Free, Guided Eco-Restoration Walks

Ecological Restoration
of Retired Cranberry Bogs in the Commonwealth

Dilapidated flumes hinder water flow. HCT’s eco-restoration project seeks to improve water flow, wildlife habitat & walking trails. Photo by Bill Giokas

The Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) has embarked on the Cold Brook Eco-Restoration Project, which will transform a retired cranberry bog site at the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve in Harwich Port into a high-quality, self-sustaining wetland and stream system.  The project is one of several being conducted within the Commonwealth, and represents a unique learning opportunity for the public.  This two-part guided walk series, led by Eric Ford, Professional Wetland Scientist with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, will explore various aspects of ecological restoration of retired bogs in Massachusetts to help provide a framework for the plans underway at the Cold Brook Preserve.  These tours are a great learning opportunity for those interested not only in the project itself, but also those interested in gaining a better understanding of ecological restoration, and how it fits within the broader concept of conservation. ​

There are two dates available for each tour, and we encourage you to come to one of each.  Space is limited to 25 participants per tour.  Please keep in mind that these tours will require some walking on uneven terrain, and certain aspects will be hands-on, so please bring a sturdy pair of waterproof shoes or boots, insect repellent, sunscreen, and clothes you don’t mind getting wet or dirty.  Shorts and dark-colored clothing are discouraged due to the presence of ticks. Binoculars may be useful for those with an interest in ornithology.   

These eco-restoration walks are free, but space is limited, so please register in advance by emailing: events@harwichconservationtrust.org.  Directions will be emailed to you after we receive your walk reservation email.

 

Part 1: Why Restoration?

Where: Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve, Harwich Port
(Directions will be emailed to you after we receive your walk reservation email)

When: Please choose either Friday, May 26th or Saturday, June 10th (9:00 to 10:30 a.m.)

This tour will focus on the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve, a retired bog complex and location of the HCT’s Cold Brook Eco-restoration Project.  The goal of this tour is to provide a context for ecological restoration. We will talk briefly about the concept of ecological restoration, the history of the site, some of its historic and current biological as well as physical characteristics, and the stressors that affect the site’s ecological integrity.  We will then briefly discuss potential actions that might relieve these stressors and how we look at various site constraints that may exist.

These eco-restoration walks are free, but space is limited, so please register in advance by emailing: events@harwichconservationtrust.org.  

 

Part 2: Restoration in Action​

Where: Tidmarsh Farms and Eel River Preserve, Plymouth
(Directions will be emailed to you after we receive your walk reservation email)

When: Please choose either Friday, June 9th or Friday, June 23rd (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

This second tour will focus on the actions taken on the ground to restore retired cranberry bogs back to more diverse, healthier wetlands.  The tour will be held at two recently completed restoration projects, Eel River and Tidmarsh Farms in Plymouth.  This will allow participants to see some results of implemented restoration actions, and how these wetlands have responded to various interventions early in the “eco-restoration trajectory”. 

These eco-restoration walks are free, but space is limited, so please register in advance by emailing: events@harwichconservationtrust.org.