Old Wharf Point boat rack

The Wellfleet Conservation Trust is now accepting 2019 applications for use of the Old Wharf Point boat rack (formerly called kayak rack).

Some of the changes for 2019 are:

  • Places on the rack will be awarded by lottery.
  • A total of 20 places will be awarded.
  • There will be a $50 charge for each boat on the rack.

Applicants must

  1. Be a resident or property owner on Old Wharf Road or off a road accessing Route 6 via Old Wharf Road,
  2. Own their own boat,
  3. Not rent their property for more than two weeks during the season,
  4. Two applicants may be on one application form provided they both meet the resident requirement listed in #1.  If their application is drawn in the lottery, they will be awarded two places.

For further information and an application please send an email to: wct.kayakrack@gmail.com

16th Annual State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference

Screenshot 2018-10-15 13.21.39

The 16th Annual State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018, 8:30 am–2:00 pm, at the Wellfleet Elementary School.

See details and schedule here.

 

Volunteers to staff Oysterfest recycling stations, October 13-14

Wellfleet Conservation Trust has partnered with the Wellfleet Recycling Committee on CoastSweep, sharing a common interest in maintaining a healthy, sustainable environment.

Volunteers are needed to staff Oysterfest recycling stations, October 13-14, 10 AM -5 PM:

This year the Wellfleet Recycling Committee is partnering with SPAT to increase recycling and shell collection rates and keep these waste streams clean.

We are working upfront to identify food & beverage service ware so we can prepare signage and train volunteers.

We need your help to monitor recycling and shell collection at the Recycling Stations.

Not the most glamorous job, but essential – contaminants prevent recyclable products from being recycled.

Your role will be to guide festival goers on proper separation of waste (recycling, shell, landfill) and to remove contaminants from recycling and shell containers as needed. Gloves and grapper tools will be provided!

Please call Christine at 508-349-5864 or email eclshreves@gmail.com to sign up for one or more two-hour shifts.

Thank you for helping us make OysterFest a more sustainable event. Next year we hope to introduce reusable beer cups and add compost collection for food waste and compostable food service ware.

Wellfleet Conservation Trust coordinates COASTSWEEP 2018 on September 29 and seeks citizen volunteers to clean Wellfleet Harbor Coastline

coastsweep1Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT) announces that it is organizing volunteer efforts to conduct the annual COASTSWEEP program for the Wellfleet Harbor coastline. As before, this year’s program will coordinate with co-sponsors including the Wellfleet Recycling Committee, the Wellfleet Conservation Commission, the Open Space Committee, and the Friends of Herring River.

Last year’s Wellfleet sweep included 30 volunteers in 11 teams, covered more than 8 miles of beaches, and recovered 400 pounds of plastics and other debris. The clean-up took approximately two hours.

coastsweep2Since 1987, volunteers throughout Massachusetts have turned out for the annual COASTSWEEP cleanup organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each September and October, thousands of volunteers collect literally tons of trash from beaches, marshes, river banks and the seafloor. COASTSWEEP participants join hundreds of thousands of other volunteers in the world’s largest volunteer effort for the ocean—Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup—collecting trash, fishing line and other marine debris and recording data on what they find. This data is used to find solutions for keeping trash out of the ocean.

As part of the annual COASTSWEEP, the local cleanup is organizing at the Wellfleet Mayo Beach parking area on Kendrick Avenue at 9 AM, Saturday September 29. The rain date for this event will be the next day, September 30. No advanced sign-up is needed, so volunteers are asked to come to Mayo Beach to be assigned to a small team and a section of beaches for the Sweep. All supplies are being provided, but if you want your own gloves and reusable water bottles, it is suggested that you bring them. No water crossings are expected, so regular footwear should suffice.

For further information, please see full press release or contact us.

Photos from 2017 CoastSweep – Wellfleet Harbor, October 9, 2017.

August 18, 2018: 34th Annual Meeting

The Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT) just held its 34th Annual Meeting.

