New website design

When you next visit the Wellfleet Conservation Trust website <> 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, <> 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

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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.
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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.