracting interest. Arthur began talking at every opportunity about ways to save it. In 1996, Arthur read in The Boston Globe that Mass Audubon had a wildlife sanctuary within 20 minutes of every schoolchild in Massachusetts, with the exception of an area between Carlisle and Lunenburg. Excited, he thought here perhaps was a permanent solution for this vulnerable oasis. He called then-President Gerry Bertrand, confident that Mass Audubon and its staff would be the right stewards for this land, having the special knowledge, expertise, and appreciation for such an important property; a landscape without roads or cellar holes, sculpted by the retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet 18,000 years ago. After years of negotiations, these 400 acres are now protected as a Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary. Thanks to Arthur and his passion and determination, the woodlands, massive lichen-coated boulders, beaver ponds, and vernal pools of Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Groton can be appreciated and studied by future generations who will be able to enjoy and discover the rich natural history of this special place.

Update: A Message from the President Search Committee We are pleased to report that the search for Mass Audubon’s next President is proceeding very well. We are encouraged by the level of interest in Mass Audubon, as well as the number and caliber of the candidates for this critical position. To date, the Bridgespan Group, the firm that is assisting us in the search, has contacted more than 400 networking resources and potential candidates, and has interviewed and screened 25 promising candidates. The search process, which began in early January, was informed by the insight of Board Members, Council Members, and many Leadership Friends. Because of that input, a thoughtful and solid job description was created, and it has been an excellent tool for recruiting our next leader. We continue to be grateful to everyone who has provided input. Search committee and staff members, many of whom will be a part of the interview team, continue to listen to your ideas and suggestions and incorporate them into the process.

Leadership Friends in the News

Marian Thornton receives Unsung Heroine Award On May 16, 2012, Founder’s Circle Member Marian Thornton of Concord was honored with the Unsung Heroine Award at the State House by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women for her incredible commitment to service. For the past 50 years, Marian has been a Marian Thornton tireless advocate for conservation, focusing her efforts on clean rivers, recycling, and open space preservation. In addition to her environmental stewardship in Concord, Marian has been an important member of the Mass Audubon community, serving on Mass Audubon’s Board of Directors for 15 years, of which she is currently an Honorary Director and a member of the Council. Marian has also been a true champion of Drumlin Farm. She has co-chaired several auctions, raising critical funds for the Campaign for Drumlin Farm, and is an active member of the Drumlin Sanctuary Committee. We can’t thank Marian enough for all she has done for Mass Audubon. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!

The Search Committee meets and consults regularly to move the process along as efficiently and thoughtfully as possible with great care not to rush this important decision. We are very confident that the rigorous process to which we have adhered and the tremendous commitment shown by all Mass Audubon stakeholders will be rewarded with the best possible outcome: an outstanding new leader for our outstanding organization. Based on our progress to date, we continue to believe that a final decision will be likely in the fall or early winter, with the actual leadership transition occurring sometime around the end of the year. Thank you for your important feedback, insights, and participation with the process thus far. If you have any questions about the search please contact: Jared Chase, Chair, Search Committee Jon Panek, Chair of the Board Nora Huvelle, Vice Chair of the Board Jim Sperling, Board Member Cathy Campbell, Board Member Andy Falender, Former President, Appalachian Mountain Club

Save the Date Annual Meeting & Celebration Honoring Laura Johnson, President 1999-2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Tern Society Invest in a Planned Giving Opportunity with Mass Audubon • Charitable Remainder Trusts • Charitable Gift Annuity • Charitable Lead Trusts • Real and Personal Property • Life Insurance • Bequests For more information please contact Nora Frank, Vice President for Philanthropy, at 781.259.2125 or 3

Forwarding Service Requested

Late Summer & Fall 2012 Leadership Friends Event Information Inside!

A dinner gala and auction at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Saturday, September 15, 6-9 p.m. Watch the brilliant colors of the setting sun from atop Bradstreet Hill while dining on delicious, local foods skillfully prepared by Christopher DeStefano of Christopher’s Table. For reservations please contact Liz Albert at or 781.259.2104.


TO SIGN UP for an event, for more information, or to receive a paperless newsletter via email, contact Allison Kern at or 781.259.2127. Leading the Way is a production of Mass Audubon’s Development Department.

Summer 2012 Leadership Friends Newsletter  
Summer 2012 Leadership Friends Newsletter  

Mass Audubon