The founding trustees of the Dennis Conservation Trust (DCT) were awarded the 2018 Norton H. Nickerson Conservation Award at the Trust’s Annual Meeting celebrating their 30th anniversary.

The October 14 event honored the 11 founders for their conservation vision and passion to save the natural spaces of Dennis. Meeting attendees also paid tribute to the late Woodruff “Woody” Price for his longtime support of conservation efforts. Woody was an “admirer of all things botanical,” and was a great supporter of the Dennis Conservation Trust. He could often be found birdwatching or at Corporation Beach. In his honor, the Trustees conferred the first annual Woodruff Price Volunteer Award, named for Price, to Land Steward Bill Creighton of Dennis Village.

Since the first 3.5-acre donated parcel of land on Route 6A in East Dennis when the Trust was founded in 1988, to the more recent significant land purchases the Trust has been involved in, like Crowe’s Pasture, Bass River Park, the 205-acre Black Flats salt marsh, and 9 acres at Scargo Lake, the DCT has preserved 611 acres of land in Dennis. The goal according to President Joe Masse, is to reach 640 acres in the coming months – one square mile of land.

One challenge is maintenance of the land the Trust owns or manages, and they rely heavily on volunteer land stewards to monitor each property. Awardee Bill Creighton is one such steward, and according to DCLT Director Katherine Garofoli, Bill is the go-to guy for any and all volunteer opportunities. He was cited for his diligent care of the DCLT’s 1.5-acre property along Route 6A in East Dennis for almost 10 years.

Many of the founding members of your Conservation Trust continue the fight to preserve open space within the Town. President Joe Masse thanked current Trustees Connie Bechard, Carole Bell, Beverley LeBlanc, Richard Johnston and Edmond Nickerson for having the vision that a private Land Trust could successfully advocate for and protect the land. The other founding Trustees were Florence Crockett, Joel Crowell, Alice Dingman, Edward Gelsthorpe, Richardson Reid, and Norton Nickerson, for whom the DCT’s Conservation Award is named.

The Trust welcomed Courtney Butler, Cape Cod National Seashore, and Julie Drake, Director of Rehabilitation Services, Cape Cod Hospital, who gave a presentation on the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative adopted by the National Park Service.

Director Garofoli also announced that the Trust has changed its name to The Dennis Conservation Land Trust, designed to more clearly communicate their commitment to preserving land in Dennis.