Places to Explore — Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket
Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.
Nature Center & Trails
Lost Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary
Other Sanctuaries - Islands
Edgartown Great Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Edgartown
The wildlife sanctuary is situated on the southeast part of Nashomois Neck, a peninsula that juts into Edgartown Great Pond on Martha’s Vineyard. Large parcels of protected open space lie west and north of the sanctuary. These include the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest and land owned by the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation. There is also town-owned land to the northeast of the property.
Conservation Features: Primarily a coastal forest/woodland natural community, the wildlife sanctuary is dominated by black and white oaks with some pitch pine. However, the most valuable natural feature of this property is its proximity to the coastal salt pond. These special bodies of water are particularly valued for their shellfish, wintering waterfowl, seagrass beds, and overall contribution to coastal productivity.
Smith's Point Wildlife Sanctuary, Nantucket
Smith’s Point Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the southwest corner of Nantucket. The western section is barrier beach and the eastern portion is glacial outwash sedimentary deposits overlain by sand dunes. The barrier beach is a highly dynamic landscape, varying greatly in length and width throughout the years.
Conservation Features: Smith’s Point Wildlife Sanctuary provides habitat suitable for nesting piping plovers and is also an important pre-migration staging area for least terns, common terns, and roseate terns. The shoreline is rapidly eroding as sea level continues to rise.
Notice from Department of Defense On approximately June 8, 2018, Mass Audubon, like many other property owners in the Madaket area of Nantucket, received a notice from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). This DOD notice states that military munitions from World War II "may be present on or near" property owned by Mass Audubon, which is within the Sheep Pond Formerly Used Defense Site Property. Mass Audubon’s approximately 1-acre property is depicted on the map included in the DOD notice and also on Nantucket Assessors Map 38, Parcel 13. Our property is a small, isolated parcel, which has not been prepared for public visitation with amenities such as parking, maps, signage, or trails. It is wet and not easily accessible. Due to these potential safety concerns, this property is closed to the public until further notice. Our other conservation properties on Nantucket, including Sesachacha Heathlands, Lost Farm, and the remainder of Smith’s Point, are not affected by this DOD notice.