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It Happens Here: Trailside Museum a hidden gem in the Blue Hills

It Happens Here: Trailside Museum a hidden gem in the Blue Hills
It Happens Here: Trailside Museum a hidden gem in the Blue Hills 03:16

MILTON - Tucked amid the beautiful Blue Hills is a museum you might not have noticed. But Mass Audubon's Blue Hills Trailside Museum has stood there since 1959.

To be honest, it's less museum and more refuge for rescued wild animals. It's home to a barred owl that imprinted on a human and can't live in the wild. There's a great horned owl that's blind in one eye, a 16-year-old otter, an opossum with no tail, a kestrel that flew head-first into a window and dozens more.

You could call them a band of misfits.  

The Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. CBS Boston

"All of the animals here at Blue Hills actually came to us with different injuries. So none of the animals that are in our collection can be released back out into the wild," museum director Lauren Gordon told WBZ-TV.

They can no longer live in the wild, but they do serve a role.

"She's able to go out to programs, meet people and talk to them all about birds, animal conservation, owl conservation," says Gordon about their barred owl.

They become teachers, in other words, for kids and adults.

"By bringing these birds out, we just instill a love of nature and that natural world to children and adults," Gordon said.

And Gordon has a unique role in Trailside's mission and history. She is the first woman director in its 60-year history.

A barred owl at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum. CBS Boston

"It's pretty amazing," she said. "We have all of these camp kids and young children that come in every day. For them to see themselves in a position like this, for me to be able to bring a bird in and talk to kids and for them to see themselves as a conservationist, is really important to me."

Trailside offers a variety of programs throughout the year, including summer camp and school vacation programs. For more information, visit their website.

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