February - March 2016

A message from our president


As I write this on January 23, snow has been falling for a couple of hours and the wind has worked itself into a frenzy. How fortunate I am to have a warm home and nothing to do but write to you, my fellow members of Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Today's quiet work and relaxed pace is in stark contrast to the activity of your board of directors earlier this month. Along with planning the 2016 fund raising event and editing the 2016 edition of our popular Magazine, we're also discussing approaches that will enhance the impact that FCCNS can exert on our wonderful Seashore.

You probably have noticed the Seashore's maintenance needs. The condition of a particular trail or building may concern you. As the responsibilities of the National Park Service have increased over the years, the allocation of federal funds through the Congressional budget process has lagged behind.

One model that has potential is that of matching or challenge funds, through which privately raised investments can trigger the allocation of scarce public resources. Our contributions to the Penniman House reflect the use of that model. Stay tuned to more on this subject in the coming months.

Thinking of the future brings to mind the tremendous foresight that led to the creation of our National Park Service in 1916. FCCNS will make our summer programs extra special as a tribute to the NPS Centennial.

Of course, your dues support our programs, so if you have not yet renewed, please do. To those who have joined in this Centennial Year of the NPS, thank you.

Pat Canavan

National Park Service turns 100!
National parks around the country are planning festivities to showcase their parks and the National Park System as a whole. The centennial provides a great opportunity for parks to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.

At Cape Cod National Seashore, we kicked off the centennial in September when President Obama announced the "Every Kid in a Park" campaign, whose aim is to attract every 4th grader in America to enjoy their public lands and to participate in a program that provides a free annual pass for them and for their families.

Eastham Elementary students took a pledge to do their part to preserve the National Seashore, which they are fortunate to have in their backyards! See a video of the pledge on CCNS Facebook page.

  Winter Film Festival 

This year's Winter Film Festival, which began January 24, takes a look at popular culture in 1916 by featuring silent films from that year and the later films they inspired.

Sponsored by Friends, the festival is a great way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon. Click here for the schedule, which includes Chaplin and the original Ben Hur silent production.

Other Happenings

A partnership with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Curtis School of Music "Curtis on Tour" program features the commissioning and performance of a piece of music written for the National Seashore. Friends will host this special performance in July.

A national juried quilt show that is touring national parks until 2017 will be on display at Salt Pond from late May through July 2016. "Piecing Together a Changing Planet" consists of twenty-seven quilts that depict climate change effects.

The National Seashore and FCCNS are partnering with the Addison Art Gallery for a two-day art festival in the park in July. Painters will be invited into the park to paint, and their works will hang in the Addison Gallery during a reception the following weekend. The event showcases the important role of artists in promoting and preserving parks.

— In May the park will host high school students for a 5-day residential education program focused on climate change communication. Cape Cod National Seashore was one of only two parks nationwide that were selected to host this grant-funded program. As part of the program, the high school students will share their new climate change knowledge with local 4th graders.

We hope that people from around the corner and across the country will join us in celebrating all that is wonderful about our national parks, and especially, Cape Cod National Seashore.

Membership News

Save the Date! FCCNS Fundraiser on August 9

Friends will hold a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, August 9, at the Payomet Center for the Performing Arts in Truro. Featured speaker will be Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka "Dr. Beach."

Learn the science behind the ratings of his Top Ten U.S. Beaches. Coast Guard Beach at the National Seashore is ranked No. 7 by Dr. Beach.

With complimentary wine and beer, delectable hors d'oeuvres, live music and the chance to honor all that Cape Cod National Seashore means, you won't want to miss this special, celebratory evening. Stay tuned for additional details.


Photos: Carl Sylvester

Join fellow Friends members on Tuesday mornings throughout the winter and into spring to help the park clear overgrown areas and to keep trails and vistas clear.

Each winter Tuesday -- weather permitting -- the crew meets at various sites throughout the Seashore, under the supervision of the park's Fire Crew, to burn brush piled up from last fall's clearing projects. There is a job for everyone!

What better way to get outdoors, to see a variety of places in the park, and also to lend a helping hand to the Seashore?

For more information, or to be put on the list of cut/pile/burn volunteers,contact carlsyl@comcast.net or info@fccns.org.

Carl will notify you each week as to the location of that week's project.

News from the Seashore

Photo: Sidney Maddock

Shorebird Management Plan

The public comment period on the Comprehensive Shorebird Management Plan has ended. The NPS is reviewing over 2,000 public comments received.

Nauset Light Beach

Once again the winter storms threaten and there's concern that the facilities at Nauset Light Beach may be compromised by erosion before the park receives funds to relocate them. The park is watching the situation; it may be necessary to begin some demolition as early as this fall while it is still safe to do so with heavy equipment.

Meanwhile, as in previous years, last weekend's storm damaged the Nauset Light Beach stairs, as well as the Herring Cove Beach north parking lot. The Seashore will be seeking NPS funds to repair both before the summer season. Long range, sustainable solutions are also being sought.

Sustainable Practices Video

Last year, Friends and Care for the Cape and Islands joined forces to fund a video on sustainable practices at the Seashore. The video is now complete and can be watched on the park's You Tube Channel. 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.