Help Save 15 Acres
on Cornelius Pond!






Imagine traveling back in time to an era on Cape Cod where you followed a worn cartpath or foot trail wandering through woodland and meadow nestled against a kettle pond, watching for the wildlife around you. That singular experience of solitude and scenic beauty is increasingly rare as development continues to encroach on the last wild places of the Cape.

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.

The total project cost to preserve this beautiful landscape and help protect pond water quality is $850,000. An anonymous donor has issued a challenge gift of $425,000, if we can raise the matching funds of $425,000 by Dec. 31, 2018.  We invite you to make a land-saving difference by donating today toward the matching fund goal.

Click to watch a video
including aerial footage!

Click to donate!


5th Annual Wildlands
Music & Art Stroll







More than 300 people of all ages enjoyed the 5th Annual “Wildlands Music & Art Stroll” on a sunny Saturday, Sept. 9th afternoon where they leisurely walked trails and experienced live music while watching artists painting the landscape. The signature September event was held at HCT’s 66-acre Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve in Harwich Port.

Artists from the Guild of Harwich Artists painted the scenic landscape live or ‘en plein air.’ The original paintings by the artists were available for purchase through our raffle held during the Wildlands Music & Art Stroll. Meanwhile, visitors listened to local musicians play jazz, classical, and folk music on guitar, accordion, fiddle, clarinet, and many other instruments.  Ice cream was even available for sale provided by The Local Scoop!

Local musicians who shared their talents included Jordan Renzi, Kathleen Healy, Just Plain Folk, Tom Leidenfrost, the Uke-Clectics, and many more. 

We thank the musicians and artists for volunteering their time and creative energy. We are also very grateful for the many HCT volunteers that made this outdoor experience blending music, art & nature possible. Thank you one and all!

HCT Takes the Next Step
in Planning Cold Brook
Eco-Restoration Project

The Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) and Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration have selected Inter-Fluve, Inc., an engineering firm based in Cambridge specializing in river and wetland restoration, to complete the ecological restoration design and begin the permitting process for HCT’s Cold Brook Eco-Restoration Project in Harwich Port.

The goal of this project is the comprehensive ecological restoration of 66 acres of former cranberry bogs and adjacent lands including the rehabilitation of more than 0.75 miles of stream channel and associated floodplain as well as the restoration of habitat and fish passage for a number of species of migratory fish and wildlife including the American eel (Anguilla rostrata).  The project will remove several water control structures associated with retired cranberry bogs; reconstruct stream channel and flood plain, re-establish wetland hydrology in former peatlands, and remove barriers to fish migration at the head of tide. 

Click to read more!


17-acre Muddy Creek
Headwaters Project:
Land Stewardship

Great news! On March 2nd, the 17-acre Muddy Creek Headwaters landscape was purchased from the Marini family by The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. on behalf of HCT. The Compact’s “buy-and-hold” role allows HCT to raise the remaining funds necessary to remove a dilapidated house and derelict tennis court, restore disturbed areas, enhance meadow habitat, establish a parking area and trailhead as well as create a new walking trail loop. The site is not yet open to the public until we complete these various land stewardship steps. Stay tuned for updates. The photo above of Muddy Creek looking west from Rt. 28 was taken by David Colantuono of The Cape Codder.




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: