Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Mass Audubon protects the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife, through conservation, education and advocacy. Their land conservation efforts have resulted in a system of wildlife sanctuaries that is now the largest private ownership of conserved land in Massachusetts.

In addition to protecting critical habitat for native species, Mass Audubon’s land conservation efforts provide many quality-of-life benefits, including places to learn about and enjoy nature, like Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, aka “Your Sanctuary in the City” and like Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton.

This year marks 100 years of Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries, and on the 100th day of the year - Saturday, April 9 - Broad Meadow Brook is celebrating. Admission is free all day, and between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., enjoy these special celebration activities:

At Broad Meadow Brook, 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester:

Guided Nature Walks (Depart at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.)

Get to know “Your Sanctuary in the City” with an experienced teacher-naturalist as your guide. Walk along Broad Meadow Brook’s accessible and sensory trail, for all persons with all abilities. Explore several habitats including a woodland forest, wetland and pond. This walk is appropriate for all ages and will last about one hour. Participants are welcome to continue their exploration on their own, when the walk concludes.

Hands-on, Nature-themed Activities (Ongoing from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Make your own pine cone bird feeder or create your own bookmarks using tracking stamps. Read a nature story together. Help create a list of “100 Great Things about Broad Meadow Brook”, by adding your thoughts on a butterfly shaped post-it. Stop in the nature center, grab a trail map, scavenger hunt, Quest or Discovery booklet and embark on a self-guided exploration.

With 5 miles of walking trails over 430 acres, Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary is New England’s largest urban wildlife sanctuary. Located at 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester, it is easily accessible from Routes 122, 20, 290 and the Mass Pike. It is also on the WRTA Millbury bus line #22. (The bus stops directly in front of the Nature Center.) For more information regarding Broad Meadow Brook’s Celebration, call 508-753-6087 or email

At Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd. in Princeton:

Guided Nature Walks Depart at 11:30 am and 1 p.m.

Enjoy a relaxed paced guided hike to explore Wachusett Meadow’s woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, and to celebrate the abundance of spring wildlife. These walks are open to adults and families and will average about 1.5 miles and 1 hour in length.

Hands-on, Nature-themed Activities for Ages 3 and Up (Ongoing from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Wachusett Meadow is home to thousands of species, so pick your favorites and help create a “100 Species Mural.” All materials supplied, beginners and experts are welcome. Enjoy Self-Guided Trail Exploration and Scavenger Hunts. Stop by the nature center, grab a trail map, nature bingo, discovery booklet, or a scavenger hunt and explore the sanctuary on your own.

With 12 miles of trails over 1,011 acres, Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow offers spectacular scenery and supports abundant wildlife throughout woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. Trails traverse many landscape features including Brown Hill Summit, Glacial Boulder, and beaver ponds. For more information regarding Wachusett Meadow’s celebration, call 978-464-2712 or email

About both facilities, Outreach and Marketing Coordinator Janice Schlickman notes, “You don’t have to plan for months, travel for hours, or spend lots of money to get away, enjoy some recreation, reach for better health, and experience peace. You can do it all right here, right now. The nature trails are well marked and easy to travel; some are especially designed for folks with baby strollers and assistive devices, so the whole family can enjoy a walk together.

To learn about Mass Audubon’s work and statewide system of trails, visit