The beauty of Nantucket is undeniable and is one of the main draws for tourists and locals alike. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is dedicated to the conservation and maintenance of the island’s habitats and natural areas. Founded in 1963, the Foundation continues to grow. They currently own and oversee 29% of the island’s ecosystems.
The Nantucket Conservation Foundation and its resolute members wear many hats and refer to themselves as:
Take a drive around Nantucket and the first thing you will notice are the cranberry-colored property signs denoting the many wide-open vistas and areas they oversee. Many people who have never visited the area mistakenly believe that Cape Cod is full of houses, businesses, people, and crowded beaches but nothing could be further from the truth. There are miles of trails where you can leave the hustle and bustle behind, and the beachscapes are often devoid of anyone. Due to the diligence of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, much of the area has been preserved in its natural state for everyone to enjoy. They ensure that civilization does not encroach the precious lands.
The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is the island’s largest landowner, and they take their job of caretaking seriously. In addition to overseeing the acres of untouched beauty, the Foundation also conducts valuable scientific research studying the area’s ecosystems. They offer unlimited environmental educational opportunities. The Foundation manages to take care of over nine thousand acres with no taxpayer money.
Over twenty-five Nantucket Conservation Foundation employees preserve the island’s habitats for residents and visitors to enjoy and maintain the fragile ecosystem for birds, wildlife, and more.
Serving as Stewards to Nature
The Nantucket Conservation Foundation cares for over 9,000 acres in 200 distinct parcels that run from Low Beach to Coatue and from Sconset to Eel Point. They spend countless hours working to ensure the upkeep of the diverse regions.
The staff focus on conducting a wide array of research on the many island habitats with the goal of better understanding the region’s ecosystems. They also strive to develop improved property management plans. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is dedicated to educational programs for all ages that focus on the land and natural formations of the island.
Working to Maintain Safety and Wellbeing
The resolute Nantucket Conservation Foundation employees serve as rangers who maintain the safety and well-beg of the region so that everyone can continue to enjoy the wide-open spaces.
The Foundation obtained the land it oversees from donations made by trusts, estates, endowments, organizations, and individuals. They continue to purchase land to better conserve the natural spaces of the area. On the island, there is a wide array of wildlife and rare plants that require protection. The foundation provides heartland and grassland management programs, property management, and protection of endangered species.
For over 200 years cranberries have been farmed on Nantucket and the Nantucket Conservation Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that the tradition continues. They own and continue to operate the only commercial cranberry bog found on the island, Milestone Cranberry Bog which spans 275 acres. In addition to operating the cranberry bog, they also maintain over 3,000 acres of moorlands which are made up of the fragile hardwood forests and wetlands surrounding the bog.
Each year in celebration of cranberry bogs, the Foundation hosts the Nantucket Harvest Fair which is a one-day event.
Take A Walk with the NCF this Winter
The properties managed by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation are open to the public for a variety of outdoor activities such as picnicking, fishing, shellfishing (with license), nature study, scenic beauty,and hiking in Nantucket. This winter the Nantucket Conservation Foundation is offering a series of Winter Walks through their properties, free and open to all members of the community. These walks are a great way to learn about the island’s unique ecosystem and an opportunity top become a steward of the Nantucket properties yourself.