||How we make an impact
immediately and locally
|How we change lives
and impact the world
||We preserve vernal ponds in and around Cape Ann. Our organization surveys vernal pools by photographing the pools and obligate species that inhabit them. Data is submitted to the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program to ultimately certify the pool so it falls under the Wetlands Protection Act. We also provide certification training to individuals and organizations so they can do the same in their communities.
||We have protected over 200 vernal ponds on both public and private land. Vernal ponds and their surrounding habitats are wetlands sustaining a diverse array of wildlife. These ecosystems support some animal species that are found only in these pools. This is our way of saving critical wildlife habitat in our corner of the world.
||We bring our Vernal Pond Exhibit to thousands of people at community events each year. Our focus is on educating and enlightening participants about the many species of wildlife that live, breed, and depend upon these ponds for survival. Visitors see creatures alive and up close, many of which they’ve never seen or heard of before. Vernal ponds feed more forest wildlife than any other wetland.
||Because so many people visit our vernal pond exhibits, we have a significant influence on their understanding of the value of vernal ponds and of wildlife that require these wetlands to survive. Many of our visitors have become volunteers in our organization and some have gone into environmental stewardship fields. Our participants come away with a greater appreciation of wildlife that surround us in our community.
||Our Snake Exhibits are attended by thousands of people each year at community events. Participants see and learn about native New England snakes as well as snakes from around the world. During these activities our visitors get hands on opportunities to touch and hold many snake species and this experience is just another way to connect with this fascinating part of nature.
||Most people don’t know much about snakes and/or they are afraid of them. Thousands of people have had their first positive experience with snakes at one of our exhibits. Some of our New England snake species are threatened or endangered. Reducing fear and misinformation will help us protect these animals. It’s important for people to know the role snakes play in the ecosystem.
||Our Intro to Vernal Ponds Presentations are held in schools, libraries, and state parks. We educate and expose participants to many unique species of wildlife that live, breed, and depend upon vernal ponds for survival. Participants observe these creatures living and up close. Although vernal ponds dry up for portions of the year, they feed more forest wildlife than any other wetland. Our team provides an overview of significant features and benefits of vernal ponds that are unknown by the general public.
||By educating people about the vast array of wildlife that depends upon these critical wetlands to survive, our participants come away with a greater understanding of the symbiotic relationship of plants and animals in the ecosystem. Our ‘Vernal Ponds’ movie is a way to encourage people to understand and care about these wetlands without being there. Participants view some of these rarely seen animals. Demonstrating the interdependence of wildlife and habitats encourages people to take an active interest in the natural world.
||Our Snakes of New England and the World Presentations are designed to educate groups at schools, libraries and state parks. Participants see and learn about snakes from New England and around the World. During the presentation attendees have the opportunity to touch and hold many snakes with the assistance of our volunteers.
||At these presentations participants receive an overview of snake features. Due to loss of habitat, pollution, and general fear of snakes, many species have become threatened or endangered. By educating people, they come away with a better understanding of the value snakes have in nature and the beautiful variety we have locally and around the world.
||We host Daytime and Nighttime Vernal Pond Field Trips for the public. We provide a means in which participants learn about and explore these vital vernal pond habitats during the peak amphibian breeding season. We view migrating and breeding animals during these hands on field trips. This discovery and exploration allows participants to experience the inextricable link woodland creatures have to these pools.
||Our vernal pond field trips are known to be a transformative experience. When the ponds are teeming with life, during spring migration, the spectacle is amazing. Most people discover a world they never knew existed. They come to understand these wetlands are critical to the survival of a significant amount of forest wildlife. Many of our participants become members and volunteers who, in turn, advocate for wildlife and their habitat.
||During special events we provide the community and our team an opportunity to support our mission. The Gloucester Pride Stride, Yard Sale, Benefit Concert, and Pumpkin Carving Event are ways for us to come together to raise money for our organization while interacting with our partners and conservation minded community.
||These opportunities allow us to stand side by side with our membership, volunteers, and community to support each other and bolster our cause. We work alongside Our Partners during these activities for the greater good. This demonstrates we are dedicated to reaching our goals and helping entities that preserve the local community as well as our worldwide environment.