Ms. Heather McElroy, the Natural Resources/Land Protection Specialist for the Cape Cod Commission, delivered the keynote address. She described work of the Commission, with a special focus on the Commission’s work in Wellfleet.

L1280293
Mary Rogers, with delicious refreshments

In a presentation entitled, “Planning to Keep Wellfleet Special,” Ms. McElroy helped the audience understand the challenge for the Commission, first in terms of Cape geography, with its 560 miles of coastline, 15 towns, and a population of 216,000, which more than doubles in the summer, and a single freshwater aquifer. The Commission’s mission, “…to protect the unique values and quality of life on Cape Cod by balancing environmental protection and  economic progress,” proceeds in a context of sea level rise and changing climate.

L1280316
WCT President Denny O’Connell

She then described the various strategies that the Commission uses to address these challenges, including helping to develop adaptation strategies and providing decision support tools. In Wellfleet, the Commission has worked on affordable housing and historical preservation. In addition there are Cape-wide projects, such as the Outer Cape Bike Plan. As an example, see “Buy Fresh, Buy Local,” an award-winning story map.

There was a lively Q/A session, in which the audience asked about the Commission’s work in detail, discussed political resources and constraints, and explored the relationship of the Commission to other organizations, such as the WCT.

The Annual Meeting began at 9:30 AM, with coffee and a spread of delicious pastries. It was called to order at 10:00 AM. During the business meeting, President Denny O’Connell presented an historical overview of the group’s actions and achievements. A key point was that the all-volunteer Trust now has 385 acres in Wellfleet under its protection. There was also a Treasurer’s report, an invitation to the upcoming Annual Walk, the election of new Trustees, and a tribute to the late Don Palladino.

Annual Meetings are open to the public; no reservation needed.

Compact annual meeting

Denny, with F.O.D. (friends and family of Denny)
Denny, with F.O.D. (friends and family of Denny)

The Compact of Cape Cod Land Trusts held its 31st anniversary meeting at the Orleans Yacht Club on Monday, August 28, 2017. It was hosted by the Orleans Conservation Trust.

Denny receiving the 2017 Ansel B. Chaplin award from Peter Johnson  and Mark Robinson
Denny receiving the 2017 Ansel B. Chaplin award from Peter Johnson and Mark Robinson

Perfect weather, with a splendid view of Town Cove was further enhanced by delicious hors d’oeuvre’s. There were several excellent presentations on the Compact, the Orleans Trust, and the role of Americorps. Mark Robinson delivered the keynote speech in which he spoke of “what keeps me awake at night,” One issue was what he fears is a loss of fervor in the environmental movement. A second is the responsibility inherent in the word “perpetuity”: How can we ensure that conservation efforts have truly long-lasting effects?

Commendation delivered by Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Julian Cyr
Commendation delivered by Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Julian Cyr

However, the highlight for most of the audience from Wellfleet was that Dennis O’Connell, Wellfleet Conservation Trust President,  received the Ansel B. Chaplin Award for excellence in open space protection.

The award was presented by Peter Johnson of the Brewster Conservation Trust and Mark Robinson, Executive Director of The Compact. In addition, a commendation from the Massachusetts legislature was delivered by Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Julian Cyr

New website design

When you next visit the Wellfleet Conservation Trust website <wellfleetconservationtrust.org> you’ll see some changes. We’ve tried to make it more user-friendly, and give it a more pleasing design with many more photos. It follows more contemporary conventions on web design and will be easier for us to modify and update. 

The site is built using WordPress, which is a simple, widely-used platform. It should now be more hardware independent. That means that it should look OK on a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a phone. One bonus is that the new arrangement saves WCT several hundred dollars per year. We can also collect statistics on overall use of the site (but not on individuals).

You’ll also see some new features. There’s a search box on the top of the sidebar on the right. As an example, try “annual meeting” to see reports on all of our annual meetings, or “annual walk” for reports on all of the annual walks. If you type in just “meeting” or “walk” you’ll get back a much longer list, one that’s not restricted just to annual events.

