Sam Kefferstan's (Maria Mitchell) Personal Fundraising Page
Thank you all for taking the time to visit my page and support Mass Audubon's Nantucket Sanctuaries and the Maria Mitchell Association. For those that don't know on May 15-16, nature lovers from all over Massachusetts will connect with the great outdoors by participating in Mass Audubon's annual Bird-a-thon fundraiser. Due to COVID-19, this will be the organization's first Bird-at-home-a-thon, which will be carbon-free, safety-focused, and family-friendly!
Teams representing different Mass Audubon sanctuaries and programs will come together to collectively identify as many species of birds in a 24-hour period and also complete other fun, nature-based activities from their home. Bird-a-thon serves as a reminder of the variety and abundance of wildlife that surrounds us and our responsibility to preserve their habitats.
I first became involved with Mass Audubon as a TerraCorps service member within their conservation science team where I worked on a variety of different projects from deer density surveys to better understand impacts on New England forests to creating an alternative spring break program for UMass Boston college students to kickstart their conservation careers. Mass Audubon has supported me and my growth as a conservation professional and has done so for many who have come before me and will continue to do so moving forward.
This past December I began my new role as Sanctuary Director for Mass Audubon's Nantucket Sanctuaries and even in light of COVID-19 it is a dream come true. Everyday I am working to fulfill Mass Audubon's mission, my own mission, of protecting the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife through projects like these which your donation will bring to life:
- Running Mass Audubon's Alternative Spring Break for Aspiring Environmental Leaders, this program supports budding environmentalists from UMass Boston by bringing them to Nantucket and providing them with a crash course in conservation. This jam-packed experience grants students the opportunity to flex their academic muscles in the field and build their resume for meaningful careers in conservation and beyond;
- Hosting a Youth Climate Summit on Nantucket to educate children and young adults about steps we can take as a community, and in our own lives, to combat the climate crisis and make for a sustainable future. Participants will identify a community need, and then work together with sanctuary guidance to bring their project to reality;
- Supporting Mass Audubon's land stewardship on-island including on-going trail maintenance and the official opening of Lost Farm's trail system through a widening of trails, updated signage, and maps so the public can continue to safely enjoy nature on-island;
- Funding the island's Coastal Waterbird Crew Leader position to monitor and protect Nantucket's host of beach-nesting bird species including federally threatened or endangered species including Piping Plover, Least Terns, and Roseate Terns (Mass Audubon's Logo!)
- Supporting coastal resilience projects on-island including dune grass plantings in Madaket and Smith's Point to protect essential infrastructure connecting island residents to emergency services, as well as preserving priority for Piping Plove and other beach-nesting birds.
- And more!
I wholeheartedly believe that efforts of Mass Audubon and its Nantucket Sanctuaries as well as the Maria Mitchell Association connect people to the natural world, and that it can just take one of these experiences, one spark, to instill a lifelong appreciation of nature within their participants. Now more than ever we can see Nature is here for us, and through our work in conservation, education, and advocacy we have got nature's back!
Please join me in supporting this important work by making a donation through my personal fundraising page today. If you cannot donate at this time, any show of support (sharing this page, words of support, etc.) make a difference!