Jacqualyn Fouse of Wellfleet has donated the largest gift of upland ever to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT). Ms. Fouse gave WCT 18.5 acres of native pine forest overlooking the Herring River estuary above the Chequessett Neck Road dike. In announcing the gift, WCT President Dennis (Denny) O’Connell said, “The Trust is extremely grateful to Ms. Fouse for making this incredible conservation success happen. Jackie stepped up in a magnificent way. We honor Jackie for her commitment to conservation. It is exciting to think that this beautiful land has never been developed, and never will be.”
Ms. Fouse had recently acquired the land from the Chequessett Club. The land was surplus to Chequessett’s current and planned golf course renovations. WCT will keep the area in its natural state, preserving the habitat and natural functions of the land. The Trust will create limited walking trails to scenic views across the Herring River valley. Access to the land and limited parking will be along Chequessett Neck Road only, not through the golf course.
On Sunday, September 16, 2007, seventy five individuals participated in the first annual “Walks in Wellfleet” sponsored by the Trust in cooperation with the Cape Cod National Seashore, Herring River Restoration Project and the Town Open Space Committee. There were four walk options available ranging from one mile to three and three quarter miles along different paths throughout Griffin Island, Wellfleet.
But this was more than just walks over the dunes and through the woods. Following a brief orientation by Denny O’Connell, Trust President, three highly professional and knowledgeable National Seashore ecologists, John Portnoy, Stephen Smith and Evan Gwilliam each led walkers through different areas of Griffin Island and gave presentations along the way on the Herring River Restoration Project, cultural landscape restoration, upland plant and marsh ecology, and the historical development of the land.
The walks were acclaimed by the participants to be highly informative and enjoyable because of this unique educational feature and the opportunity to see and learn about a portion of Wellfleet that many, even a few long-time Wellfleet residents had not visited.