Wellfleet Conservation Trust is a non-profit organization established in 1984 to assist and promote the preservation of natural resources and rural character of the town of Wellfleet. WCT’s mission is to conserve land in its natural state in perpetuity for enjoyment by current and future generations. For further information on the effort, visit WCT at www.wellfleetconservationtrust.org or the group’s Facebook page or write: WCT, PO Box 84, Wellfleet MA 02667.
Vision and Mission. The Wellfleet Conservation Trust was established in 1984 as a private sector initiative, consistent with Federal environmental law and Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution to assist and promote the preservation of open spaces and natural resources and to protect the rural character of the town of Wellfleet. This purpose is consistent with and supportive of the vision of the residents of Wellfleet who place a high priority on protection of our natural environment, precious natural resources, and improved access to open spaces. We share that vision. Hence the mission of the Wellfleet Conservation Trust is to conserve land in perpetuity for enjoyment by current and future generations. See Declaration of Trust for details and legal definition.
Results. The Trust acquires land by gift or purchase, acts as steward for its protection, develops walking trails and encourages the study and implementation of sound environmental practices. In cooperation with supportive landowners we hold conservation restrictions on additional lands which protect those properties in perpetuity. Today the Trust has 133 holdings, 104 of which are fee-owned and the remaining 29 in conservation restrictions. In total 360 acres are protected. 65 percent of the fee owned properties or 213 acres contain some wetland . The largest parcel is 22 acres and smallest 0.02 acres.
A cooperative effort. The Trust is a lead entity in Town and an active participant in conservation initiatives. The Trust has 127 holdings, 96 of which are fee-owned and the remaining 31 in conservation restrictions. In total slightly over 364 acres are protected, two-thirds of which are wetland. The largest parcel is 22 acres and smallest 0.02 acres.
Over the years private and public organizations and dedicated individuals have worked in close cooperation to conserve land in Wellfleet and promote the importance of preserving our natural resources. The Trust works with the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, the Wellfleet Open Space Committee, the Wellfleet Conservation Commission, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Additional conservation efforts have been made or have received funding from various state organizations, including the Department of Fish and Game, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. For the past several years we’ve been fortunate to be supported by AmeriCorps.
The Cape Cod National Seashore is a major conservator of land in Wellfleet along with the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The Town of Wellfleet, with the strong support of its citizens for the work of the Wellfleet Open Space Committee and the Wellfleet Conservation Commission, successfully leads conservation efforts throughout the Town. The Trust, as a private institution, works closely with, and supports the Town’s efforts.
Most of all we are fortunate in having townspeople, both year ‘round’ and part-time residents, who care deeply about our town and its beaches, meadows, woodlands, marshes, wetlands and wildlife habitats, and who promote and support the efforts of the Trust. Working together in close cooperation, we are all devoted to the preservation of natural environment and resources which contribute to the character and lifestyle of our Town.
Land Trusts and the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts has produced an 11-minute video describing the partnership between private landowners and the National Park Service to create the Cape Cod National Seashore, emerging threats and the work of non-profit land trusts to save land in the National Seashore. It is an excellent video, which cites several examples of positive partnerships here in Wellfleet.
In addition, the Compact has recently published interesting and informative booklets:
- To Live Lightly on the Land – A guide to private land protection in the Cape Cod National Seashore
- Fifty Years Forward, Cape Cod Land Trust Success