Topics: Conservation

CHATHAM — A special round of water tests revealed that a second public water supply well in Chatham now has levels of PFAS above state standards and has been shut down. In an urgent effort to conserve water, the select board Tuesday ordered an immediate ban on all outdoor watering. Well 8 is adjacent to Well 5, off Training Field Road, which was shut down in April when levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substa...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate a portion of Pleasant Bay and most of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge as critical habitat for the threatened rufa red knot. The areas are among 120 being considered for the designation, covering some 646,000 acres in 13 states. The red knot migrates between the arctic, where it nests, and southern locations -- as far as Argentina -- wh...

New Stewardship Director Will Manage HCT Land Projects

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — When he was serving in AmeriCorps taking down red pines in the town of Sandwich, Connor O'Brien learned that his grandfather worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s planting the trees. “I was taking down the trees he possibly planted,” O’Brien said. Growing up in Dennis, O'Brien always loved the Cape's natural environment. Now the former AmeriCorps of Cape Cod program supervisor g...

James G. Marceline Arboretum Has Grand Opening

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The warm temperatures and sunshine made a perfect day for the grand opening of the James G. Marceline Arboretum in Island Pond Cemetery last Friday. The 25-acre site is the first on Cape Cod to be accredited by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The arboretum honors the late James G. Marceline, a highly respected citizen of the community, veteran known for being kind, generous and always the...

CHATHAM – Since fourth grade, Nicole Smith wanted to be a marine biologist. Living in the Midwest, splitting her youth between St. Louis and Kansas City, posed a bit of a problem as far as access to the ocean was concerned. When she went to Kansas State University, Smith studied fisheries and wildlife biology, concentrating on conservation and biodiversity, areas where she's ended up spending her career. Smith...

ORLEANS — Once you step onto the sand at the town’s Tonset Landing, it’s less than a stone’s throw to your left to two small signs reading “End of Town Property.” It’s a gentle reminder that the right to walk the tempting shoreline trail ahead derives from the kindness of the owners of the homes with the million-dollar views. The path passes the end of the Orleans Conservation Trust’s Woods Cove Conservation...

HCT Hosts Free Webinar On AllTrails App

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

After all this time cooped up inside the house and socially distancing, are you yearning to get outside and explore the springtime landscape? Are you a little bit anxious about the idea of getting lost, or accidentally taking a route that ends up covering a few more miles than you are ready for? Fear no more. On Tuesday, April 6 from 7 to 8 p.m. Harwich Conservation Trust will host a free webinar in which Harw...

Town, HCT Working To Acquire 31 Acres

By: William F. Galvin

Jenkins Property Includes 20 Acres Of Cranberry Bogs HARWICH — The nearly 20 acres of cranberry bogs along Route 124 and Headwaters Drive provide visual evidence of the town’s agricultural heritage each fall as the red berries are floated and prepared for harvest. People line the bog banks with cameras to capture the beauty of the harvest. But in the future, people may have to flip the pages of photo albums...

ORLEANS — There were pluses and minuses in the third year of growing at Putnam Farm, Conservation Agent John Jannell told the agricultural advisory committee Jan. 11. “The 2020 season was a good season,” he said of the five plots in the conservation area not far from the district courthouse. “We had five full growers for the first time through the season out there. Everyone was active.” Even so, “I’m not sure I c...

HARWICH — The Harwich Conservation Trust is working with the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts to put in place two conservation restrictions on properties located in the zone two of Contribution Wellhead Protection Areas to the town’s public drinking water supply. The properties are located in sensitive resource areas and are adjacent to protected conservation lands. One parcel, 6.65 acres on the nort...

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...