There is an old, odd expression, “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.” (Don’t bother to look it up, it is out of context here!) The Brewster Conservation Trust is currently taking advantage of unique opportunities to save land throughout our town. One of the few benefits of a down-economy is that prices of land to be bought as open space have tumbled for the first time in several decades. The window of opportunity may close at any time because the Cape will always be a desirable place to live. And land prices are still high here relative to other parts of Massachusetts and the US. We need the political and financial support of our members and townspeople to add to our protected open space rolls while we still can.
We have made in several new land purchases over the past year and currently have impressive opportunities. One of my favorite themes is being on the lookout for important pondshore parcels to preserve. In a 2003 Cape-wide study conducted by The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts (our conservation advisor), Brewster had 48 of the Top 200 pondshore parcels on the Cape. In other words, of the most important pond parcels to preserve for water quality and habitat significance in our county, almost one of four was located on a Brewster pond. And Brewster is only one of 15 towns on the Cape.
The BCT believes that the best way to save water quality is to save the land around a water body or drinking well, rather than having to resort to costly remediation after the water source has become contaminated. An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, to use another old saying. Buying land around the edges of our beautiful ponds preserves space for wildlife and buffers the drainage entering the pond.
Earlier this year, we rallied the Stony Brook Road neighborhood to purchase a 2-acre building lot on Smith Pond. Now we are raising $185,000 to buy a 2-acre lot on Round Pond and a 2.6-acre parcel on Dollar Pond. Our steeply-discounted purchase prices reflect a true opportunity for us. We ask support from Brewster citizens to raise the funds for these bargain sales. Please take this leap with us.
You can be reassured to know that 94 percent of general donations to BCT got to land purchase and stewardship. With an all-volunteer board, only 6 percent goes to administrative services. We ask you to help us protect Brewster’s land and water.