BCT Lawrence Island

Lawrence Island Wildlife Sanctuary

by Gordon Schimmel

Cataumet, Massachusetts
TRAIL MAP for Lawrence Island

"Islands have always had a special significance. While Lawrence may not be as large or historic as England, as green as Ireland, it is warmer than Iceland. But, most importantly, it is right here where our children and their children can enjoy it.". ~ Chuck Mehmel, BCT Newsletter, 1987

Forty years ago, with development booming all over Cape Cod, the Bourne Conservation Trust's first purchase was Lawrence Island, an effort supported by a robust fundraising campaign. Tracing ownership through the years is a long and complicated process but eventually the Trust was able to acquire the property from Red Acre Farm, a charitable organization that trained service dogs for the deaf. Partnerships with the State, the Town, and the Audubon Society were considered but, to retain local control, sole ownership by the BCT became the goal.

The price for the nearly 8-acre parcel was $150,000 and it took almost 5 years to raise the funds. In 1986, with more than 100 people in attendance, the mortgage was burned in a triumphant ceremony. Cannon fire capped the event and the report echoing across Squeteague Harbor declared to all that land preservation would continue to grow in Bourne.

Very limited parking for walks on Lawrence Island is available on Grasslands Lane, just off Scraggy Neck Road. The island is accessed using a footpath along the shore and visitors are asked to respect the private property abutting the trail. Please note: hikers accompanied by dogs are requested to leash their companions while using this shared public/private footpath.

The harbor and shoreline boast an array of residential wildlife, a variety of waterfowl and sea creatures that make Buzzard's Bay their home. On occasion, the shoreline is carpeted with thousands of shells, a gift of southwest winds, punctuated here and there with marooned jellyfish.

However, the most impressive residents are those that arrived long before native peoples and European settlers: several large slightly pink boulders, what geologists call erratics. Think of them as 12,000 to 15,000 year-old "wash-a-shores," abandoned by the retreat of the last Great Ice Age. Some of these glacial time-travelers may even bear scratch marks – nature's petroglyphs - created by rock against rock. A walk with giants could not be more impressive.

Lawrence Island Slideshow
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Lawrence Island

TRAIL MAP for Lawrence Island

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The Bourne Conservation Trust is a private nonprofit land trust with a primary objective of acquiring land and leaving it in its natural state to: protect habitats, provide groundwater recharge, preserve rural ambiance, and make it available for recreational and educational purposes. The BCT owns and maintains over 300 acres of open space. Miles of walking trails thread their way through these protected woods and waterfront areas. The BCT is always looking for volunteers and donors to help achieve its mission and both maintain and enhance its properties.

Copyright © 2013-2024 Bourne Conservation Trust
All copyrightable rights reserved

Bourne Conservation Trust

PO Box 203 ~ Cataumet, MA 02534-0203
Phone: (508) 563-2884
Fax: 508-564-5412
Email us for information!
Alternate email: bct.trails@gmail.com

Note: The BCT is tax exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Within IRS guidelines, contributions may be tax deductible from your taxable income. Please consult your tax advisor for more information. The BCT Tax ID Number (TIN) is: 04-2767827.

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