Sheep Pond Woodlands – Gulls Way

Sheep Pond WoodlandsBy Mark Robinson

Clear-cut by colonists, Brewster’s pine forest has all grown back in just the past 150 years. In the mid-1800s, when Thoreau walked through, he said the Cape’s denuded landscape looked like the “bottom of the ocean laid bare.” We don’t ever want to take our woods for granted again. The key is saving large enough chunks of it, with width and breadth, to provide quality upland habitat and preserve a forest worthy of its name.

The Brewster Conservation Trust seeks to buy an 11.11-acre tract of pine forest on Gulls Way for $275,000 this winter. We have a commitment from the Town of Brewster for $125,000 (approved at last Spring Town Meeting) and hope to secure a $85,000 State grant in December. We will still need you, our friends and members, to contribute the remaining $65,000. Every dollar donated is tax deductible and will be applied solely to this land purchase. You have never let us down.

The Sheep Pond Woodlands is still a forest worthy of its name. Stretching from Route 137 on the east to Route 124 on the west, and bounded on the north by the Cape Cod Rail Trail and on the south by Sheep Pond, this unbroken forest is roughly 200 acres in size. The Town’s Conservation Commission already owns 79 acres, acquired through the Town’s Land Bank funding 15 years ago, that runs from the parking lot at the bike trail/Rt. 137 crossing to the fisherman’s landing on Sheep Pond. There are excellent walking trails on the old cartpaths leading past Captain Smith’s Bog and several vernal pools where spring peepers cry in April.

Our intended land purchase is all high, dry pitch pine and white and black oak forest, halfway down Gulls Way. Thickly vegetated with blueberry and huckleberry shrubs, there are also shy lady slippers blooming in May. The land abuts the bike trail and provides part of the pleasant greenbelt along this section. We hope to work with other adjoining landowners to preserve additional acreage in this broad forest. Please help us out with contributions large and small so we can keep going in our quest to keep Brewster green!

To give to the BCT you can click here.

Thank you!

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