The Cullen family has a distinguished history of helping to preserve land in East Orleans. Starting in 1986, Jack and Betty Cullen—longtime Nauset Heights residents, now deceased—donated to OCT two lots on Oliver’s Way totaling about 3 acres, one with waterfront on Mill Pond.
Through their estate plan, they gave another one-acre lot to OCT and made two more abutting lots, on Oliver’s Way and Nauset Heights Road, available for purchase. Recently the Trust signed an agreement to buy those two developable one-acre lots from the Cullen family trust. This land will supplement OCT’s prior acquisitions and enable us to create a six-acre land preserve on Mill Pond for the benefit of Orleans.
The Land’s Conservation Value
These two parcels are extremely desirable for conservation. They support a high concentration of red cedar and are close to a recognized vernal pool and to beautiful Mill Pond, so preserving this land will help protect water quality. Adding them to the land OCT already owns will enlarge and enhance valuable wildlife habitat. Looking further ahead, acquiring these and other parcels in the area may enable OCT to create a corridor of preserved land surrounding Mill Pond.
Of course, this prime location—across Nauset Heights Road from Callanan’s Pass—also would have great appeal to developers. If OCT does not purchase the two lots, they will surely be sold and two large homes will be built. Besides erasing some of the last remaining open space in Nauset Heights, developing these lots will increase traffic at the intersection of Nauset Heights Road and Callanan’s Pass, which provides ORV access to Nauset Spit for Orleans residents. Other adverse impacts on Nauset Heights and Mill Pond are likely.
Where things currently stand:
OCT has executed a purchase agreement to buy both lots for $600,000—one-third less than their appraised value. So far we have raised $440,000 in gifts and pledges, including a contribution of $100,000 from the Trust’s land acquisition fund, with the balance coming from generous residents of Nauset Heights, the Grandview neighborhood, and the Mill Pond area. We have about five more months, until April 15, 2017, to raise the remaining funds.
Says Patty Cullen, Jack and Betty’s daughter, “My parents always hoped that all of their land on Oliver’s Way could be preserved.” And we at OCT hope to fulfill their wish.
For more information, please contact Director Elizabeth Migliore at 508-255-0183, or firstname.lastname@example.org.