In mid-November, Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) and AmeriCorps Cape Cod members assembled and installed a new osprey nesting platform in the saltmarsh tucked behind Red River Beach. Two salt marsh parcels totaling 2.7 acres were donated to HCT in 2015 by Barbara and Peter Sidel. HCT’s Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator Tyler Maikath organized the osprey platform project, which was funded by a generous HCT donor.
With help from AmeriCorps members and HCT volunteers, the pole was constructed in the nearby beach parking lot, carried across the marsh, and positioned in place in hopes of attracting an osprey couple when they migrate north in late March from places as far south as Venezuela.
Let’s reflect on why this last lot was important to preserve in the bigger ecological picture of the scenic and habitat diverse Coy’s Brook Woodlands.
By preserving the one-acre lot, we’re extinguishing another septic system in the watershed, thereby protecting the water quality of Coy’s Brook and also Herring River from wastewater nutrients and emerging contaminants. By preserving the land, we’re protecting the visitor experience to this inviting trail loop, which is also compelling. But let’s look deeper and closer at some of the wildlife that call this land home because of the mix of habitats that provide wildlife foraging, nesting, and sheltering opportunities.
The timberframe kiosk at the 15-acre Cornelius Pond Woodlands newly preserved by Harwich Conservation Trust is in place thanks to volunteer time and skills provided by the Chatham-Harwich Newcomers Woodworkers Club. The group gathered over a few mornings to measure, saw, and hammer together the sturdy structure which will house a trail map and other helpful information about the new conservation destination.
This carpentry crew from the Chatham-Harwich Newcomers offers its construction time and talent to complete small-scale building projects that make a big difference for local nonprofits. L to R: Jay Arthur (top), Chris Seymour, Joe Linehan, Jim Meehan, (back) Bob Labrecque, (top) Wayne Glifort, Warren Chase, Steve Patzman. The new walking trail officially opened in September. Visit for a walkabout any day of the year throughout the seasons, any time from dawn to dusk.
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