OCT is one of many land trusts around the United States, Massachusetts, and Cape Cod—all of them dedicated to conserving natural resources in their communities. OCT has developed important relationships with neighboring and regional land trusts, as well as with the diverse community of other organizations engaged in conservation work on Cape Cod. Partnering with kindred organizations that share our commitment to preserving and restoring our natural environment enables us to extend our reach and increase our impact.
The greater conservation community we belong to includes:
The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., is the umbrella association for the Cape’s land trusts, representing 26 land trusts and related groups. A private, nonprofit organization formed in 1986, the compact provides professional assistance to OCT and other private land trusts in our efforts to acquire and protect land and watersheds. Working with both public and private partners, the compact’s small staff of environmental professionals facilitates coordinated conservation efforts in Cape Cod communities. A key partner to OCT, it provides a wide variety of services to its members, including technical assistance with land acquisition projects, site planning and land management, fundraising and grant proposal writing, environmental research, and public education.
“On the Cape, land trusts like OCT have the advantages and the power of working locally in the community, while tapping into the Cape’s notable reputation for having the strongest regional environmental support organizations in Massachusetts. It is an engine of success for conservation, as proven over many years.”
— Mark H. Robinson, Executive Director, The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc.
The Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition works to advance land protection in Massachusetts by providing education, tools, networking, and advocacy support for land trusts and their partners. The organization unifies, strengthens, and connects more than 130 land trusts in Massachusetts to preserve open space, conserve habitat, provide recreational access, protect water quality, promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, and engage the community.
OCT participates annually in the Southeastern Massachusetts Land Trust Convocation—a half-day educational program designed to better equip land trusts, and the volunteers that work with them, in carrying out their land-saving missions.
The Land Trust Alliance is the national voice of the land trust community. LTA serves as the national leader in policy, standards, education, and training. It works passionately to support land trusts such as OCT so we can save and secure more lands now and for future generations.
Our neighbor to the south, the Brewster Conservation Trust was established in 1983 with the mission to preserve open space, natural resources, and the rural character of Brewster and to promote a conservation ethic. BCT owns and has conservation restrictions on more than 150 parcels of land and has protected more than 1,200 acres of environmentally important land.
In 2015, OCT partnered with and benefited from the expertise of Hal Minis, president of the Brewster Conservation Trust, when it undertook a review and renewal of our strategic plan.
The Eastham Conservation Foundation (ECF) is a private land trust formed in 1978 to provide protection to land in Eastham forever and to assist the town in its efforts regarding conservation and protection of open space and natural resources. As our neighboring land trust to the north, ECF has been a valued partner with OCT, recently sharing a dedicated land manager. By coming together to fund and administer this post, both trusts were able to undertake important land management efforts to restore and preserve our properties.
The Orleans Pond Coalition, Inc. is a volunteer organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the saltwater estuaries and freshwater ponds and lakes of Orleans. Its work includes offering educational programs to encourage mindful land use practices; sponsoring water quality research; working with community, regional, and state organizations to formulate constructive policies to protect our environment, waterways, and livelihoods; and informing the public of the status of ongoing initiatives.
OCT takes part in the Pond Coalition’s annual “Celebrate our Waters” weekend, which showcases our watery natural resources and highlights the need for protective measures to sustain them. OCT also provides storage and meeting space for OPC to conduct its important work
Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers a preserve, research center, and educational programs in a beautiful setting on the hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Extensive trails lead walkers through a panoramic salt marsh, sandy barrier beach, and pine woodlands, each attracting a wide array of wildlife. The sanctuary features a universally accessible trail and an award-winning “green” nature center with numerous exhibits and aquariums.
OCT has partnered with the sanctuary to create the Bob Prescott Turtle Gardens in our White’s Lane Conservation Area. Working together, we maintain multiple sandy gardens close to the water’s edge for threatened Northern diamondback terrapin turtles. Volunteers from the Mass Audubon sanctuary check the gardens both morning and evening during the spring to watch for females laying eggs.
The Center for Coastal Studies works to understand and protect our coastal environment and marine ecosystems. CCS conducts scientific research with an emphasis on marine mammals; promotes stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems; provides educational activities and resources that encourage the responsible use and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems; and collaborates with other institutions and individuals to advance the Center’s mission.
CCS has been a valued partner to OCT, supplying expert speakers for our series of talks on subjects such as the endangered North Atlantic right whale and the resurgence in seal populations on Cape Cod.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) works to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of Cape Cod, so that Cape Cod waters are restored and protected, natural landscapes and wildlife habitat are preserved, and growth respects the character of town centers and rural lands. The organization is an important partner to OCT in its work for the adoption of laws, policies, and programs that protect and enhance Cape Cod's natural resources and quality of life. OCT has been pleased to host many speakers from the association as part of our lecture series over the years.
The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance has been working with fishermen for more than 25 years to create solutions for a balanced ecosystem and profitable fishing communities. Its members are small-scale, independent fishermen—most operating family-owned fishing businesses—and its work focuses on assessing the needs of today's fishermen with the responsibility of providing healthy oceans and strong fisheries for the next generation. The alliance has generously provided speakers to OCT for our lecture series and articles for our newsletter, helping our members understand and support efforts to find solutions that appeal to fishermen and conservation-minded individuals alike.