Help Save 15 Acres
with more than 1,000 ft.
on Cornelius Pond
The Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) has an opportunity to preserve approximately 15 acres to help protect the historical feel, scenic splendor, water quality, and wildlife habitat diversity along more than 1,000 feet of shoreline on Cornelius Pond (also known as Eldridge Pond).
Cornelius Pond is called a “coastal plain pond,” and coastal plain ponds represent some of the most vulnerable natural areas of the Northeast. Created by the receding glacier that left massive melting blocks of ice in the coastal meltwater plain of Cape Cod about 18,000 years ago, these special ponds since filled with groundwater and now support a variety of species, including rare plants and animals.
Local Students Explore
Robert F. Smith
Cold Brook Preserve
“We survived!” one fifth grader exclaimed as she jumped up and down. Her class at Monomoy Regional Middle School was playing a game about the life cycle of the American eel, taught by Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary School Programs Coordinator Spring Beckhorn with curriculum in part created by 30-year veteran science teacher Valerie Bell. The students from Harwich and Chatham were learning about the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve owned by Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) in the heart of Harwich Port. HCT and Wellfleet Audubon are partnering to connect Monomoy students to local conservation land, water, and wildlife, thereby educating future generations about the importance of being sensitive stewards of Cape Cod’s natural heritage.
“It’s a magic place,” says Sophie Eldredge about Sophie’s Corner. “When we were little we had a garden down there. It’s a special feeling there. It’s beautiful; it’s quiet. It’s a corner nook in the middle of the woods. You can’t see any houses around. It’s peaceful.”
When her parents bought the land in the 1980s, they named pieces for their three children. Her mother Caroline writes that the piece so named, “looked like Sophie, beautiful, wild and windswept.”
Walking to a meadow, you can glimpse Hinckleys Pond through the trees. Sophie’s father Everett Eldredge points to where a snapping turtle had dug a nest. It’s been scavenged, the eggs have dried out, becoming bone-like shards. “There was a cellar hole, a structure here,” he says. Clearly, the land holds a story for both people and wildlife meandering its contours over time.
Twenty years back, Eldredge sold his neighbor Jacob Brown five acres of the land adjacent to Sophie’s Corner.
Vision, luck, persistence, compassion, patience, flexibility, fate—just some of the elements that form the origin of the more than 80 rolling acres of forest and wetland that beckon within the Island Pond Conservation Lands. This conservation assemblage with walking trails traversing old cartpaths bordered by bicycle trails near the Town Center has been assembled over 20 years by a partnership among Town Meeting voters, HCT, and landowners with the courage and will to make a difference for land, water, and wildlife.
It all started 30 years ago, when a truck went into a ditch in the snow in the snow forcing G. Rockwood Clark and land owner George Canham to get to know each other better while they walked for help. Rocky was looking for Harwich land to buy. Canham, a sheep farmer, then in his 80s, wanted to sell his acres to people he liked and who would appreciate the land, so he gave Rocky and his then wife Cynthia a deal.
The Wilsons bring owls that are found locally including great-horned owl with golden irises, red morph screech owl and the soda can-sized saw-whet owl. They also showcase owls from around the globe, including the Eurasian eagle owl (largest owl species in the world) and the South American spectacled owl. The barred owl with its dark charcoal-colored eyes and the striking snowy owl will also make an appearance. – See more at: http://harwichconservationtrust.org/eyes-on-owls/#sthash.l69lwALO.dpuf