It Takes a Village to Understand and Manage Our Sandplain Grasslands

By Karen C. Beattie | April 5, 2019 | Comments Off on It Takes a Village to Understand and Manage Our Sandplain Grasslands

Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands are upland plant communities unique to this region of North America. Once common along the northeastern seaboard, residential, and commercial development and succession to shrublands has all but eliminated these habitats from other coastal areas from Long Island, New York to coastal Maine. It is currently estimated that between 85-98% of the…

Update on the Hither Creek Washover, Erosion and Salt Marshes

By Jen Karberg | March 27, 2019 | Comments Off on Update on the Hither Creek Washover, Erosion and Salt Marshes

Salt marshes and shrub wetlands buried under the eroded sand dune at Hither Creek will likely never regenerate but new vegetation is recolonizing on top of the bare sand. Horseshoe crabs, piping plovers and even a state-listed plant are making there homes in the new habitat around Millie’s Pond.

Early Spring Botany: Into the Thicket

By Kelly A. Omand | March 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Early Spring Botany: Into the Thicket

As winter brightens into spring and we all suffer through the “spring forward” time change, the trees and shrubs in our landscape are beginning to awaken from their winter dormancy. But until bud burst, you can still get out there and learn to recognize more of our Nantucket Flora in winter condition — let’s hope,…

Family Stay-cation Scavenger Hunt is a Success!

By Libby Buck | February 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Family Stay-cation Scavenger Hunt is a Success!

For February break Nantucket Conservation Foundation put together a fun family scavenger hunt for those who didn’t travel for vacation. We are happy to say this was extremely successful having almost 100 kids sign up! This free scavenger hunt was designed to get families outside and to explore six different properties owned by Nantucket Conservation…

Good Firebreaks Make Good Neighbors

By Karen C. Beattie | February 20, 2019 | Comments Off on Good Firebreaks Make Good Neighbors

One of the frequent calls we get at the Foundation’s office during the fall, winter and early spring involves questions about the firebreak management work we are doing on our properties. Why are we cutting down the shrubs? Where will we be cutting next? Will we eventually be cutting down everything? The level of interest…

Winter Botany: Twigs and Buds

By Kelly A. Omand | February 6, 2019 | Comments Off on Winter Botany: Twigs and Buds

During the colder winter months, many of our trees are “closed for the season.” Like island businesses, trees will have an “opening date” sometime in spring when flower buds will pop and leaves will unfurl. Exploring the forest in winter can be a fun way to see another facet of island ecology and learn to…

Weird Winter Wildlife

By Danielle O'Dell | February 1, 2019 | Comments Off on Weird Winter Wildlife

This winter, there have been several unusual winter wildlife sightings on Nantucket. Most of these sightings are of creatures that ought to have migrated well south of us by now. A lone Piping Plover was spotted at Smith’s Point during the annual Christmas bird count on December 30th. Typically, these summer denizens of Nantucket’s beaches…

Nantucket’s Little Winter Warriors

By Libby Buck | January 23, 2019 | Comments Off on Nantucket’s Little Winter Warriors

It’s a well-known fact that most birds fly south for the winter. But what about our feathered friends that tough it out throughout the winter, how do they survive? Our backyard songbirds such as the Black-capped Chickadee or the Northern Cardinal survive by using instincts, species adaptations, and of course, with a little help from…

Using Wetlands to Improve Nantucket’s Coastal Resiliency

By Jen Karberg | January 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Using Wetlands to Improve Nantucket’s Coastal Resiliency

As an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket intimately understands the impacts of increased flooding frequency and storm events. For our community, adopting ways to increase our Coastal Resiliency is essential to maintaining quality of life, community function and ecological integrity on our little island. So what is Coastal Resiliency? Essentially, it is the ability of a coastal…

A Little Winter Color

By Kelly A. Omand | January 4, 2019 | Comments Off on A Little Winter Color

Even in winter, when browns, greys or sage greens of lichens dominate the island color palette, you can still find some vivid evergreens while walking the trails of conservation properties around the island. Several species have red berries to add even more visual interest. The crimson/dark green color scheme is apparently a successful evolutionary trait…