Home Museum institution Give the gift of membership: Membership in nonprofits pays dividends all year round

Give the gift of membership: Membership in nonprofits pays dividends all year round

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Turtles cared for at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Mass Audubon.David L. Ryan / Globe Staff

Audubon Mass

If your gifts have attracted hope during the pandemic lockdown by identifying the feathered creatures flocking to their backyard bird feeders, maybe it’s time to send them further with gift subscriptions to Mass Audubon. Founded in 1896 as one of the country’s first Audubon Crown corporations, the organization is a national leader in wildlife conservation and operates more than 60 wildlife sanctuaries in the state.

This organizational focus on the outdoors fits perfectly with the realities of social distancing, and the relentless mutability of nature is a welcome change from Netflix series streaming for the third time. Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Center in Newburyport is a great place in the winter to search for bald eagles and eiders. The Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary on Cape Cod is a Twitter account with migrating warblers in the spring, while the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton features pollock-filled meadows in the summer and a concentration of migrating ducks at the end of the summer. fall. Rubber boots, tweed vests and binoculars are optional.

Memberships start under 30 $ 25, individual $ 50, family $ 70. (New individual and family memberships cost $ 35 if purchased through November 30.) massaudubon.org

Lars Fisk's Cordova Ball at the Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Lars Fisk’s Cordova Ball at the Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

Suzanne Kreiter / Globe Staff

The trustees

When most people think of The Trustees, they think of Crane Beach in Ipswich, one of New England’s best swimming beaches outside of Cape Cod. But this particular sandy beach is just one of more than 120 properties across Massachusetts owned by The Trustees. In addition to landscapes as spectacular as World’s End in Hingham and cultural sites like the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln and the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, the trustees oversee a wide range of other properties.

We have spent the last year exploring some of the smaller and more unusual corners of the Massachusetts landscape, such as the geological quirks of Dexter Drumlin in Lancaster and the rocky mounds of Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield. Anglers gravitate around the trout-filled waters of the Swift River Preserve in Petersham. This property along the larger tributary of Quabbin Reservoir features nine miles of trails and old roads in woods populated by deer, raccoons, porcupines, bears, bobcats, and coyotes. Fans of poetry may prefer the William Cullen Bryant Homestead to Cummington.

Administrators are also offering member discounts at the organization’s three campgrounds and three inns, including the modernist Guest House at Field Farm in Williamstown and the posh Inn at Castle Hill in Ipswich. In the Berkshires, only members can purchase season passes to the Notchview Nordic Ski Area. They also benefit from a reduction on day passes.

Memberships start at $ 45 for seniors, $ 50 for seniors, $ 60 for senior families and $ 70 for families. thetrustees.org

Molly and James Henshaw explored a garden in Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester in 2019.
Molly and James Henshaw explored a garden in Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester in 2019.Craig F. Walker / Globe Staff

Historic New England

Membership in HNE is perfect for history buffs who enjoy rummaging through old homes and hearing the stories of the people who once lived there. The organization was founded in 1910 as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities and has evolved as a custodian of the collective memory of our region. Its 38 properties are spread across Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Everyone has a story to tell.

Most of the houses are large mansions. Beauport in Gloucester, the home of Governor John Langdon in Portsmouth, NH, and Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, certainly do the trick. Still others are mansions, such as the 1664 Jackson House also in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, or the 1678 Coffin House in Newbury. Each captures a slice of New England’s past.

EST enlivens its properties with all kinds of interesting interpretive programs. The organization has assembled original exhibits such as those chronicling the history of early aviation and the heyday of downtown shopping in the middle of the century. It also sponsors agricultural markets at some properties and organizes tours for children to see farming operations in different seasons.

Memberships start at $ 25 for students, $ 50 for individuals and $ 65 for households. historicnewengland.org

Nauset Lighthouse in the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Nauset Lighthouse in the Cape Cod National Seashore.Nathan Klima for the Boston Globe

America the Beautiful Pass

If your history or outdoor enthusiasts are ready to broaden their horizons, the America the Beautiful Pass is literally the ticket to over 2,000 properties across the country. It covers admission and daily use fees at all National Park Service sites as well as at National Wildlife Refugees, National Forests and Grasslands, and other federal recreation sites. Concretely, one pass covers up to four adults to Acadia National Park or Cape Cod National Shoreline – or Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park in New Hampshire, for that matter. The list could occupy anyone for life. You could throw away the 112 pages Passport for your national parks book ($ 12.95) so recipients can get it stamped at every location.

Annual passes are for adults $ 80, seniors $ 20; Seniors Lifetime Pass $ 80. store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html, shop.americasnationalparks.org/store/

Visitors wait to see a movie by visiting the "Where questions live" exhibition by artist Wes Sam-Bruce at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA on February 27, 2021.
Visitors wait to see a movie by visiting the “Where the Questions Live” exhibit by artist Wes Sam-Bruce at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA on February 27, 2021. Craig F. Walker / Globe Staff

North American Association of Reciprocal Museums

We know what we are giving ourselves this holiday season. We just found out about what we call the “All Museums You Can Eat” program. About 1,100 institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and El Salvador participate in the NARM association. Purchase a high level of membership in one of them to receive free entry (or the member’s admission price) to all others. In New England, this includes the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, the Worcester Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH, and the New Britain (Connecticut) Museum of American Art. And that’s only the beginning.

Membership levels with NARM privileges vary by home institution, but generally range from $ 125 to $ 250. narmassociation.org

Contact Patricia Harris and David Lyon at [email protected].


You can reach Patricia Harris at [email protected] David Lyon can be reached at [email protected]