December - January, 2016-2017
A message from our president
As I write this, the Thanksgiving chefs have doled out the leftovers to those of us whose only task is to arrive on time to receive the bounty of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Lucky us!
Ahead is winter in the Seashore.
Cold, slush, and snow are inevitable. So are dazzlingly bright days and nights so clear that at the ocean's edge, the stars really do resemble diamonds that stretch endlessly across the sky.
The winter beach astonishes visitors accustomed to the wider sands of summer. A walk through the woods is a quiet one, silence broken only by the crunch of the walker's boot on the frozen trail.
Also ahead for the Friends will be the work of the volunteer crews. Some clear overgrown areas throughout the Seashore. Some record the changes they observe in nature. Other volunteers, including your board of directors will work, too.
- Continuing the effort to reopen the Red Maple Swamp Trail with our Park partners.
- Developing a strategy to increase visibility and membership
- Producing the 2017 Magazine which will reach close to 40,000 readers
- Preparing the 2017 summer program.
Over the past year, many of you have shared your ideas for the Friends with the board through emails and conversations at events.
The board welcomes your ideas, so keep them coming.
We also could use a few more volunteers to help in the above priority areas.
After the holidays, as an antidote to cabin fever, take a walk and think about how you can put your skills and interests to work on behalf of the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful season.
Red Maple Swamp Update
Thank you Friends members for your dedication to the Red Maple Swamp Trail! Restoration work has begun! This project will be completed in phases, so Friends will continue to work closely with the Park to provide assistance and funding as we are able. To date:
All State and Town of Eastham compliance is complete.
500 lineal feet of recycled composite lumber and hardware has been purchased.
A dedicated crew of three carpenters has been hired.
With FCCNS help, entire trail has been brushed and trimmed. Large, fallen trees have been removed.
Barricades are up for public safety.
Dumpster, porta-potty and other support materials are in place.
Demo of the trail began 11/22 and work will continue throughout the winter.
Winter Film Series to be Relocated
Due to the necessary replacement of AV equipment at Salt Pond Visitors Center, the annual Winter Film Series sponsored by Friends will have to be rescheduled at an alternative location.
We are working to find a venue and will send out an email to our members as soon as this program has been scheduled.
Give the gift of "Friendship"!
This holiday season, instead of another necktie or box of candy, consider giving a gift that really gives back - a membership to Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore!
Your loved one will receive a letter notifying them of your gift, and throughout the year they will receive our magazine, newsletters and invitations to events. Most importantly, your gift enables us to continue to support our beloved national seashore in so many important ways!
Click here to learn more about the benefits of membership and download an application.
News from the Seashore
emolition of Highlands Center Buildings
Demolition began on November 14 at Truro's Highland Center. Eight buildings, including two former barracks, the heating power plant and five houses will be demolished to correct safety hazards at Highlands Center in North Truro.
In 1994, the National Park Service acquired the 110-acre former North Truro Air Force Station property now known as Highlands Center at Cape Cod National Seashore.
Since then, the national seashore has adaptively reused buildings for park laboratory, classroom, maintenance, and office use, and has invested in water, wastewater and electric infrastructure improvements.
The site provides opportunities to explore the arts, conduct natural science research on such pertinent topics as ecosystem health and climate change, and features unique educational programming.
The site also hosts the Payomet Performing Arts Center tent, Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill wood-fired kiln, and a Center for Coastal Studies wave observation station.
The main site access is officially closed for the off season, which is the routine schedule.
Public access to the Woods Walk Trail will be closed during the term of this work due to hazardous demolition activities.
CCNS to Host Climate Change Workshop
CCNS was one of two parks to host a residential Climate Change workshop with high school students in 2015. Based on the success of the program and using the 2015 experience as a model, the Park has been selected to host again in 2017.
A component of the project involves the high school students teaching climate change lessons to 4th graders. The Park benefits from the development of lesson plans staff can use with local students.
To learn more about National Park Service workshops,
Last summer, Dr. Nita Tallent was selected as Chief of Natural Resource Management and Science for CCNS.
As part of her 20+ year career as a field ecologist, she recently led a team of natural resource scientists in the inventory and monitoring of natural resources at the nine national park units that comprise Mojave Desert Network. These studies and monitoring efforts are similar to ongoing efforts initiated over the past few decades at CCNS.
In addition to her experience in the sciences and resource management, [Nita] also has a passion for fostering high-performing teams to address the challenges that national parks are currently confronting, such as climate change," said Superintendent George Price.
Dr. Tallent fills the position vacated by Jason Taylor. She is thrilled to be living in Wellfleet and excited to explore the communities, history and natural resources of the Outer and Lower Cape.
Work on Rehabilitation of Historic Salt Pond Amphitheater is Underway
This fall the rehabilitation of the outdoor amphitheater at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham began.
Salt Pond Visitor Center and its adjacent outdoor amphitheater were constructed in the late 1960's. Since then, the amphitheater has been used for ranger talks, concerts, and large events.
Over the decades, the condition of the amphitheater has deteriorated, despite cyclic maintenance efforts. In 2000 the amphitheater and the visitor center were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The goals of the rehabilitation are to retain the facility's historic characteristics while making it safe, accessible, comfortable, sustainable, and functional for a variety of programming.
The "wave" and stage structures will be repaired. Asphalt and benches will be replaced. An accessible ramp will be installed. The electrical system will be upgraded and lighting will be installed.
"We're very excited to be undertaking this project," said Superintendent Price. "There are so many opportunities for dynamic programs at this facility. Our Centennial concert with the Cape Symphony is just one example of how the amphitheater can be used by the park and community partners once it's rehabilitated."
The work is on schedule to be completed in early spring 2017. The national seashore is seeking funds to repair the similarly historic amphitheater at the Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown
Interpretation, Education and Volunteerism
by the numbers
(Compiled by CCNS staff for fiscal year ending September 30, 2016)
- 745 active volunteers who contributed 50,082 hours
- 1,665 interpretive and education programs offered, in addition to staffing visitor centers and providing informal interpretive contacts.
- Personal contacts through all of these programs was 841,884, up from 795,508 in 2015
- Payomet Performing Arts Center held 68 events for a total of 22,000 attendees
- Friends' members reported 1,760 hours and 47 volunteers, plus 133 hours contributed to Adopt a Trail.
VIP reception recognizes exceptional
On September 24, CCNS held a reception to thank the many people who serve as volunteers throughout the Park. 71 people attended the event held on the patio at Salt Pond Visitors Center.
In total, 90 certificates were awarded, while those with 10 or more years of service were honored with special commemorative watches.
Our Mission Statement
Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore (FCCNS) is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the Cape Cod National Seashore; a partnership established in 1987 to help preserve, protect and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the Park. By leveraging existing federal support with additional private philanthropy, FCCNS engages members, donors and visitors alike in the shared values of cultural appreciation, environmental stewardship and historical preservation.