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The Orleans Conservation Trust protects and restores natural lands — for people and wildlife, the health of our waters, and the character of our community.

April Events

Orleans Watershed Walk

Friday, April 12, 2pm-3:30pm

350 South Orleans Road, Orleans

What did Orleans look like thousands of years ago? Experience some of the 500 acres that make up the Orleans Watershed on this 1.5-mile walk, mainly on the service road, and learn about the geologic history of Orleans.

Limited participation; advanced registration required.

Register Here for Orleans Watershed Walk

Volunteer Celebration

Friday, April 19, 4pm-6pm

109 Portanimicut Rd, Orleans (203 S. Orleans Rd, in the event of rain)

Whether you’re new to Orleans, regularly participate in Volunteer Workdays, or sit on an OCT committee, come join us on Friday, April 19th to celebrate all the wonderful volunteers who help OCT accomplish so much of its work. Bring your appetite as we serve up beef burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs at OCT's beautiful Window on the Bay property at 109 Portanimicut Road. OCT will provide food and drink options, but guests are welcome to bring any potluck-style dishes to share.  Most of the event will be unstructured, but there will be a short presentation and feedback activity that will take place from 5:00pm-5:15pm. Dress appropriately for weather and travel on maintained grass. RSVP by emailing Tom by April 11th. 

On-site parking is limited, so please carpool if able. Additional parking is located further down Portanimicut Road at the Town Landing or at the Greenbelt Gateway at 66 Portanimicut Road.


"Undeveloping Land" Lecture

Tuesday, April 30, 6:30pm

CHO Meetinghouse, 3 River Road, Orleans

As part of a new emphasis on climate resilience, OCT and other Cape land trusts are trying to win back some dilapidated properties for new open spaces. Mark Robinson, executive director of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, talks about why undevelopment projects are proliferating, the complexities they entail, and how they’re enabling land trusts to strengthen the patchwork of protected lands on the Cape.

Doors open at 6pm; lecture starts at 6:30pm at the CHO Meetinghouse, 3 River Road, Orleans.

Register Here for "Undeveloping Land" Lecture

Volunteer Opportunities

Pile Burn

Thursday, April 11, 10am-4pm

20 Cheney Road, Orleans

Join us for a pile burn as we continue our restoration efforts at OCT's Moerschner Conservation Area. The burn will begin at 10:00am and will continue for several hours; however, volunteers are welcome to come and go at their convenience. We'll also be dedicating time towards invasive plant management as time permits. 

Please come prepared with work gloves, non-synthetic clothing, lots of water, and loppers or handsaws if you have them. 

Limited on-site parking is available, so carpooling is encouraged to make the most of the available space. 

Please contact Tom to sign up and for any questions you may have. 

Please note: the project is subject to appropriate fire conditions, which are determined by external organizations.


Terrapin Garden Maintenance

Tuesday, April 16, 9:30am-noon

Thursday, April 18, 9:30am-noon

Tuesday, April 23, 9:30am-noon

Thursday, April 25, 9:30am-noon

Meet at 203 South Orleans Road, Orleans, to carpool

Join OCT and Mass Audubon staff as we kickoff terrapin season with routine spring maintenance to the nesting beds. Volunteers will assist in the weeding and raking of the 15+ "turtle gardens" where diamondback terrapins nest. Participants will learn more about the terrapin program by speaking with field experts and trained volunteers. 

Four dates are scheduled for this project, but it is unlikely all dates will be needed to finish. Volunteers may sign up for one date or all dates, but should know that cancellations and rain dates are possible and will be communicated in advance. 

Please bring work gloves and water. A wheelbarrow, garden hoe, or cultivator hand tools may also be helpful if available. 

Parking on site is limited. Volunteers will meet at the OCT office at 203 S Orleans Road to carpool over to the work site at Henson's Cove Conservation Area. 


OPC's Earth Day Clean-Up

Saturday, April 20, 10am-noon

Various locations around Orleans

Join Orleans Pond Coaltion (OPC) for their annual Earth Day Clean-Up on Saturday, April 20. Choose from a location listed below, and click the link to register. Please direct any questions to

– Town Cove (by the Yacht Club)

– Rock Harbor

– Skaket Beach

– River Road Landing

– Mill Pond Landing

– Barley Neck Landing

– Baker’s Pond

– Cedar Pond

– Priscilla Point

– Nauset Beach

– Kent’s Point

– Crystal Lake

– Pilgrim Lake

– Pahwah Landing

– Pahwah Point

– Rt28/Tar Kiln Beach

– Bike Path along Namskaket

Register for OPC's Earth Day Clean-up

Meadow Bog Eco-Restoration

Wednesday, April 24, 9am-11am

Meet at 174 Quanset Road, Orleans

Join us as we embark on the second stage of an eco-restoration at OCT's Meadow Bog Conservation Area! We'll remove some vegetation and will then plant new, native shrubs like bearberry, sweet pepperbush, and more! Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring water, gloves, a pair of loppers, hand trowels, and any other trusty planting tool you have. 


OCT Office Demonstration Garden Sessions

Do you want more native plants in your home landscape, but don't know where to start? Sign up to volunteer and learn more about OCT's native plant demonstration garden at our office (203 South Orleans Road). As a volunteer, you will be contacted when OCT staff schedules garden maintenance days. Each workday will consist of a short 10-minute lesson that corresponds with the time of year and will be followed by garden work and opportunities to have your questions answered. Email Tom if you are interested in signing up for this program.


Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming Walks:

  • Orleans Watershed (4/12)
  • John Kenrick Woods (5/16)

Upcoming Talks:

  • "Undeveloping Land" with Mark Robinson (4/30)

At Home with Nature

Nature-friendly practices you can adopt for your yard

What’s the best way to control invasives?

Invasive species pose a threat to our local ecosystems by outcompeting native flora and fauna, disrupting ecological balance, and diminishing biodiversity. Identifying invasive vegetation on your property will dictate which control methods will be most effective. Employing manual methods, such as pulling or cutting, and using herbicides can be effective. Early detection and persistence are crucial. Click here for a list of invasives in Massachusetts and information on how to control them.

Check back monthly for more At Home with Nature tips!

Orleans Conservation Trust

203 South Orleans Rd.

Orleans, MA 02653

(508) 255-0183

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Orleans Conservation Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1970. Over its 50-year history, the Trust has preserved more than 660 acres in Orleans. Among the most active land trusts on Cape Cod, OCT stewards a range of ecosystems, from freshwater ponds and wetlands to saltmarshes, wooded upland, and coastal grasslands, managing its lands to protect and enhance wildlife habitat, restore native ecosystems, and provide public recreation and education through a network of trails and informational signage. OCT also educates residents and visitors about important natural values and environmental issues in Orleans and around Cape Cod via guided walks, free lectures, its website, newsletter, and other communications.