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OPET Mission Statement

OPET is dedicated to:

  • land conservation in the pond’s watershed;
  • monitoring the ecological health of the Pond while engaging and promoting related scientific studies;
  • educating the pond watershed residents and encouraging them to reduce their impact on Oyster Pond;
  • working with the Town of Falmouth and other organizations to support the long-term preservation of the pond.

 

What You Can Do to Help Oyster Pond

 

Faces logoFalmouth Friendly Lawn Care Guidelines

 

 

 


Please Join us at the

Oyster Pond Environmental Trust
Annual Meeting

with the featured talk

“From A to Zika,
Mosquito Control on Cape Cod - What you Need to Know”

Presented by

Gabrielle Sakolsky
Assistant Superintendent & Entomologist of the Barnstable County Cape Cod Mosquito Control

Thursday, August 4th
7pm
Falmouth Main Library

 300 Main Street, Falmouth
Light Refreshments         The Public is Welcome

Gabrielle Sakolsky, Assistant Superintendent and Entomologist of the Barnstable County Cape Cod Mosquito Control will talk about the efforts here on the Cape to trap, monitor and control mosquitoes and their diseases. Although the risk of a Zika outbreak here is extremely low, other mosquito borne diseases such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are of concern. She will also discuss how to limit your exposure to mosquitoes. Ms. Sakolsky is the featured speaker at the Oyster Pond Environmental Trust (OPET) Annual Meeting. Her talk will follow a short update by OPET on their past year's accomplishments. The public is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

 

Plans for the new Headwaters land are underway!

Click on the map to see a larger version.

Now that we've purchased the Headwaters land, thanks to you, plans are underway to draft a management plan and improve the trail system. This is the fun part!

OPET is beginning to design a circular trail system to link together points of interest in the new Headwaters property with the existing trails.  We are trying to balance access to interesting features while protecting fragile resources and maintaining a buffer to neighbors’ backyards. There are already informal neighborhood trails linking Ransom Road to Fells Road and one running up to Hackmatack Way. There are also existing trails in Zinn Park, the conservation land OPET acquired in the mid 1990s (green dotted lines). 

OPET President Bill Kerfoot at one of the boundary markers on the new Headwaters land. The first step to managing the land is finding its boundaries! It is always nice when you can find these as they are usually hidden under years of leaves and dirt.
Mark Robinson of the Compact of Cape Cod with a GPS in hand scouting out new trails and identifying interesting features.
An example of the challenging type of landscape we face for the new trails.

The above map shows some possible new trails layouts.  In January, Mark Robinson of the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts helped us start mapping and considering the new routes. Mark had a handheld gps that tracked our movements as we cut our way through the Headwaters property (purple dotted lines).  This work is only possible in the winter as the vegetation is incredibly dense the rest of the year! We also identified some features to highlight in a future trail guide.

Once the snow has melted enough we will go back out again with the GPS to map the remaining proposed trails (yellow dotted lines).   We might discover new routes when we are back in the field.

 

It's official, OPET now owns the Headwaters of Oyster Pond!

John Dowling, OPET's President, shakes hands with Jeffrey Fernandez, WHOI's CFO to celebrate the land transfer.
Photo by Jayne Doucette, copyright Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

On October 19th, the land transfer was completed and OPET officially acquired the 22 acre Headwaters of Oyster Pond from WHOI. Thanks to a flurry of last minute donations, we closed the remaining $30,000 funding gap.  The Headwaters will now be protected in perpetuity for all the citizens of Falmouth!

This is all possible due to YOU and all of your generous donations.

So many people were involved in this purchase.  We had 230 donors with donations ranging from $5 to the $500,000. Donations came from the Massachusetts Landscape Partnership fund, the Town of Falmouth Community Preservation Fund, foundations, The 300 Committee Land Trust, the Compact of Cape Cod  Land Trusts, other non-profits and many, many private donors. It really did take a village to purchase this land!

On October 19th, the land transfer was completed and OPET officially acquired the 22 acre Headwaters of Oyster Pond from WHOI. Thanks to a flurry of last minute donations, we closed the remaining $30,000 funding gap.  The Headwaters will now be protected in perpetuity for all the citizens of Falmouth!

Now our attention turns to managing this beautiful property and improving the public access. Any gifts that were received in excess of the purchase price and expenses will become the foundation for a Headwaters long-term stewardship fund.  This winter will be spent mapping out trails and developing a management plan. Other plans include installing a three space parking area and an informational kiosk.  We will keep you up to date with these plans as they progress.

Conservation Leaders Fight to Protect Our Open Space from Development Sprawl

Listen to the discussion on the value of preserving open space on the radio program The Point with Mindy Todd on WCAI. Panelists include OPET's Executive Director, Wendi Buesseler, Jaci Barton of the Barnstable Land Trust, Katherine Garafoli of the Dennis Conservation Trust and Michael Lach of the Harwich Conservation Trust.


Falmouth Enterprise Editorial - January 9, 2015 - Thank you Bill Hough!

The 5 WHOI lots are very important to preserving the health of Oyster Pond as they are the last large developable parcels in the pond’s watershed.  These lands drain into a creek that is the source of the only surface water to Oyster Pond.  Groundwater seeps up into the wetlands and flow under Ransom Road and directly into the pond.  Any pollutants on these properties will migrate through the soils, enter the groundwater and make their way to the pond.

A $2.1M Capital Campaign is underway to purchase and preserve 22 acres of undeveloped land being divested by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Successful acquisition of this land will ensure that it remains undeveloped and will continue to be a vibrant natural and cultural resource for the entire community.

Oyster Pond and the hundreds of plant and animal species, many of which are endangered, rely on this land (Oyster Pond’s headwaters). 

Additional housing development would have a devastating effect on Oyster Pond and the surrounding habitat.  Development could result in up to 70 new housing units, if a developer used the 40B provision of the Falmouth planning bylaws. 

Preserving this land — and guarding against development — will have lasting cultural and economic benefits for our community.

To learn more about this important initiative and how it affects all of us, please read our brochure.

There are many ways to give Ways to Give.

We need everyone’s help to reach our funding goal - please donate today

All donation amounts are welcome and appreciated - thank you!

 
A slideshow of the land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood frogs "quacking" and spring peepers singing at one of the vernal pools.

Vernal Pool Chorus from OPET on Vimeo.

Support OPET every time you shop on Amazon

Oyster Pond Environmental Trust
 

Now you can support OPET everytime you shop through Amazon. If you are an Amazon customer, you can support OPET every time you purchase or download eligible items.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to OPET through the Amazon Smile program.

 

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In 1994 residents of Oyster Pond’s watershed area formed
Oyster Pond Environmental Trust, Inc. (OPET)
to improve the pond’s health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Become a Member of OPET today

 

Oyster Pond Environmental Trust, Inc.
501(c) 3 non-profit organization
PO Box 496 • Woods Hole, MA 02543-0496