How OCT Protects Land
The Trust acquires land for conservation in a variety of ways. Generous, preservation-minded landowners make gifts of land (owned by OCT and conserved in perpetuity), establish Conservation Restrictions on their land, or arrange to sell land to OCT.
But as land becomes more valuable, setting aside new land for open space becomes ever more challenging. Sometimes it takes a village — or at least a neighborhood — to help the Trust raise enough funds to purchase a piece of land that’s special to people who live nearby, or to the entire community. A property may protect treasured views or water quality or rural character; it may offer the potential for a wildlife corridor or a peaceful trail.
OCT has over a half-century of experience in protecting land in Orleans, and a track record of bringing people together to make it happen. Providing our expertise, leveraging grant opportunities, and working with committed residents who help organize neighbors and step forward with contributions, OCT has successfully completed land acquisitions that at first seemed dauntingly difficult. Such projects help build community and offer immense satisfaction to those who had a hand in permanently protecting treasured places in their own backyard.
Current Land Acquisition Projects
Eli Rogers Road Woodland and Watershed Protection
OCT was in a highly competitive real estate market when we learned that over 5 acres at 37 Eli Rogers Road had recently been listed for sale. We acted carefully but expeditiously in partnership with The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, who took out a loan and purchased the property for $1M on June 30, 2023, giving OCT an opportunity to raise the funds to protect the property.
The land includes a main home in decent condition as well as two neglected, aging cottages – a prime opportunity to undevelop land, restoring it to its natural state to enhance habitat value, protect water quality, and add climate resilience. The main home is slated for resale, which will allow for the protection of 4.5 acres at an attractive price, while still reducing the number of houses and septic systems on the property.
37 Eli Rogers serves as an important link between preserved land in Brewster and the 500-acre protected Orleans Watershed. It’s recognized by the state for being especially important for the protection of drinking water (Mass DEP Zone II Groundwater Protection District), and it includes habitat for rare species, as well as vernal pool wildlife breeding habitat. Because of its proximity to the Watershed, it also provides opportunities for enhanced public access to that large tract of forest.
OCT has applied for a state grant for the purchase and will apply for an Orleans CPA Grant this fall. We plan to conduct private fundraising this coming winter or spring.
37 Eli Rogers Road
By the Numbers
Acres to be conserved: 4.5
Buildable lots: 2-3 (excluding lot slated for resale)
Purchase price: $1M
Fundraising goal: TBD
Habitat: Pine-oak upland with huckleberry understory; small vegetated wetland (possibly a vernal pool)