The crown jewel in our green diadem

The 1,100 acres which saves Cape Cod for our grandchildren


The trails and vistas out to Cape Cod Bay are remarkable at the Wellfleet Audubon.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a priceless part of our heritage

By Walter Brooks


Displays are up close and personal.

Bob Prescott points to the solar panel.

A visit to a frog pond.

Turtles soaking up the September sun.

Have you ever even noticed the small sign on the left side of Route 6 as you speed towards the Cape tip, just past the Wellfleet Drive-In?

It says "Entrance: Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary", and it is easily the most unspoiled and lovely attraction on all of Cape Cod.

I say this with full knowledge of our 30,000 acre National Seashore and the tens of thousands of acres preserved in conservation in all fifteen of our towns, because this was among the first in the late 1920s when conservation and green were little known or valued.

Back then the Mass. Audubon became the first of its kind in the nation to purchase a large parcel of land to preserve it in its natural state for future generations.

The initial purchase of 200-odd acres on Cape Cod Bay has grown to over 1,100 and is one of the most delightful nature study opportunities in America.

The live displays of our local sea life are coupled with wide vistas of wetlands, frog and turtle ponds and marshes which lie in the flight paths of most eastern birds migrating each Spring and Fall.

It is also a very user-friendly environment for all ages.

Sanctuary Director Bob Prescott is starting his second quarter-century in Wellfleet, and his enthusiasm is the same today as when he began.

He doesn't appear to have aged in the 26 years he's spent there.

This last Sunday my wife and I spent two hours there with our nine and eleven-year-old grandchildren, and we could have stayed for days.

Be sure to visit here soon, especially now as the seasonal bird migrations begin anew. In the two hours we spent there we saw blue and green herons, egrets, heard kingfishers, a dozen other birds, blue claw crabs, several different turtle species and visited the frog pond and butterfly garden.

Over a century ago Anton Chekov said, "Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wildlife has become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day."

At least here at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary some good folks are reversing that process.

Read these and learn more about this treasure:

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