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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.

Happening Soon!

Ice House/Reuben's Pond Walk

Thursday, June 13, 10-11:30am

245 Tonset Road, Orleans

Still a few spots left!

Join OCT for a 1.5-mile walk around two freshwater ponds, through pitch pine–oak woodlands on OCT's longest uninterrupted trail.

Limited participation; advanced registration required.

Register for Ice House/Reuben's Pond Walk

Bird Walk & Open House with OES Students

Over the past few weeks, we've visited Orleans Elementary School (OES) and Nauset Regional Middle School (NRMS) to learn from students and staff (see photos below). Funded by OCT's new environmental education grant program, students engaged in studies of water quality and ecology of local ponds, bird nest box observations, native plants and their traditional uses, and many other topics. Students used their new knowledge to create dioramas, posters, video presentations, 3D figures, illustrated journals, and more.

There are two more opportunities to meet with and learn from our next generation: a Bird Walk on Friday, and an Open House next Monday. Sign up below to join us!

Friday, June 14, 9:30am

Orleans Elementary School

Join OES fourth-grade students on a birdwatching walk along Boland Pond. Stephanie Ellis from Wild Care, Inc. will guide the walk.

RSVP for June 14

Monday June 17, 9am

Orleans Elementary School

Fifth-grade students will deliver presentations about producers and consumers in local ecosystems, showing their knowledge from local field trips.

RSVP for June 17

NEW Program! "Get to Know OCT" Walk

Thursday, June 20, 10-11am

245 Tonset Road, Orleans

Introducing a new way to "get to know" Orleans Conservation Trust!

Whether you're new to town and want to check out our hiking trails, or you're a regular and want to hear a little bit more about OCT, these walks are the perfect opportunity to join us. Bring your questions, hear about how you can get more involved, and enjoy the nature of our community with OCT trustees and volunteers.

Unlike our monthly educational walks, we won't be making guided stops along the trail. Instead, we'll take a leisurely stroll where we can have a conversation—we'd like to get to know you more, as well!

Limited participation; advanced registration required.

Register for "Get to Know OCT" Walk

OCT Office Demonstration Garden Session

Wednesday, June 20, 9:30-11:30am

203 South Orleans Road, Orleans

Drop by to learn more about, and care for, OCT's demonstration pollinator garden. At this workday, we will focus on weeding and adding edging material to keep our garden soil from eroding. Learn about selecting plants for a pollinating garden, native plant maintenance, and more!

Please dress accordingly for the weather and bring your favorite garden tool.

Meet at OCT's office; 203 South Orleans Road.


Grant Presentations

See what we've learned so far from Nauset Regional Middle School (NRMS) and Orleans Elementary School (OES):

"Why is the Pond Green?" by NRMS 7th Grade Students

Along the "Forest Edge Garden" at NRMS

Land acknowledgements and bird study at NRMS

Native plant study at NRMS

Learning about water quality at OES

Partner Event

Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming Walks:

  • Ice House/Reuben's Pond (6/13)
  • Mill Pond Valley (7/17)
  • Get to Know OCT Walk (6/20)
  • Putnam Farm (8/6)
  • Hike to Pochet Island (9/15)
  • Woods Cove (10/10)
  • Three Ponds (11/13)

Upcoming Talks:

  • "Designing with Nature on Cape Cod: Meeting Nature Halfway" by Jack Ahern (9/10)
  • "Coexisting with Our Wild Neighbors" by Stephanie Ellis (10/9)
  • "Birds, Bees, and Butterflies in Your Backyard" by Mark Faherty (11/6)

Save the Date! OCT's Annual Meeting will be Tuesday, August 27 at 5pm.

At Home with Nature

Nature-friendly practices you can adopt for your yard

How can I restore my habitat?

If you know you need to restore your property's ecological health, you've probably already identified invasive plants and other environmental issues. In undertaking your restoration, be sure to protect local native plant species that you may not even know are there.

Eliminating invasive plants and replacing them with natives, creating diverse vegetation layers, and providing water sources enhance habitat quality. Additionally, you can leave snags (standing dead trees) or add nesting boxes to attract cavity nesting birds, and leave brush piles and other untamed areas that provide habitat for a whole host of wildlife. And regularly monitor for invasives to remove them while it's easy!

Check back monthly for more At Home with Nature tips, and visit our new webpage!

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.