The Story of Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries
Nature centers and wildlife sanctuaries have long been an important part of Audubon’s efforts to educate and inspire the public about the environment, its importance, and how to conserve it. Some of our earliest nature centers are still teaching young and old alike about the natural world. Those include the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center in New York, established in 1923, and the Audubon Center of Greenwich, Connecticut, founded in 1943. From these beginnings, we continued to expand the network of Centers through the remainder of the 20th century, broadening our expertise in designing and building these facilities. As we approached the new century, we added a new emphasis on the development of Centers in urban locations. Now, in the 21st century, Audubon’s network has expanded to more than 45 centers and 150 sanctuaries nationwide, and it is still growing.
The programs and activities at Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries reflect the three pillars of Audubon’s mission: education, science, and conservation action, adapted to the specific Center site and to the community it serves. With its goal of helping people discover, learn about, and care for nature close to home, Audubon is continuing its commitment to establishing Centers in communities that have the least access to nature. Through this initiative, Audubon is helping to turn areas that were community liabilities into community assets. Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries in so many diverse communities across the country are helping to develop the next generation of conservation leaders.