The Gift of Holly Knoll:
Bill & Judy Shinkwin
Leave a Legacy


Passersby who pause to notice the knoll, know there must be a story woven among the grove of holly trees and their shiny green leaves.  Atop a slight rise off Long Road, these evergreens stand like sentinels, spiny and strong, glistening in the early morning sunlight. The trees are old, and big; there are lots of them and their roots run deep into the earth that is now protected by the Harwich Conservation Trust.

“Oh there’s a story all right,” says Bill Shinkwin from his home in Wisconsin. “And it starts with my dad, but not where you might think.”

Shinkwin’s voice carries all the lilt and warmth of a natural born storyteller. Although he’s speaking by phone, any listener can hear he’s happily settled in to tell the tale of the holly trees, or, more to the point, the story of his dad who owned the land on Long Road, and who was, above all else a gardener.

“During World War I, my dad was in the expeditionary force in France,” Shinkwin begins. “He wrote letters to his family, to his mother, in Chelmsford.”

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Bell’s Neck Trail Loop
Completed thanks to
Many Partners


The Bell’s Neck ring was completed on Friday with a chainsaw-cutting ceremony (photo courtesy of Bill Galvin, Cape Cod Chronicle) which removed a wooden barrier along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, creating a passage way to the former Hall property and connecting the loop of public trails around the West Reservoir.

The Bell’s Neck Conservation Area is one of the town’s premiere nature preserves and encompasses a large stretch of the Herring River, which leads into the West Reservoir. The Harwich Conservation Trust has been especially interested in working with the town to protect the Hall parcel, which otherwise could have been a four-lot subdivision. The February acquisition of 4.1 acres was the final piece in the puzzle.

“This is the last undeveloped, unprotected land around the reservoir. It’s a keystone piece in the greater Bell’s Neck open space puzzle to protect wildlife habitat and water quality, ” said HCT Executive Director Michael Lach.

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Turkey Talk Walk:
Saturday, Nov. 19th
(free, but pre-register)

On Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 a.m., join walk leader Irwin Schorr for a 1-1/2 to 2 hour seasonal ramble through Hawksnest State Park.  Commentary will touch on natural history and some pre-Thanksgiving turkey talk at the site of the old Walker Turkey Farm.

This walk is free, but please pre-register by emailing

Directions: From Route 6, Exit 11, go west on Spruce Rd.  Park on the shoulder of Spruce Rd. near the intersection with Hawksnest Rd. (not marked).

Fall Walk Series,
The First People: Before &
After the First Encounter

Join 12th generation Cape Codder Todd Kelley and native Wampanoag/Nipmuc Marcus Hendricks on a series of walks exploring the lives of the First People local to this area and the circumstances that led up to their first encounter with the Pilgrims. We will then examine the consequences of interactions that followed up to the time of King Philip’s War in 1675.  The Harwich Conservation Trust, Wellfleet Conservation Trust, Truro Conservation Trust, and Native Land Conservancy have partnered to offer this unique walk series. The land trusts in each of the three towns preserve natural lands within their communities while the Native Land Conservancy preserves natural lands across eastern Massachusetts. Formed in 2013, the Native Land Conservancy is the first native-led land trust established east of the Mississippi River.   (Photo of Wampanoag/Nipmuc Marcus Hendricks, courtesy of Rick Moriarty)

$45.00 for the series (if you join one or all three walks, it’s a one-time fee of $45.00)

Click here to learn more about the series & reserve!


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: