Pursuing Our Conservation Mission

Focusing on Science in Nature and Action

You’ve probably observed a number of changes at your Glastonbury Center. We are reallocating our resources to make it become economically sustainable after years of under-performing. Most importantly, we are working to fulfill the Connecticut Audubon Society’s mission of conserving the state’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on birds and other wildlife and their habitats.

We’ve expanded our nature store – and it’s worth saying that all proceeds go directly into our conservation work. Summer camp has grown. We have a full schedule of lectures, programs, and walks for the fall.

For us at The Connecticut Audubon Society, conservation is an action term. It is what humans do for habitat, nature, and ecosystems based on what they know, with the appropriate skills. As a conservation organization, we want to go beyond building awareness and knowledge, and to move people to action. This means working to motivate, and to provide the skills and opportunities to take those actions. It is hard work but it is vital, and it is what all of our centers concentrate on.

For years, the Center at Glastonbury had been home to an array of animals, most not native to Connecticut, in cages and tanks. These were obviously an attraction to some visitors, many of them youngsters. Unfortunately, housing exotic animals in cages is a long-term, expensive commitment that was distracting us from focusing on the state’s bird populations, wildlife and their habitats. Contributions from those who participated didn’t cover the costs and, considering that the center has operated in the red for years, we couldn’t continue to subsidize an off-mission activity.

Our solution, which we began to put into place several years ago, was to find new homes for the Center’s non-native animals and to refocus the work of the staff and volunteers. All of them work hard and are committed to making the Center at Glastonbury a place that is fun, friendly, interesting and centered on Connecticut’s native fauna and flora. We still have some native animals, which help with our teaching, in our Discovery Room and built an outdoor aviary to provide a better home for our non-releasable raptors.

The second part of that solution was to make the Center at Glastonbury the statewide focal point for Connecticut Audubon’s Science in Nature program. Our education programs had been lagging behind those of our other Centers, and we now have a Lead Educator tasked to that mission. Science in Nature has already brought in many young people who had never been here before and is introducing them to the principles of conservation that are our mission.

Statewide, 60,000 students have participated from more than 75% of all the school districts in the state. It has succeeded beyond our dreams. We are committed to it for the long term and are convinced that it will lead to greater success for the Center at Glastonbury and for conservation.

Please stop by and see what we are up to, either on your own or when you drop your kids or grand-kids off for a program. We are proud to be creating a Center that is warm, personable, welcoming, and attractive, and we want to share it with you Monday-Saturday from 10-3.

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