September - October 2015

A message from our president


Greetings as we shift gears, moving from a great summer into a new season. From our childhoods, we share memories of September being a time of firsts--- first day of school, whether kindergarten, high school or college. Those first days led to more firsts. Homework, cafeteria food, first football game.

Here is a suggestion. If you are still on-Cape, try a first--- something new for you within the Seashore. Pick up a copy of the current Park News. If you usually head to Coast Guard Beach or Nauset Marsh, explore the Province Lands or the Highlands Center. Find the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp or the Atwood-Higgins House.

If life takes you away from this awesome place, lose yourself in books that can transport you here. Henry David Thoreau, Wyman Richardson, Henry Beston, John Hay, Miriam Hapgood DeWitt, Peter McMahon, our own Richard Ryder and many more authors can take you on a magic ride!

And while you're thinking about the Seashore, consider using your talents and interests on behalf of the Friends. You may like physical trail work, enjoy monitoring seals or shorebirds, you may have an interest in social media, event planning, or writing. There's a lot to do and we'd love to have you lend a hand.

This is my initial season as your president. I am looking forward to my firsts---- especially meeting you and getting your ideas to enhance the effectiveness of the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Pat Canavan

Member Events

Meet Superintendent
George Price

In this special event for members at the Navigator Level ($100) and above, Superintendent George Price will speak about Seashore issues, including Cape Cod National Seashore's plans for the upcoming National Park Service Centennial year.

This is your chance to engage with our engaging Superintendent! An informal gathering on the patio of Salt Pond Visitor Center, overlooking beautiful Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh beyond. Light refreshments will be served.

Let us know if you will attend at An email reminder will be sent to all eligible members later this month.

Tuesday October 6, 4:30 to 6 pm
Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham

National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 26
9 am to noon

Cape Cod National Seashore is planning three different work projects on National Public Lands Day (NPLD), September 26, from 9 am to noon. See the NPLD website for meeting locations and other details.

Province Lands Bike Trail

This is the first bike trail constructed in a national park! Help us provide proper directions and safety information to riders by installing new signs (funded by the Friends) and removing old ones. Work involves some walking, ability to lift and carry up to 25 pounds, and using post hole digger and shovel to install the new signs. Bring gloves and drinking water. 12-15 strong individuals are needed to complete this job.

Coastal Sweep at Herring Cove Beach

Herring Cove Beach is one of the most popular beaches of the National Seashore, located at the very tip of Provincetown. After its highly visited summer season, the beach needs some cleaning up. Come help us clear the beach of debris that is hazardous to our marine wildlife. For beach lovers and all who want to protect our planet. Bring sunblock, a hat, and water. Even stay a while after your service for a swim. Project co-sponsored by the Center for Coastal Studies.

Member Appreciation Event: Ponds in the Park

Park Planner Lauren McCLean, and Aquatic Ecologist Sophia Fox will lead a session about pond water quality factors, erosion, and other indicators of pond health. October 22, 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Details to come soon - watch your email!

Shorebird Management Plan

In 2010, Cape Cod National Seashore staff embarked upon an updated Shorebird Management Plan and associated Environmental Assessment (EA). An interdisciplinary team worked with Natural Resource Management & Science staff to craft a comprehensive plan.

This plan will identify, outline, and support a continued professional and science-based approach to shorebird management and protection.

As part of the EA process, the seashore hosted a public scoping meeting in 2011 to provide information on the planning process and allow the public opportunity to comment on the development of the plan. Park staff reviewed and summarized these comments and incorporated past shorebird management practices, current knowledge, and beach management activities to develop a management strategy for the future.

A final draft of the EA outlining the four alternatives will be released for public review this fall. Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the plan at an open house at the Salt Pond Visitor Center (date TBA). For further information, please contact the seashore's Acting Chief of Natural Resources, Bob Cook at (508) 957- 0737 or click here.

SCA High School Crew Improves Pamet Area Trails

In July, our park was host to eight high school students and two crew leaders from the Student Conservation Association (SCA). This organization strives to give young people the opportunity to work in positions that promote the values of the National Park Service (NPS) while developing their personal and career goals.

Staying at the Coast Guard Station in Eastham, the crew members, aged 16 to 18, traveled from California, Texas, New York City, Washington, D. C., and the New England area to donate their time and efforts to repairing the Pamet area trails.

They elected to participate in this program to gain a better understanding of conservation, the NPS, and to challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zone.

In their three weeks at the park, the crew made major improvements to the trail by installing water bars to channel the water and reduce gullying. They also placed fencing in areas where social trails had been made. The crew completed a big task for our park's maintenance department!

The park also hosted a number of education enrichment sessions for them, including an evening with Bill Burke, Park Historian, a canoe paddle on Salt Pond, and a day at the Bio Lab.

By hosting this crew we were able to support our Centennial Goal - "connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates." Before coming to Cape Cod many of the members had never been to a National Park before, or even knew which ones lay in their own backyards.

Now, these young stewards of conservation understand the importance of the NPS, and also Cape Cod National Seashore, and hope to share their experiences with others. Please go check out the newly refurbished Pamet trails and know that a crew of ambitious, fun, dedicated, and passionate students helped build it for you!

- Courtney Butler, Centennial Volunteer Ambassador
News from the Seashore

Preserving the Penniman House

In honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the Penniman House at Fort Hill is getting a facelift!

Each Wednesday this fall, at 1:30 pm, there will be a talk about the Penniman family, the house, and the work being done to preserve it, just outside the construction area. Come see this "work in progress" and learn a bit more about this venerable historic treasure.

Friends contributed major funds toward the painting of the Penniman House, making possible additional funding from the NPS Centennial Challenge Fund. At the Friends Annual Meeting in July, the seashore staff presented us with a thank you cake!

Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, Fort Hill

Dune Shack Arts and Sciences Exhibit

Stop by the Salt Pond Visitor Center Classroom in September to view paintings, books, photographs, and field guides created by artists and scientists in residency at the dune shacks in 2014. Also featured are dune-inspired works by students from outer Cape high schools and Cape Cod Regional Technical School. Curated by the Peaked Hill Trust, which operates the dune shacks under its permit from CCNS.

Opening Reception, September 19, 2 - 4 pm
Salt Pond Visitor Center, September

Time Lapse Videos of the National Seashore

Check out these short videos taken this summer of everything from a time lapse of a saltmarsh to a GoPro movie of a snorkeling program. To view, click here.

Join "Healthy Parks, Healthy People"

Fall is the perfect time to get outside and get active exploring a new place in the park as the temperatures cool and the traffic subsides. It's not time to trade your walking shoes in for winter boots just yet!

This year marks the start of Healthy Parks, Healthy People, a Centennial initiative designed to promote wellness for the local environment and the community at the Cape Cod National Seashore. The seashore will continue its new partnership with Cape Cod Healthcare through the fall season.

Health professionals will be available Monday through Friday from 7-10 am at Salt Pond Visitor Center to take blood pressures and provide information about walking on the many trails within the park.

You can also join a ranger for a hike or bring your kayak for a paddle. Take a look at the full listing of programs in the park newspaper or click here.

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.