Europeans of various nationalities (but mostly English) sailed offshore to the coast of what is now Massachusetts in the late 16th and early 17th century. Settlement began around 1620. Englishmen soon established fishing and trading posts nearby. Massachusetts has played a significant role in American history since the Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. As one of the most important of the 13 colonies, Massachusetts became a leader in resisting British oppression. In 1820 Massachusetts constitution was considerably liberalized. It is the only one of the original 13 states that is still governed under its original constitution, the one of 1780, although this was extensively amended by the constitutional convention of 1917-19.
Maple, birch, beech, oak, pine, hemlock cover the Massachusetts uplands. Various ferns, maidenhair, and osmund grow throughout the state. Listed as threatened or endangered plants were the bulrush, and small whorled pogonia.
Common native mammals include the white-tailed deer, bobcat, river otter, skunk, mink, raccoon, black bear, gray fox, muskrat, porcupine, beaver, red and gray squirrels, snowshoe hare and little brown bat.
21 Massachusetts animal species were classified as threatened or endangered that included the American burying beetle, the bald eagle, puma, shortnose sturgeon, five species of whale, and four species of turtle.
Hotel and Lodging facilities in Massachusetts incorporate thinking green, acting green and are making proactive efforts to reduce impact on the environment with operations like recycling paper, plastic, glass, cardboard and metals; using food based, organic general purpose cleaner; using cfl light bulb replacement program; creating sustainable and seasonal garden; switching to biodiesel fuel; encouraging landscape, garden composting, and propagation of plants and flowers; using organic guest soaps and shampoo, guest towel reuse program, ecosmart laundry equipment, and reduced flow shower heads.
The Green Grants Initiative of Massachusetts encourages, challenges and supports all congregations in environmental stewardship. It encourages conserving natural resources, and teaching environmentally responsible practices. Other examples include encouraging bulk purchasing of earth-friendly office and hospitality supplies; identifying, funding and accomplishing important energy efficiency improvements to facilities, such as lighting and window upgrades, weatherization, etc. They conduct workshops that cover common challenges to energy conservation.