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About HCT

Since 1988, the nonprofit Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) has been preserving land that protects woods water, wildlife and the shared quality of life in Harwich on Cape Cod. To learn more about our organization, click on the topics below.

HCT’s governing documents, IRS Form 990, and other financial information are available for review at HCT’s office upon written request.

Land water by Stephanie Foster

Vision

The Harwich Conservation Trust is a leader in creating public-private land conservation partnerships that sustain Harwich as a livable, vibrant community for current and future generations. Harwich's sandy beaches, windswept marshes, quiet woods, and sun-dappled waters create a fragile place that is home to residents and a destination for tourists. Overdevelopment erodes the environmental qualities that shape our sense of place. HCT seeks to preserve Harwich's quality of life by protecting priority lands because it is the smart, practical, necessary thing to do for ourselves, our families, our town, our region.

Our economic health is tied to our environmental health. Good schools; strong police and fire protection; first-rate human services; a flourishing economy; and decent roads exist, in part, because we have not allowed overdevelopment to create an unsustainable tax burden. Studies demonstrate that open space protection results in lower property taxes than development.

We stroll and shop in village centers that will stay strong only if we protect the natural places that draw vacationers. We protect the aura of "Old Cape Cod" to ensure our economic future. We preserve woodlands and wetlands to keep our drinking water safe from development threats. We protect upland areas to keep pollution from entering our bays and marshes that serve as nursery grounds for a long-standing fishing industry.

One can put market numbers on a parcel of land but the more intangible values of protecting our wildlife, scenic views, and community character is, in fact, priceless. The sight of a great blue heron lifting off at sunset on long graceful wings; a quiet drive along roads offering water vistas framed by green woods; moments with family and friends on clean beaches. Who can put a price on the Trust's efforts to save lands that ensure clean coastal waters for a child's first swim, or a grandparent's fishing tale, or a newlywed couple's romantic stroll?

The Harwich Conservation Trust is an active partner in the process of setting aside conservation land while supporting creation of environmentally sound affordable housing and protection of our historic treasures. HCT conserves land to protect the very qualities that shape the shared, special place known as Harwich.

Mission & History

The mission of the nonprofit Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) is to preserve land that protects woods, water, wildlife and our shared quality of life. The Trust is a nonprofit land trust organization founded in 1988 by citizens concerned with the rapid pace of development threatening the fragile natural resources of Harwich. The Trust permanently protects natural areas by receiving land donations, holding conservation restrictions on properties, and purchasing land throughout Harwich. The Trust is not affiliated with town government, but will partner as needed to preserve priority lands.

The Trust has helped to protect more than 448 acres, starting back in 1990 with a quarter-acre lot in East Harwich overlooking Mill Pond. We have helped to preserve woodland north of Coy's Brook which is the major tributary to the Herring River, land above public drinking water supplies, land on the Monomoy River that flows into Pleasant Bay as well as quiet white cedar wetlands and wide open salt marsh vistas viewable from a wheelchair accessible boardwalk.

We continue to save special places thanks to your strong support.

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