Terrapin Point

At White’s Lane Conservation Area, OCT partners with Mass Audubon to protect nest sites for threatened Northern diamondback terrapins — and maintains walking paths.

Winter at Reuben’s Pond

Reuben Hopkins of East Orleans left a legacy of open space for public enjoyment in a heavily developed part of town.

Dawn Over Nauset Marsh

OCT protects shorelines and watersheds to help safeguard water quality and build resilience to climate change.

Autumn in Kenrick Woods

Used by the Monomoyick Tribe and early settlers, this woodland shelters rare American chestnut trees. OCT leads guided walks there and holds a conservation restriction on about half of the town-owned property.

Twining’s Pond Conservation Area

Native songbirds and other wildlife under pressure find safe haven on OCT lands.

Preserving land since 1970

In 1970, residents concerned about the accelerating pace of development founded OCT as a nonprofit membership organization. They aimed to preserve the beauty and seaside charms of Orleans by acquiring and holding lands in their natural state.

A half-century later, OCT stewards more than 670 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our town and our cherished coastal environment. Building on our original mission to protect open space for habitat and recreation, the Trust’s work today also helps our community adapt to the changing climate. We create and maintain trails for all to enjoy, lead guided walks, and put on programs where people get a deeper understanding of the place where they live.

Join us at an OCT event

Protect

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With your support, we continue to grow our protected acreage through gifts of land, purchases enabled by neighborhood fundraising, conservation restrictions, and bequests.

Steward

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Aided by volunteers and AmeriCorps Cape Cod, we manage our lands to safeguard habitat, maintain trails, and control invasive species.

Educate

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Open to all, OCT’s popular guided walks and talks connect people with the Cape’s natural wonders. We partner with town and schools, and publish a lively newsletter.

“I learn so much on every OCT outing, whether it’s new plant names, how Native Americans once used the landscape, or why some old Orleans families chose to preserve their land. The annual paddle to Little Sipson’s is a highlight!”

— OCT member Diana Landau

“Conserving the land was a nice coming-together of the family. We’re so happy that, with all the fun we’ve had on the land, it will be passed on to future generations. It feels good that we actually helped in our small way to protect the Cape’s environment.”

— Peter Johnson, whose family placed a conservation restriction on their Pleasant Bay property

“My seven-year-old son, Brodie, had walked some of these trails with me before, but going with OCT experts taught him to slow down and notice things in a new way. He always says how cool it is to walk through the woods without seeing any houses.

— OCT member Nick Bono