Charles and Adelaide Walker Family Conservation Land and Trails are now open

From the Spring 2014 WCT Newsletter:

The Walker property consists of 8.3 acres of wooded slopes, a maple swamp, and a small pond, which is a certified vernal pool. The conservation plan for this property was completed in April 2012, and walking trails (approximately 0.6 miles in length) are now open to the public. We hope you will explore this new trail!

In spring this trail comes alive with music, color, and fragrance: the gentle chorus of spring peepers, the rhythmic bass of bullfrogs, the sweet scent of blackberry blossoms, the lime-green buds of swamp maples, the lavender blossoms of wild phlox, and the black and orange mosaic of monarch wings covering milkweed stalks. On the evening following the first warm rain of spring, you might even catch a glimpse of mole salamanders gathering at the vernal pool to breed and lay their eggs.

In fact, it is a festival of life and feast for the senses in all seasons. WCT trustee Dwight Estey was so captivated that he was inspired to compose poetry, which will be published on the WCT website. Here is a sample of his verses:

Through trees below, water I saw Glassy, dark with black reflection The Walker Pond below my perch Mirrored nature’s perfection.

Browns, tans and yellows shimmered And upon still waters seemed Like jewels laid out before me A view for kings and queens.

– Dwight E. Estey From Ode to a High Bench, A Poet’s Walk

Will the muses also fill you with creative spirit when you visit the Walker Conservation Land and Trails? If they do, we want to hear about it! You are invited to share your poetry, photography, and artwork with us. Once again, we express our deepest gratitude to the Walker family for working with WCT to preserve this gem.

Access to the new trail is next to 70 Coles Neck Road and marked with a sign.

Seventh Annual Walk, Old Wharf

From the Fall 2013 WCT Newsletter:

“It was seven talks and walks all in one!” “I learned more about my own neighborhood than I ever knew before.” WCT’s Seventh Annual Guided Walk in Wellfleet on September 7th delighted participants with rich information and beautiful views of Blackfish Creek, Drummer Cove, Cannon Hill, Pleasant Point, Lieutenant’s Island and the main attraction, Old Wharf.

South Wellfleet historian Pam Tice introduced the more than 100 participants to Prospect Hill, where the walk began. Don Palladino oriented the walkers after they emerged from the Indian Trail and headed east along Blackfish Creek. Reversing direction, the crowd followed the shoreline to a causeway where Eric Eastman explained the former layout and force of the inlet.

At Old Wharf North, a few stubs of the pilings were visible before the rising tide lapped over them. Bill Iacuessa distributed pictures of the old wharf and of the blackfish stranding of 1884. Dwight Estey discussed strandings in the vicinity.

At Old Wharf landing Brad Kaplan expounded on shellfishing in the Loagy Bay/Old Wharf area. Pam Tice related tales of rum runners and modern day marijuana smugglers. Herb Elio! explained the advantages of the kayak racks provided by the Trust.

After a little trek down the road, Bruce Hurter revealed an intact turtle garden he and others had been monitoring all summer. The diamondback terrapins were soon due to emerge.

Finally Bob Gross, his wife Susan, and Heidi the Labrador retriever greeted the walkers shortly before noon at their historic South Wellfleet train depot home. Moved from its original location along the tracks on the east side of Blackfish Creek, the building retains some of the original character even with its additions.

“Best walk yet!” “Where are we going next year?” “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” echoed over Prospect Hill as the walkers dispersed.

The Annual Guided Walk is WCT’s signature event. Be sure to join us next time!

Trail making on the Clover property

From the Fall, 2013 WCT Newsletter:

Have you noticed the new WCT sign on Old County Road in South Wellfleet? It marks the trail head of our new trail through the Clover property. As you may remember, this property was the keystone of a plan sponsored by the WCT, the Open Space Committee, and incorporating Community Preservation Act funds, to preserve 8 acres of upland pine woodlands and establish trails connecting with the Cape Cod National Seashore. Throughout the spring, volunteers including WCT trustees and Open Space Committee members have been busy installing, marking, and mapping trails through the Clover property which formally closed last December. The 8 acres are situated in critical habitat areas for Species of Special Concern, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program reports three rare animal species living on or near the site. Endangered Mayflowers are among the many outstanding natural attributes of this property.

The land consists of a healthy pitch pine and oak tree forest with full canopy. The shrub layer consists of viburnum, bayberry, shadbush, highbush and lowbush blueberry, and black huckleberry. This understory suggests that while the land may have been cleared (as most of the Cape was by the mid-19th century), it was never plowed. Groundcovers include mayflower, checkerberry, Indian pipes, and other typical native flora.

The house on the property dates back to 1840. After renting the house several summers beginning in 1962, the Clover family bought the house and land in 1969, and it served as their summer home for many years. On the property are the remnants of a pheasant pen, a cartpath, and what remains of Old Bell Road. When the family decided to dedicate the property to conservation, they patiently endured the torts of a long process – for which the trustees are deeply grateful, because this is truly a prized parcel.

WCT_Clover Family
Over Labor Day weekend, members of the Clover family came to see progress on the trail-making. Pictured from left to right: George Tilton, Rob Leatherbee, Margaret Clover Tilton, Nick Clover, Ralph Clover, Winnie Stopps, Katy Clover

 

Sixth Annual Walk, Indian Neck

From the Fall 2012 WCT Newsletter:

On Saturday September 8th, 73 walkers joined the Trust on  the  Sixth  Annual Walk  in  Wellfleet  around  the northern part of Indian Neck. It was an absolutely perfect September  day  to  visit  an  area many  walk  participants knew little about.   So the combination of exploring new places  coupled  with  talks  once  again  proved  to  be  a successful formula.

The walk started with an orientation to conserved lands by  the  Trust  and  Town  by  Trust  President  Dennis OIConnell at Indian Neck Beach, and then, after a stop by the newly installed Durand Echeverria memorial plaque and  rock  by  the  breakwater  in  Wellfleet  Harbor,  we heard a talk by Trustee Ned Hitchcock on past and future dredging in the harbor.  David Wright, from the Wellfleet Historical Society added comments on the history of the Indian Neck area, including learning that the area got its name by the relocation of the local Native Americans in 1713.  Then,  the  group  moved  around  Chipman’s  Cove and over toward Fox Island to hear about the history of Fox Island Marsh and the cooperation between the State, Town and Trust to preserve this large area.

On Saturday September 8th, 73 walkers joined the Trust on  the  Sixth  Annual  >Walk  in  Wellfleet>  around  the northern part of Indian Neck. It was an absolutely perfect September  day  to  visit  an  area many  walk  participants knew little about.   So the combination of exploring new places  coupled  with  talks  once  again  proved  to  be  a successful formula. The walk started with an orientation to conserved lands by  the  Trust  and  Town  by  Trust  President  Dennis OIConnell at Indian Neck Beach, and then, after a stop by the newly installed Durand Echeverria memorial plaque and  rock  by  the  breakwater  in  Wellfleet  Harbor,  we heard a talk by Trustee Ned Hitchcock on past and future dredging in the harbor.  David Wright, from the Wellfleet Historical Society added comments on the history of the Indian Neck area, including learning that the area got its name by the relocation of the local Native Americans in 1713.  Then,  the  group  moved  around  ChipmanIs  Cove and over toward Fox Island to hear about the history of Fox Island Marsh and the cooperation between the State, Town and Trust to preserve this large area. Wellfleet&Conservation&Trust&Online&Newsletter&•&Fall&2012&•&&Page&1& S