All in the Family

View of the trail to the pond

Barnstable Land Trust (BLT) and Orenda Wildlife Land Trust – two like-minded organizations with complementary missions – recently made a deal to swap land. Now both land trusts have more contiguous holdings, for improved wildlife corridor management and increased public engagement.

Thanks to the swap, the BLT Conservation Center is now surrounded by its own ten acres of open space, which also includes a two-acre pond. “BLT will be able to offer more programming both indoors and outdoors,” BLT Executive Director Janet Milkman explained. “We can use the existing trail on the former Orenda property to walk to the beautiful pond, allowing us to fulfill our mission of connecting people with nature.”

BLT owned a small parcel of land at the end of Meadow Lane in West Barnstable. It was the first piece of land donated to BLT (then the Barnstable Conservation Foundation) in 1984 by Charles (“Dave”) and Barbara Birdsey. The parcel now connects to other properties Orenda has purchased over the years. BLT’s new headquarters in West Barnstable is adjacent to land owned by Orenda (with a conservation restriction held by BLT). The organizations realized it made perfect sense to swap the two parcels of land.

Meadow Lane

“The land swap was the idea of Kenneth Burnes, Orenda’s longtime board member and treasurer,” said Theresa Barbo, Orenda’s Executive Director. “Orenda works closely with BLT and we agreed to swap equally important parcels/acreage between our two organizations. The Meadow Lane property is uniquely special because the Birdseys were the founders of Orenda.”

At the time they gifted the Meadow Lane property, the Birdseys were motivated to donate land to BLT to help get the fledgling organization started and give it some visibility. With the land swap, we have come full circle. “Dave and I are happy to have been involved in the formation of these two organizations,” Barbara Birdsey said. “This land swap represents a convenience for both organizations and allows for more contiguous land, which helps support wildlife habitat.”

We have raised $650,000 for BLT’s new home at 1540 Main Street…only $25,000 remains to be raised for us to complete the purchase. To make a donation, click here.