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3 Special Ways to Celebrate Nature in August

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Posted by Heather Cooper, guest blogger of Mass Audubon

What do rubber ducks, butterflies, and live music have in common? All take center stage at three Mass Audubon special events in August, happening on Martha’s Vineyard, Worcester, and the South Coast!

If you’re looking for a little family fun while you travel or interested in together time during the last month of summer, these are all great options.

A Concert on the Vineyard

Nothing says “summer” quite like live music. And perhaps no setting is more ideal for a summer concert than Martha’s Vineyard. Which is why vineyard residents and vacationers won’t want to miss the Fern & Feather at 50 Benefit Concert on Sunday, August 3, 7:30-9 p.m. at Grange Hall in West Tisbury.

For one night, renowned Martha’s Vineyard folk musician Cindy Kallet and special guests will perform a concert to benefit Felix Neck’s Fern & Feather Day Camp—a community resource that’s inspired children explore and gain confidence in nature for 50 years.

Cindy Kallet Trio by Alison Shaw

Photo: Cindy Kallet Trio by Alison Shaw

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kallet has performed extensively throughout North America, appearing on various programs, including NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Her first album, Working on Wings to Fly, was voted one of the “Top 100 Folk Albums of the Century” by WUMB Boston radio listeners. Tickets are $20 in advance for members and $30 the day of the event at the door.

And why not make a day of it? Check out Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary ahead of the show to explore four miles of trails through woodlands, meadows, ponds, salt marsh, and shorelines.

A Butterfly Festival in Worcester

Now in its 7th year, the family friendly Annual Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 9, has quickly become a Worcester tradition. Held at Broad Meadow Brook—New England’s largest urban wildlife sanctuary—the festival attracts butterfly enthusiasts of all ages to celebrate those winged jewels of summer. Admission is $4 for members and $5 for all others above the age of 3, with parking available.

On tap for this year:

  • Naturalist-led walks and workshops
  • Live caterpillars with Sam Jaffe’s The Caterpillar Lab
  • A Living World Out of Paper Tissues featuring paper arthropods by artist Wilson Andres Acuna
  • Children’s crafts, face painting, obstacle course, and story tent
  • Butterfly garden tours and plant sale, including milkweed for monarchs
  • Story Tent
  • Live music

Psst: Come in costume and get a prize!

BMB_Butterfly Festival_Credit Broad Meadow Brook (4)

Photo: Butterfly Festival by Broad Meadow Brook

A Duck Derby on the South Coast

On your mark, get set, release the ducks! Rubber ducks, that is. Adopt a loveable yellow decoy (or 10) to enter the 11th annual Allens Pond Duck Derby in South Dartmouth on August 16 for a chance at winning the grandest prize of all: dinner for two anywhere in the world, with round-trip airfare and two nights lodging included!

Allens Pond_Duck Derby_Credit Karna Clausen

Photo: Allens Pond Duck Derby by Karna Clausen

Aside from a chance at winning a great adventure (or one of 40+ other fabulous prizes), there’s reason to shake a tail feather and adopt a duck before race day: all proceeds support ecological and outreach projects at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and throughout the South Coast community.

This year’s flock will take off from Buzzards Bay and ride the current to the finish line at Allens Pond, where a festival awaits, featuring live music, BBQ, kids games & crafts, and silent & live plant auctions. For directions to the sanctuary, click here.

Allens Pond_Duck Derby

Photo: Ducks on the pond

And if you’re feeling extra lucky, you can also register for the Ducky Dash 5k and/or the Kid’s “Totally Quackers” Obstacle Course, happening Saturday, August 2 at 8:00 am. By doing so, you’ll automatically receive five Duck Derby entries.

Heather Cooper is Mass Audubon’s Marketing Manager. When she’s spreading the word about summer camps and school programs, she’s out hiking, biking, birding, and generally enjoying nature.

Photo at the top courtesy of Kristin Foresto.

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