There’s also a blog, accessed through a link at the top of the page. You can view that on the site, or if you prefer, subscribe through the link at the bottom of the sidebar. Subscribers receive each new post via email and unsubscribe at any time.

Upcoming events are now posted on the home page. In addition, the pages on the site are now tagged. For example, <wellfleetconservationtrust.org/tag/WCTevent> will take you to all pages tagged as “WCTevent”. The Documents section (linked in the sidebar) has been expanded to include more public information, such as trail guides and maps, by-laws, and a photo gallery. There’s a password-protected section for sensitive Trustee documents if needed.

We hope you enjoy the new site, and that it helps you understand, appreciate, and use the WCT. Please share any suggestions or questions through the website’s “Contact us” page, linked at the top.

Trails for all seasons

2017-03-13 15.57.26
Walker Trail

Wellfleet conservation lands serve many purposes, one of which is to provide opportunities for recreation. Most are full public access, meaning that people may linger to enjoy the views, observe the fauna and flora, or have pleasant times with family and friends. There are many short trails, often leading to benches for contemplation and open areas with beautiful vistas.

2017-03-13 16.00.40Although most visitors come in the summer and many walkers prefer warmer weather, the trails offer a special beauty in winter, with opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter birding, and even picnics.

Longer trails

The Wellfleet Conservation Trust has worked with the Wellfleet Conservation Commission and the Town Open Space Committee to create several contiguous properties for walking, photography, birdwatching, exercise, and other activities. These properties include longer, marked trails, some of which connect with National Seashore or other lands, thereby providing additional possibilities for exploring and even longer trails.

2017-03-13 16.01.29The Trust builds and maintains these trails, with the help of Americorps members and others in the community. The trail building includes making a safe path, cutting branches and vines, pulling up trip roots, adding rustic stairs on steep sections, marking with blazes, placing benches, clearing parking spaces, and adding signs.
2017-03-13 16.17.11

Trail guides and maps

At the Wellfleet Public Library you can find a free packet of brochures with trail guides and maps. There is an activity guide for children. This material is also available on the website.

2017-03-13 16.15.59The location of Wellfleet Conservation Trust lands are shown on the map in the sidebar. Click on the map to see a high definition pdf version. The pdf is zoomable and can be saved for later use. Also, at each trailhead there is a sign with a QR code, which you can use with your smartphone to find a trail guide with map for the specific trail.

Overview: The Story of Outer Cape Cod and of Wellfleet’s ‘In Town’ Conservation Areas, Creeks and Waterways

SE Mass Land Trust Convocation

Upper Cape Regional Technical School
Upper Cape Regional Technical School

On Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, six members of the Wellfleet Conservation Trust traveled to the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne to attend the Southeastern Massachusetts Land Trust Convocation.

The 16th annual Convocation brought together 110 members of the SE Mass. land conservation community for presentations and workshops.

One morning workshop discussed large land acquisition projects, which might appear at first too costly to pursue in terms of time, money, or other resources. This echoed a tribute at the convocation to Truro’s Ansel Burt Chaplin.

Chaplin had co-founded the Truro Conservation Trust, leading coalition efforts to preserve High Head and many scenic spots along the Pamet River. In 1984 he began convening local land trusts on the lower Cape to learn from one another. This led to the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, the “oldest self-sustaining regional network of land trusts in the US.”

Another workshop focused on Cultural Respect Access Agreements. We learned about a pioneer agreement regarding 250 acres in Dennis, the first native-led land trust agreement in the Eastern US.

Jack Clarke
Jack Clarke

In the afternoon, a workshop centered on effective communication to attract volunteers, build partnerships, or raise funds.

Finally, one workshop used case studies to illustrate about how trees are not always the answer for land conservation. But creating open habitats, meadows, and shrublands and keeping them from maturing into dense woods is not as easy as it may appear.

In the middle of the day, participants heard an inspiring talk by Jack Clarke, Director of Advocacy for MassAudubon: Where Do We Go From Here? The Environmental Challenges Ahead. He outlined the new challenges facing environmental protection efforts, nationally and internationally, while emphasizing the impact that local conservation can make.