Native Land Conservancy Receives First Gift of Land

Ramona Peters, right, presents a gift to Norman Hayes, left, and Marie Champagney-Hayes, middle, after they donated 1.4 acres of land to the Native Land Conservancy.

Ramona Peters, right, presents a gift to Norman Hayes, left, and Marie Champagney-Hayes, middle, after they donated 1.4 acres of land to the Native Land Conservancy.

CENTERVILLE – A 1.4-acre parcel of Centerville pine-oak forest is the first piece of land donated to the Native Land Conservancy.

The Native American-led conservancy, which was founded in 2012, was gifted the land near Shootflying Hill Road by Sandwich Resident Norman Hayes.

The announcement was made Thursday at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce building in Centerville.

“The fact that it wasn’t a financial transaction, that we did not buy this property is just phenominal,” said Ramona Peters, the founder of the Native Land Conservancy. “It was truly a gift from the heart. And I know that is the way that our people have given land, from the heart.”

The donated parcel, which was given to the conservancy on June 29, was the first gift of land to the newly formed land trust and Peters hopes it will spur more donations.

“Why this particular gift has so many fantastic qualities to it, it has to be magnetic,” Peters said. “That’s what I am feeling, that it would draw more to us.”

Hayes, who is a professional forester and environmental consultant who was born and raised in Barnstable, said that American holly, American beech, along with pitch pines and black and white oaks inhabit the property.

“This is an honor,” said Hayes. We were stewards of this land for 50 years and I just have an inner peace that it’s going to be handled with you guys.”

A conservation restriction will be held on the land by the Barnstable Land Trust and the parcel also preserves part of the zone of contribution to public supply wells of the Barnstable Fire District.

“This to me is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with all the land trusts on Cape Cod and all the land trusts in Massachusetts,” said Barnstable Land Trust Executive Director Jaci Barton. “And for me I welcome another partner in helping to preserve the open spaces and special places of wildlife and water quality.”

Barton said that acquiring land for trusts is not an easy process.

“I know how hard it is to start an organization and I know how hard it is to do the work that you’re doing,” Barton said. “It’s made all the more special that Norman stepped forward to make this special gift to you.”

In the deed to the property, a quote from Hayes’s father, Stephen, a founder of the Barnstable Land Trust, was translated into native Wopanaak language.

The translated passage said, “Take care of the land and the land will take care of you.”

The Native Land Conservancy is the first Native American-led nonprofit land trust east of the Mississippi River and is supported by open membership.

Speak Your Mind

*


More From CapeCod.com