Harwich Conservation Trust Offered 30th Anniversary Challenge


HARWICH – In celebration of Harwich Conservation Trust’s (HCT) 30th Anniversary, the Green Family Foundation and HCT Trustee Patti Smith will match every gift dollar-for-dollar until HCT reaches $50,000.

Their year-end challenge is available until December 31st.

“The Harwich Conservation Trust in 2018 is now celebrating its 30th anniversary year, and has preserved 550 acres since its beginning in 1988. And to celebrate that 30th anniversary year the Green Family Foundation and Harwich Conservation Trust trustee Patty Smith will match every gift dollar-for-dollar until Harwich Conservation Trust reaches $50,000 by year end,” said Michael Lach, HCT Executive Director.

Since HCT’s start in 1988, donations to the nonprofit have helped the local land trust to preserve more than 550 acres that help protect a diversity of natural resources.

Those 550 acres include 131 acres in the Pleasant Bay Watershed, 9,000 feet of shoreline and 125 acres across nine different ponds; 3,000 feet of herring run habitat; 40 vernal pools harboring spotted salamanders, fairy shrimp, and other sensitive wildlife; 66-acre Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve where innovative eco-restoration is unfolding; 10 walking trail destinations with 3 more scheduled to open in 2019-2020; 2 wheelchair accessible boardwalks helping people with limited mobility to experience nature; Safeguarding land for residents, visitors, and future generations to discover, explore, and enjoy.

“Harwich Conservation Trust started in 1988 thanks to volunteer citizens coming together with a common goal of preserving land to protect water resources, wildlife habitat, scenic views, walking trails, and a range of all of those environmental elements that really contribute to that Cape Cod quality of life that holds those here and draws so much more,” Lach explained.

HCT is also in the home stretch of a land preservation project to acquire 15 acres with more than 1,000 feet of shoreline on Cornelius Pond (also called Eldridge Pond). The total project cost is $850,000 and there is $112,000 left to raise.

Cornelius Pond is called a “coastal plain pond,” and coastal plain ponds represent some of the most vulnerable natural areas of the Northeast. Created by the receding glacier that left massive melting blocks of ice in the coastal meltwater plain of Cape Cod about 18,000 years ago, these special ponds since filled with groundwater, and now support a variety of species, including rare plants & animals.

Lach said the land-saving project is part of HCT’s larger Save Land – Save Water Initiative which was established to preserve priority watershed properties that can help protect ponds, coastal waters, and the fragile drinking water aquifer.

“The challenge and matching funds really help us continue to round out our fundraising for 2018 and get a jump start on our land saving efforts for 2019,” said Lach.

“Whether it’s cultivating and completing priority land preservation projects, continuing to plan for a very innovative ecological preservation project at the 66-acre Robert F. Smith Holbrook Preserve in Harwich Port, or continue to offer some really interesting educational programs like our Winter Talk Series and the 10th Annual ‘Meet Your Local Farmers’ event.”

For more information, visit: www.harwichconservationtrust.org.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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