September - October 2014

A message from our president




Late August, early September - the best weather, the best time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Cape Cod National Seashore.


Seawater is as warm as it gets, and there are far fewer folks on the beach. Hard to believe, but in the last week of August at the Race Point Beach parking lot, there were beach peas and Rosa Rugosa in bloom!


Wonder what you might see on your next outing?


Richard Ryder


Photo by Katie Blake
Member Appreciation Event
September 29

terns Cape Cod National Seashore is an important stopover site in late summer/fall for a variety of migrating shorebirds as they travel thousands of miles between their breeding and wintering grounds.


Grab your binoculars and come explore Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Marsh complex with Natural Resource Specialist, Mary Hake.


You will learn about the biology and identification of these migrants as well as conservation measures the park is taking to protect these birds during their marathon journey.


Meet at the upper lot at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham. Plan on walking about two miles (sometimes in soft sand and mud.) Please bring binoculars and carpool if possible, since parking is limited.


Program is limited to 15 members of Friends. Please RSVP to or call 508-957-0729 to reserve a place.


Monday, September 29, 7:00-9:00 am




Jimmy Tingle brought much laugther to our gala.


Friends Fundraiser A Great Success!


Approximately 135 attendees gathered under the tent of the Payomet Performing Arts Center on a beautiful July evening to celebrate the Cape Cod National Seashore and honor the contributions of late board member Guy Strauss.


Carol Spokes and Jeff Tash
at the gala

Toast and Jam's music delighted everyone as they enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres, wine, and beer. Friends president Richard Ryder followed by warming up the crowd with his witty auctioning talent, and the humor of Jimmy Tingle brought much laughter to this memorable evening.

Thanks to all who attended for their support of Friends and the Cape Cod National Seashore.


Board member Heather Hill and our auctioneer


New Seal Haul Out

at Coast Guard Beach


Photos by Dick Spokes

In a recent turn of events, hundreds of mostly gray seals began hauling out in August at a new location on a sandbar just south of the lifeguard-protected section of Coast Guard Beach, Eastham.

Seals haul out to rest and get warm, pulling themselves onto an exposed sandbar to lay bunched up together until the tide inundates the sandbar. Typically, seal haul outs in the National Seashore have occurred at relatively hard-to-reach locations, such as High Head in Truro, and Jeremy Point, Wellfleet.

This new haul out, so close to a busy beach, presents both a wonderful viewing opportunity, as well as a challenge to Seashore staff to ensure that viewers remain a respectful distance (at least 150 feet) from the seals.

The Truro Seal Education Team, which includes many Friends volunteers, has been at the sandbar during low tide most days, sharing binoculars and knowledge with interested visitors.

We don't know how long this bar will be exposed or the seals will remain. But, for the time being, it's a great opportunity to observe this natural event by an animal who shares this narrow peninsula with us.


News from the National Seashore


Trail Improvements


Trail improvements at Great Island


This summer a dedicated seasonal trail crew has been tackling trails from Coast Guard Beach and Fort Hill, to Great Island and Nauset Marsh.


They've installed new stairs and waterbars, added fill, trimmed trail edges, and installed directional signage. Fall is a delightful time to hike - we encourage people to see for themselves the great handiwork by the trail crew.

New Roof for Old Harbor


New roof at Old Harbor Life-Saving Station


This summer a dedicated seasonal carpentry crew has been hard at work installing a new roof on the 1898 Old Harbor Life-Saving Station. If you've seen Old Harbor, you can appreciate that this is not an easy roofing job with the building's several sections, including dormers and tower.

If you haven't, what are you waiting for? It's open daily from 2 pm to 4:00 pm through October.


Crowdsourcing a Ranger Program? Say What?

Park rangers are offering some innovative programs this fall that make use of Facebook and portable music devices, like iPods. In Crowdsourcing a Ranger Program, visitors will use Facebook to help design a program they would like the ranger to offer. In A Musical Journey, rangers and walkers will explore the sounds of the natural Beech Forest landscape, and overlay a musical soundtrack.

 For these and all of the varied ranger programs this fall, please click here.



September Exhibit

Works from the Peaked Hill Trust dune shack arts and sciences residencies are on exhibit at Salt Pond Visitor Center through September.

The program encourages creative projects in the arts and sciences from participants, who spend one or two weeks in a dune shack. The exhibit includes an eclectic array of works and topics, as well as works by students from Nauset Regional High and Cape Cod Technical High School.


Become a Volunteer



Have you seen these posters on bulletin boards around the Outer Cape publicizing the 2014 Friends concert series at Salt Pond Visitor Center?


The posters are an example of how a volunteer can help Friends with its activities. Created by graphic designer, Demetra Theoharis of Jamaica Plain and Provincetown, these elegant posters spread the word about Friends events and concerts, drawing attention to our good works. Demetra also designed the Gala invitation and poster.


If you have special skills, or just want to help the Friends help the Seashore, please contact us at There are opportunities big and small and we welcome any time you can give us.


You will find volunteer suggestions below and on our website


Our needs include trail maintenance, hosting Friends-sponsored events, citizen science projects and natural resource monitoring, editorial/design work on newsletters and our annual magazine, marketing and publicity, fund raising and finance, videotaping Tuesday Evenings at Salt Pond, program planning, beach clean-ups, membership outreach, online calendar entries, and on and on.


We need and welcome your help: please contact us!