Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center Announces a $100K Grant from the Yawkey Foundation

Milton, MA, January 21, 2022

Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center (BHOSC) today announces it has received a “Program & Small Capital” grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Yawkey Foundation to support “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation,” a new programmatic initiative at BHOSC designed to educate and inspire youth and adults to preserve the environment and navigate climate change.

In 2011 BHOSC joined the University of New Hampshire’s, NASA sponsored, Digital Earth Watch (DEW) Program designed to routinely use digital cameras and smartphones as scientific tools—particularly as “Picture Post” sites—to enhance community efforts to conserve, promote, and sustain natural areas. Today, geospatial data is playing a key role in protecting wildlife and creating a healthier planet and a more resilient economy as the impacts of climate change are being observed. Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey had a deep appreciation for nature and a passionate desire to protect natural resources; the couple’s commitment to conservation is perpetuated by the Trustees of the Yawkey Foundation.

“Picture Post for Environmental Conservation” will leverage BHOSC’s ten-year geospatial data collection at Blue Hill for monitoring vegetation health and phenological indications of climate change in a new multi-tiered educational program suite featuring experiential learning activities on Blue Hill and educational content explored in a new interactive digital storyboard display and exhibit located in BHOSC’s historic building. Additionally, new online coursework will be made available to educators to support teaching climate science and Next Generation Science Standards in their classrooms.

“BHOSC is especially pleased the Yawkey Foundation funding partnership will support the participation of 400 middle-school youth from under-served communities in Greater Boston who will be brought to Blue Hill—many for the first time—while supporting their teachers with complimentary online coursework. All of us at BHOSC recognize nature is a powerful tool for teaching and learning and we look forward to immersing youth and adults in the extraordinary natural environment of Blue Hill with an eye toward preserving it,” said BHOSC Executive Director, Charles Orloff.

About Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center—BHOSC’s nonprofit mission is to foster public understanding of Earth’s weather, climate, and environmental systems and to continue to produce, maintain, and analyze a meticulous, consistent record of weather and climate observations. BHOSC envisions a world where the health and well-being of all people and the planet are protected and promoted through Earth system science research, education, and outreach. Annually 6,000 adults and 4,000 youth visit BHOSC ‘s centennial observing site and national historic landmark building—1 of 6 in the U.S recognized by the World Meteorological Organization—located at an elevation of 635 feet atop Great Blue Hill in Milton, MA. Visitors partake in such activities as in-depth tours featuring historic instruments, guided hikes, and climate science and STEM educational programs. For more information, please visit

About Yawkey Foundation—The Yawkey Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating the philanthropic legacy of Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey, whose eight decades of quiet generosity supported individuals and families in the communities that were closest to their hearts – Massachusetts and Georgetown County, South Carolina. Having awarded more than $500 million to-date in charitable grants to organizations focused on Health Care, Education, Human Services, Youth and Amateur Athletics, Arts and Culture, and Conservation and Wildlife, Yawkey Foundation is committed to preserving and sustaining the charitable values of the Yawkeys’ by investing in impactful nonprofits providing resources, opportunity, and dignity to the vulnerable and underserved. For more information, please visit follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for the latest announcements.