Lowell Park Preservation Top Priority for Barnstable Land Trust

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Jaci Barton, executive director of the Barnstable Land Trust, and Polly Dana-Schumacher, board member on the Barnstable Land Trust.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Jaci Barton, executive director of the Barnstable Land Trust, and Polly Dana-Schumacher, board member on the Barnstable Land Trust.

COTUIT – As the Barnstable Land Trust is preparing for one of its biggest fundraisers of the year, the nonprofit land preservation organization is working against a deadline to save land around Lowell Park in Cotut from development.

“Our goal is to preserve the 19 acres, sell three acres to the town and unite that with the existing Lowell Field and then the rest of the 16 acres will be permanently protected by Barnstable Land Trust to be kept in its natural state with the tall trees ever standing,” Jaci Barton, executive director of the Barnstable Land Trust, said.

A deadline in September is looming to preserve the land and protect it from development, Barton said.

“The biggest fear is if someone came in and decided to play hard ball—no pun intended—with the town or with Barnstable Land Trust or the Kettleers. We could lose the field,” she said.

COURTESY OF BARNSTABLE LAND TRUST The area marked in yellow is the 19 acres surrounding Lowell Field that the Barnstable Land Trust is seeking to preserve.

COURTESY OF BARNSTABLE LAND TRUST
The area marked in yellow is the 19 acres surrounding Lowell Field that the Barnstable Land Trust is seeking to preserve.

Because the 19 acres that the trust is seeking to preserve lies partly in the outfield of Lowell Park, if the field is not saved, Barton said, it could seriously impact the use for baseball.

“The field then would not be big enough to play baseball. In fact [Kettleers] Coach [Mike] Roberts believes that it wouldn’t even be big enough for a little league field,” she said.

Barnstable Land Trust is the only private nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preserving the open spaces and natural resources within the Town of Barnstable. The trust is currently the steward of 1,047 acres of land in Barnstable’s seven villages.

The trust preserves land that protects wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, sensitive watersheds, wetlands, forests and other open space.

In the case of Lowell Field, the land is important to the trust for a number of reasons, in addition to its proximity to the baseball field.

The land is part of an 800-acre open space corridor, which includes Eagle Pond, and extends up to Town conservation land west of Lovell’s Pond.

It is in a zone of contribution to a Cotuit drinking water supply well; and it is within the Town’s Resource Protection Overlay District, which was adopted to protect the down gradient three-bay estuary from nitrogen loading from new septic systems and lawn fertilizers.

The Lowell Park acreage could be developed into nine residential house lots, each with a backyard that would abut the baseball field, according to the trust.

“The land is very close to Cotuit Bay,” said Lindsey Counsell of Three Bays Preservation. “Any new development will generate wastewater from new septic systems, which will increase nitrogen and compromise the water quality of the bay.”

On February 26, the Barnstable Town Council approved two appropriations, totaling $525,000, putting the trust even closer to its goal to raise $1.8 million by September 2015. Fundraising is ongoing to raise the remaining money for the purchase.

In the meantime, the trust is preparing for its major fundraiser of the year.

The Barnstable Land Trust’s 21st Annual Gifts from the Sea fundraiser will take place at a new venue this year, Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee, on Sunday, July 19, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

The event includes a silent auction, raw bar, hors d’oeuvres, carving station and cocktails. There is a grand slam raffle and a Fling the Ring game to win fine wines.

A live auction will be led by auctioneer, John Terrio, and dance music will again be provided by Stage Door Canteen. Tickets to the Gifts from the Sea fundraiser are $150 each, or $300 for special VIP tickets.

Listen below to Jaci Barton, executive director of Barnstable Land Trust, and Polly Dana-Schumacher, a member of the Board of Directors of the Barnstable Land Trust, talk about the Lowell Park project and the upcoming Gifts from the Sea fundraiser.



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