ORLEANS — A local organization that keeps the town green has got the blues – but that's a good thing.
On Aug. 7, blues artist G. Love will perform a benefit concert for the Orleans Conservation Trust at the Academy Playhouse. Given that fewer than 30 tickets remained as of Monday, we interrupt this story with ordering information: 508-255-1963 or web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/976370
The show will help fund the $350,000 purchase of 1.7 acres to add to the OCT's White's Lane Conservation Area. “If you look at a map, it's the perfect puzzle piece cut out for the area we already own,” OCT Director Liz Migliore told The Chronicle. “We'll be adding to the habitat corridor and connecting some wetlands areas.”
The OCT's land is also known as Terrapin Point for the endangered creatures that nest there. “We were able to get a state grant to do a complete restoration project on the property,” Migliore said. “The area was completely overrun with invasive species, mostly black locust and bittersweet. We used Wilkinson Ecological to basically take everything out of there and replant native grasslands.” Since then, the Trust has maintained open areas along Henson's Cove off The River that it calls “turtle gardens.”
“We keep weeds from growing back in so there are open, sandy areas that turtles like to nest in,” said Migliore. It seems to be working: she reports seven active diamondback terrapin nests this season.
The land being sought is near the home of musician Garett Dutton, better known as G. Love. It was his idea to give a concert to raise funds to buy the additional land, according to a press release.
“My place on The River is so peaceful, with nature all around,” Dutton said in the release. “I really look forward to spending more time,” which he added might include “an outdoor festival next year.”
As G. Love, Dutton is taking a solo acoustic summer tour sabbatical from his group Special Sauce, described by Rolling Stone magazine as “the revered hip-hop blues trio.” You can see him singing and playing guitar and harmonica on YouTube.
The OCT, which has raised $30,000 toward its goal, has also applied for state grant funding. The organization has until Jan. 1 to come up with the balance.
“We were approached by the property owners, who have donated some of the surrounding land in the past,” Migliore said. They offered OCT first bid on the property, which is buildable.
The Trust hasn't hosted a concert since its “Songs for Space” event some years ago, according to Migliore. “We haven't had a big fund-raising event in several years,” she said.
“LOVE for the Land” on Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Academy will feature refreshments under a tent, courtesy of the Land Ho!, Hog Island Brewery, and David Bowler Wines. A silent auction and raffle offer prizes donated by local businesses, including a bicycle, a sailing tour, and a G. Love-autographed surfboard. One item sure to draw interest is a photograph of Nauset Marsh by Hardie Truesdale, who also lives near an OCT property and has donated photos to the organization for its new office. For more information, click here.