Topics: Conservation

ORLEANS — Back in 2016, the town paid $500,000 for a property at 141 Portanimicut Rd. that included a beach, marshland, and a house. The purpose for the purchase was open space and recreation, but for a few years the house was used as a satellite natural resources office. More recently, the 141 Portanimicut Rd. Task Force, appointed by the conservation commission, has been working on a land management plan for...

HCT Meets Funding Goal For Sand Pond Woodlands

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Harwich Conservation Trust has met its goal of raising $1,225,000 to buy 6.65 acres in the Sand Pond Woodlands. The acquisition puts in place the final piece of a 75-acre land connection puzzle along the Herring River. Purchase of the 6.65 acres will not occur until the spring of 2021, said Harwich Conservation Trust Executive Director Michael Lach, because the trust will have to comply with stat...

Harwich Food Forest Will Add Pollinator Garden Thanks To Grant

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There will be a new flower garden at the entrance to the Harwich Food Forest Walking Commons at the Bay Road power lines in East Harwich, serving primarily as a pollinator habitat in the public gardens. The Food Forest Initiative of Cape Cod – working with the Harwich Water Department, which owns the land, and Eversource, the utility company that holds the power line easement – established a perennia...

Commission To Allow Bogs To Naturalize

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — For several years, the conservation commission has been deliberating the future of the Herring River cranberry bogs as part of updating the Bell’s Neck Land Management Plan. Last week the commission decided to back limited management which will allow the bogs to naturalize gradually. The property was designated conservation land in 1993 and the bogs had been leased for cranberry production a couple o...

“I just want to go on record again saying I think this idea is stupid.” Eli had been saying this for as long as the rest of us had been planning, and at this point it was too late to change his mind. We stood at the metaphorical point of no return at the edge of the parking lot at Race Point in Provincetown. Twenty-seven miles of sandy beach lay ahead of us. It had stopped raining but the wind coming off the w...

Harwich Commission Approves Experimental Bay Scallop Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The sugar kelp farm that Mark Kelleher has been operating off the Herring River in Nantucket Sound will be expanded this year with the addition of juvenile bay scallops. Kelleher received approval from the conservation commission last week to experiment with growing bay scallops as part of the kelp farm the commission approve in 2018. Kelle h er told the commission he was somewhat disappointed w...

Remediation Work Winding Down At Handler Auto Parts Site

By: William F. Galvin

Still No Plans For Future Development  HARWICH — The land remediation work on the 3.14-acre Handler Auto Parts site along Route 28 in Harwich Port is nearing completion, but there remains no plan for the redevelopment of the land, which commands sweeping views of Allen Harbor and its marsh. Jeff Handler said this week no decisions have been made on future plans for development of the property, which is zone...

Conservation Commission To Examine Use Of Styrofoam On Docks

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Every day, Ann Frechette walks along the shore of John Josephs Pond and picks up a cup full of tiny foam beads. She told the conservation commission last week that Styrofoam is spewing into the pond every day from an old dock on a neighbor’s property and she is concerned about the impacts on wildlife and the environment. Frechette said when she purchased her property on the pond there was an old dock...

Starting in late July, the breeding shorebirds of the treeless Arctic tundra begin streaming south, fanning out across North America. The wading birds characterized as shorebirds are a diverse group of species in the order Charadriiformes, and hundreds of thousands of these birds migrate along Cape Cod’s coastlines every summer through the Atlantic Flyway. For many of these birds, the Cape is a vital stopover ...

Harwich Conservation Trust Tracks The Secretive Box Turtle

By: Susanna Graham-Pye

Tracking turtles isn’t as easy as one might think, but Michael Musnick, a passionate amateur herpetologist, is doing his best.  Holding an antenna and receiver, Musnick sets off down one of the grassy trails leading from the parking lot of Harwich Conservation Trust’s (HCT) Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve.  On the preserve’s 66 acres, somewhere, hides a female Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). Wa...

Sipson Island Opens To Public Saturday

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

ORLEANS – For the first time since it was sold by a Monomoyick leader to English colonists in 1711, Sipson Island in Pleasant Bay will officially open for public access on Saturday, July 25. The Sipson Island Trust (SIT) purchased most of the island for conservation in June, culminating a major fundraising campaign led by the Friends of Pleasant Bay and the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts. Mark Robi...

HARWICH – It is a project more than 10 years and considerable effort in the making, and on June 25 the excitement among the small gathering of supporters and nature enthusiasts was palpable as the Harwich Conservation Trust’s Muddy Creek Headwaters Preserve was officially opened as a new and evolving trail. Located at 33 Church St., the property originally belonged to the Marini family, as Don Marini explained...

Rare Sandhill Crane Visits Harwich Port

By: Tyler Maikath

HARWICH PORT — One morning last week, Nan Poor, a trustee of the Harwich Conservation Trust, looked out her window into her yard, where she has several bird feeding stations. Among the visitors to her yard, which is next to the HCT Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve’s wetlands and walking paths, there are often mourning doves eating seed on the ground or blue jays bouncing about. This particular morning, thou...

Commission Wants More Policing Of Conservation Lands

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Remote sections of the town often draw unwanted activities, and conservation lands seem to take the brunt of such spoils. That seems to be the case on land just north of Robbins Pond in North Harwich. The conservation commission is calling for enhanced enforcement in the 16-plus-acre area, including a former cranberry bog and other parcels nearby. Trash has been dumped in the area, dirt bikes roam fr...

HCT Gets Major Donations For Herring River Land Purchase

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Fundraising to preserve open space always takes a winding trail of commitments from the community. Perhaps no group has walked that trail more than the Harwich Conservation Trust, which is looking for more of those commitments to purchase a 6.65-acre parcel that will complete a 70-acre conservation puzzle along the Herring River corridor. HCT Executive Director Michael Lach said the path to the purch...

ORLEANS — When is a closing an opening? When it’s a purchase that will ensure public access to Sipson Island, which has been privately held since 1711. On Monday, the Sipson Island Trust and its partner, the Nadler family, closed on the purchase of the Pleasant Bay gem from the Dietrich family trusts. The Trust now owns six lots and will acquire two more from the Nadlers when an additional $585,000 is raised, ...