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Almanac Archive for Nov. 10, 2021

Conservation Almanac Special Notice
Saturday: Winter Walks Return!
Join your friends at VCS for the always fun and informative Winter Walks series. Get outdoors, take in the Island's scenic beauty, and learn the conservation history of some of our local ecological treasures. Our first walk of the season will be this Saturday, beginning at 10 am in West Tisbury's town center (details below).
This year's Winter Walks program features a diverse collection of properties that VCS has worked to conserve, with a special emphasis on private properties whose habitat value has been permanently protected through the use of Conservation Restrictions.
Due to ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19, we must limit the total number of participants. Registration is required, with priority given to current VCS members. Please register online here, or email us with your name and the number of guests. We hope to see as many of you as possible out there, so contact us soon and if you're not yet a member, Join Today!
Photo: Winter Walk nearly ten years ago at the Frances Newhall Woods Preserve, the largest CR property on Martha's Vineyard. A return trip is planned for this January 8th; see the full schedule here.

Hidden Gems of Conservation in West Tisbury Town Center
The rural character and pastoral landscape of West Tisbury has long been a defining characteristic of the town. With numerous farms, a busy town center, and the Tisbury Great Pond all in close proximity, agriculture and conservation have always been deeply intertwined. That's why, forty years ago, the Vineyard Conservation Society began working to preserve the agricultural heart of West Tisbury through a series of permanent conservation restrictions (CRs). Thanks to the generosity of the private landowners there (who gave up rights to further develop, and thus monetize, the land), this Island heartland has been preserved, and water quality in the Great Pond protected, for future generations.

Saturday's walk will highlight several of these CR properties, located surprisingly close to both the town center and the Tisbury Great Pond (via Town Cove, see photo above right). We plan to start at the 12-acre parcel where, in the late 1970s, Tom and Helen Maley granted one of the first CRs recorded on Martha's Vineyard. That restriction conserves otherwise developable uplands and wetlands adjacent to the Mill Brook. From there we will continue to Brandy Brow, high ground near the Mill Pond, which was donated to the town in the 1980s by the Woods family. The walk will also include a CR donated in the 1990s by Jane Newhall, protecting her 12 acres on Parsonage Pond, and a small CR on the pond donated by Jeff Dando. Finally, we will pass by the CR gifted by Fred and Harriet Woods in 2005, which protects 12 acres of pasture hidden behind the homes on Music Street
fields that have been grazed for hundreds of years, and today remain in active agriculture.

We hope you can join us Saturday to learn more about the conservation history of these "hidden gems" of West Tisbury. Please see the general walks info above, and contact us soon!

Left: The view from Brandy Brow, across the Mill Pond to the old school beyond. Previously the site of a tavern, Brandy Brow was purchased by Frances Newhall Woods to create a village green in memory of her mother, Virginia Whiting Newhall. The Woods family later donated the property to the town. Photo by Edward Lee Luce, from the Basil Welch collection of the MV Museum, accessed via Digital Commonwealth



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