the trustees of reservations
On The Land
The Trustees of Reservations

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CR Monitoring Voyage to Nashawena Island!

Last Friday, Conservation Restriction program staff had the opportunity to finally VISIT on one of our most unique CR properties - both our largest and MOST REMOTE conservation restriction property!  The CR on Nashawena Island, granted to The Trustees of Reservations in 1976, encompasses the entirety of the island's 1,820 acres.  Nashawena is the second largest of the Elizabeth Islands southwest of Woods Hole.  These islands constitute the Commonwealth's least-populated municipality (pop. 75 per the 2010 Census), the Town of Gosnold.  In the past we have monitored the island by plane (see earlier post) or on the ground. 

"Monitoring" from the Cuttyhunk Ferry.
This year, the need to update our baseline ground photographs led to an on-the-ground site visit!   The journey was more complex than most: two round trip boat rides awaited us, from New Bedford to Cuttyhunk Island, and Cuttyhunk to Nashawena, on top of a round trip from our home base at the Doyle Community Park and Center in Leominster!  A long but worthwhile day!

A shaggy roadblock refused to move for the caretaker's truck!
A year-round population of two caretakers round out the bulk of the island's population - a large herd of free roaming Scottish highland cattle which graze to maintain the natural grasslands, deer and coyotoes (which swam to the island!), sea and migratory birds, and a variety of rare and endangered plant and animal species.  Four modest dwellings serve as lodging for visiting members of the landowner family, and house the caretakers.  

Looking down toward Quicks Hole Pond, and Martha's Vineyard across the water.
 The only things better than the scenery were the family members' and caretakers' hospitality and sharing a glimpse of this remote and unspoiled island's history with us!


Pat Brody Shelter for Cats said...

Wow! Now there is a place I would love to see. I would be happy to fetch and carry for you next time. - Clarisse

Ellen said...

What a beautiful looking area! So glad that it is protected!

Electa Tritsch said...

Belatedly - read the post and wished I'd waved my hand earlier. Despite the report, I've never been there. Next time you monitor on the ground, count me in! Electa