Senator Timilty Secures $1 Million in Senate Budget to Support Blue Hills Trailside Museum


(BOSTON – 06/01/2023) State Senator Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton) has secured $1 million for the much-loved Blue Hills Trailside Museum in the Fiscal Year 2024 Senate Budget. This funding will both enhance the visitor experience and benefit the animals in residence at the Mass Audubon nature center, located in the state-owned Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.


Timilty has advocated for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum for years, securing much-needed funding for this popular destination, which features a natural history museum, outdoor wildlife exhibits, school programs, summer camps, and more.


“The Blue Hills Trailside Museum is truly a gem in the Commonwealth and serves as the public’s window into the Blue Hills Reservation. The reservation is one of the Commonwealth’s most important ecological and environmental locations due to its wildlife, vegetation, and habitat. This funding will allow inclusive upgrades to be made to the grounds and exhibits of the museum, augmenting the educational quality of the visitor’s experience,” said Timilty.


Students experience Trailside through field trips to the museum. Moreover, Mass Audubon staff at the museum bring an array of educational experiences to school districts, as well.


“Funding that I have secured through an amendment to the FY24 State Senate Budget that I have filed and successfully adjudicated for its adoption will support the Trailside as a beacon for nature and science education, throughout the Commonwealth,” Timilty stated.


Mass Audubon Regional Director for Metro South Lauren Gordon thanked Senator Timilty for his support and echoed his comments about the museum’s value as a community and environmental resource.


“The Blue Hills Trailside Museum is emblematic of Mass Audubon’s mission to connect people and nature, as evidenced by the many thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds who visit each year,” Gordon said. “But the activities, events, and programs we provide, both at Trailside Museum and in the communities we serve, would not be possible without state funding—and that begins with the dedicated advocacy of civic leaders such as Sen. Timilty.”


This year alone, 6,000 school students participated in Trailside education programs;10,000 community members participated in a Trailside education program; and 850 campers are registered for summer camp this year, starting in June.


Additionally, the museum has worked with 60 different schools this year; 24 schools participate in a “deep engagement” programing, meaning that Mass Audubon naturalists are in those schools multiple times throughout the academic year to teach programs.  Furthermore, Trailside staff have helped provide overnight experiences in the Blue Hills for 300 Boston Public School seventh-grade students this year, with 500 students registered for the next school year.


“These visits truly bring science textbooks to life,” Timilty noted.


A version of the state budget having previously been passed in the House of Representatives, a conference committee will now be appointed to reconcile any differences within the budget.




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