The Brewster Conservation Trust has received a gift of 2.2 acres of commercially zoned property on the west side of Underpass Road at Commercial Street. The donors are the heirs of the late Samuel N. Shapiro and the late Theodore Scheft, business partners for many years. The two adjoining parcels contain approximately 215 feet of frontage along Underpass Road and provide a bordering upland buffer to freshwater wetlands.
These wetlands are near the head of and connected to the Considine Ditch that drains most of the center oftown west to Freeman’s Pond and out to the Bay. Preservation of the property in its predominantly natural state will protect the existing trees and understory and help protect water quality in the Ditch. Through the years, various commercial uses of the property have been proposed, but the environmental characteristics of the property have made development difficult and Peter Johnson, president of BCT, said, “Many of our properties tend to be off the beaten path, out in the woods somewhere. We are grateful to be able to preserve land that is in the consciousness of all Brewster people who travel up and down this busy road each day. I think this is the first commercial land to be donated to the Trust. The front of this property provides a small but important respite in the business district. The back of this property abuts school property where a nature trail was installed between the two elementary schools. We hope it can be useful to the schoolchildren and their teachers for accessible environmental education.”
On behalf of the donors, Attorney Christopher Froeb said, “Our understanding was that Sam and Ted intended to develop this parcel as a business property. There were wetland issues that apparently precluded some of those uses. The families are pleased to know that Brewster takes its environmental stewardship seriously and that schoolchildren may benefit from the preservation of this parcel.”
The Brewster Conservation Trust, founded in 1983 to preserve and maintain the natural land in Brewster, now protects, through ownership and by holding conservation restrictions, more than 563 acres in Brewster. It is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of trustees, all local residents, supported by dues-paying households. BCT was a founding member of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts in 1986.