||Our conservation work is accomplished in a variety of ways. Examples include turtle surveys for habitat protection, vernal pond certifications, and wildlife relocation. These activities are done by our volunteers in order to ascertain the health of animal species or directly protect wildlife and habitat.
||We do these conservation projects because they protect wetlands which are critical wildlife habitat. Our activities include assisting and supporting other partner organizations with projects that often have an educational component. We disseminate this information to the world through our website.
||Our state of the art website connects Our Team and allows us to coordinate our activities. We are able to stay in touch with our membership, donors, volunteers, sponsors, and the organizations who request our programming through emails and mailings via our site. We actively improve and update our site and provide meaningful education through our published informational articles and activity photograph pages. Our website is a free online educational tool for Our Team and the public.
||One of the largest benefits of the new website is our ability to engage our membership and volunteers in our activities. We reach our constituency and the public with up-to-date details about our activities and this has resulted in increased volunteerism and donations. The website is an amazing educational and conservation platform where we record our work and share it with the world. We provide inspiration and motivation through our social media presence so people become environmental stewards where ever they live.
||We inspire youth and adults to become involved and volunteer in our organization. We have more than fifty volunteers that participate yearly. Whether it’s fundraising, programs, activities, or conservation work, our active and repeat volunteers are proof that we mobilize our membership. We have a great deal of fun and our volunteers get to see and feel the value and impact of their contribution. The dedication of our team allows us to provide more quality programming, education, and conservation each year.
||Many of our volunteers started at a very young age helping out during our programs. Some have gone on to become environmental stewards and leaders in other conservation oriented organizations. We have a significant number of adult volunteers that say they are now giving back something good to the community and the world. We are enhancing lives by providing people the opportunity to work with our animals and share our conservation message with the public. Doing something for the world has a ripple affect, and it’s catchy, so more people continue to join Our Team.
||The Get Outside Center offers a place where people can gather together within our community. It’s where anyone can drop in and see some wildlife, participate in an activity, hang out, and learn about new creatures. It’s also a place to discover what to do and where to do it within our community. Cape Ann attracts a lot of visitors and tourists and this is a wonderful center to discover activities for everyone.
||The Get Outside Center provides a place to connect people with the natural world. Animals are on display at the center, along with a number of activities designed for children to discover and explore. Our visitors become inspired when they learn about wildlife in the community that they didn’t know existed before. By expanding their knowledge of nature within and outside our center, we inspire them to embrace nature, make them joyful, and get outside into the world.
||We partner with dozens of diverse organizations for our programming and activities. Our connections allow us to educate a variety of individuals and promote activities that conserve wildlife and wetlands. Some examples of our partnerships are Mass Wildlife, New England Herpetological Society, Vernal Pool Association, New England Wildlife Center, The Trustees of Reservations, Essex County Greenbelt, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mass Audubon, Parker River, Maritime Gloucester, Kestrel Education, Cape Ann Trail Stewards and a myriad of schools and community organizations. Along with their support of our mission, we enhance the activities of other conservation organizations.
||By partnering with other community organizations, schools, and agencies, we share a common ground for our learning platform. These relationships allow us to reach many people in different walks of life beyond our local community. We educate and promote active conservation locally, but the people we reach take this wherever they live and travel. Our reach is limitless in the way our experiential learning provides a joyful and awe inspiring experience. Alongside our partners, participants become actively engaged in the natural world which is healthy for everyone.
||We helped create a Scouts Patch Program. The guidelines provide an educational program for Girl and Boy Scouts to earn their ‘Cape Ann Vernal Pond Scouts’ patch. Three levels of patch requirements are provided including Brownie, Junior, and Senior levels. They learn about vernal ponds and the wildlife that depend on these wetlands. Scouts learn why pools are are threatened and the human impact on these habitats. As the levels progress, they take their learning and do their own field work to educate others and certify vernal ponds.
||We believe it is essential to inspire and educate children to become involved in wildlife and environmental preservation. This program directly encourages kids within scout groups to be stewards and gain a greater understanding of this ecosystem. Through this program, they go out into nature, educate themselves about these vital wetlands and learn how to protect them. One of the greatest features of this program is when the children educate others about what they have discovered — this is truly powerful and inspirational.