Deb Cary is a Community Advocacy and Engagement Manager for Mass Audubon, working throughout Central Massachusetts to promote environmental protection and connect people to nature. Worcester is home to Mass Audubon’s 430-acre Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, whic offers over 5 miles of well-marked trails, including trails accessible for those with mobility challenges.
Even with the warm weather and the large portion of their features outdoors, Deb said COVID-19 has impacted Mass Audubon significantly. “We have had to implement a statewide restructuring of our operations, consolidating staff and facility resources together to better serve Central Mass.” Despite the restructuring, Broad Meadow Brook’s trails are being maintained and programming is still possible, though it has been modified for safe physical distancing. “Weekly on-site summer camp sessions will begin in early July, adhering to state guidelines with small groups, and we are part of the city-wide collaboration to provide additional youth programming during the summer,” she said.
In order for Mass Audubon to weather the pandemic, Deb said patronage is essential. “We need people to come enjoy and support their “sanctuary in the city” by becoming members of Mass Audubon and contributing as best they can so we can continue to provide educational programming as well as maintain the sanctuary lands for people and wildlife.” Admission to Broad Meadow Brook is free for Worcester residents and for members of Mass Audubon and Greater Worcester Land Trust.
Even with all the challenges 2020 has presented, partnership and collaboration across Worcester is still going strong. On behalf of Mass Audubon and Broad Meadow Brook, Deb acknowledged that the team is, “very pleased to be working together with so many other community organizations and institutions here in the city of Worcester. Personally, I am very impressed and proud of how much collaboration and support is going on here. Three cheers for Worcester!”