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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.

OCT News

33 Eli Rogers Road Protected!

Orleans residents overwhelmingly supported the Town's contribution of $200,000 from Community Preservation Act funds to the Eli Rogers Road Woodlands and Watershed Protection Project at Town Meeting last month. Meanwhile, OCT received over 80 donations totaling over $100,000 since mid-April. This land is critical for drinking water and wildlife habitat protection.

Read more about the project, see photos of the property, and see the latest on OCT’s Fundraising progress here, and thank you for your support!

Welcome & Farewell

On May 23, OCT welcomed Jack Noble as this year's Land Stewardship Summer Intern. Jack hails from Seattle and is attending Wesleyan University. Read about Jack's experience and background here. Welcome to Orleans, Jack!

We're bidding a fond farewell to our Land Stewardship Technician, Lily Gooding, and wishing her all the best in her new position as the Assistant Conservation Agent for the Town of Harwich. Thank you for your hard work and many contributions to OCT!

Please help us spread the word about our Land Stewardship Technician job opening! Find the posting here.

Spring/Summer Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is hot off the presses! Read it here.

Want to receive our twice-yearly newsletters by email only (no hard copy)? Change your preferences here.

Find past editions in our newsletter archive.

June Events

Learn from Orleans Students

Last year, OCT launched a new partnership with Orleans schools, awarding nearly $18,000 to Orleans Elementary School (OES) and Nauset Regional Middle School (NRMS) to enhance environmental education through a variety of creative projects.

As the pilot grant year comes to a close, we invite OCT members to learn about the various grant projects from students and staff. The students have worked hard and are excited to share all they've learned!

OES second-graders test pH levels with OCT trustee Deirdre.

Wednesday, June 5, 3pm

Nauset Regional Middle School

View projects related to native plants, pond water health, and studies with nature cameras in the library, followed by an outdoor walk along Boland Pond.

RSVP for June 5

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

OCT Plant Sale

Saturday, June 8, 9-11am (At Home with Nature Sessions at 9:30, 10, and 10:30)

203 South Orleans Road, Orleans

Join OCT for our sixth annual plant sale, which will have a native pollinator plant theme (we'll have some veggies, too!). Beautify your garden while supporting native wildlife and pollinators. Proceeds will benefit OCT’s land-saving work!

While you're here to pick up some wildlife-friendly plants, stop into one of our mini education sessions to learn about OCT's At Home with Nature initiative, which provides homeowners with information and tools to practice nature-friendly landscaping. Attendees will hear about the example OCT is setting at our office, restoring the surrounding landscape, including removal of turf lawn and installation of pollinator gardens and future plans for invasive plant control and the addition of a rain garden. 

Ice House/Reuben's Pond Walk

Thursday, June 13, 10-11:30am

245 Tonset Road, Orleans

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'sPond Walk

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

Volunteer Opportunities

Trail Maintenance at Twinings Pond

Thursday, June 6, 9:30-11:30am

135 Quanset Road, Orleans

Have you enjoyed a walk in the woods on the trails at Twinings Pond Conservation Area? Join us as we add some water bars (see picture) and maintain the trail corridor to ensure safe, enjoyable passage on this beloved trail.

Please dress accordingly for the weather and bring water, as well as any other personal items you may need. OCT will provide trail tools.

Meet at the trailhead at 135 Quanset Rd.


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.


Partner Events

Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming Walks:

  • Ice House/Reuben's Pond (6/13)
  • Mill Pond Valley (7/17)
  • 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.