Published on June 15, 2020

Update on Habitat Restoration Work at Tidmarsh

Aerial view of Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in 2018

Mass Audubon has partnered with the town of Plymouth to restore the West Beaver Dam Brook at Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as the cranberry bog at the Town-owned Foothills Preserve.

Both the parking lot and Entrance Trail will remain closed for safety reasons until construction is completed.

The Entrance Trail at Tidmarsh is closed because it's at the core of the construction site. The two last dams on the property, including the dam that the main trail traverses, are being removed. The dam removals and stream restoration will reconnect West Beaver Dam Brook to its headwaters at Foothills Preserve. This work will increase climate resilience and allow fish—including migratory River Herring and American Eel—and other aquatic organisms to move freely.

After restoration, there will be a bridge constructed over Beaver Dam Brook that will facilitate public foot traffic.

Please Note 

  • At this time, there is no public parking at the sanctuary.
  • Illegally parked vehicles will be subject to tow.
  • Trails not subject to closure are open for neighbors to enter the eastern portion of the sanctuary on foot.

Restoration FAQs

What is being restored and where is work taking place? 

The restoration is taking place simultaneously at the Town of Plymouth’s Foothills Preserve and Mass Audubon’s Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary. Foothills Preserve and Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary used to be combined in a cranberry farm complex known as "Tidmarsh Farms Inc." The areas impacted by the current restoration activities on Mass Audubon property include the Entrance Trail and man-made pond along this trail as the final water control structures on the property will be removed. 

Why is this restoration happening? 

The restoration for Foothills Preserve and the west branch of Beaver Dam Brook (which crosses Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary) will remove two dams/water control structures and provide restored habitat to numerous species of birds, fish, butterflies, dragonflies, plants and much much more! This will increase biodiversity, bolster our climate resiliency, and honor our mission of protecting the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife. 

How does this impact the trail system?

This project necessitates the closure of our Entrance Trail, the main access to the rest of the trail system from Beaver Dam Road.

Sounds like a great project! Where can I park to see it? 

Due to the Entrance Trail being an active construction site and the need for storage of construction equipment, our only parking lot is closed for the safety of visitors and the restoration crew. There is no alternate parking available at the sanctuary. Please do not park on the side of Beaver Dam Road or Bartlett Road. Illegally parked vehicles will be subject to tow. But please do follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the project!

I live within walking distance of Tidmarsh, can I still use the trails that are open?

Trails not subject to closure are open for neighbors to enter the eastern portion of the sanctuary on foot from Bartlett Road. Please note, there is no access from any portion of Beaver Dam Road. 

When will this project be completed?

While we do not have an exact date to share with you at this moment, we will continue to keep the public updated on current progress and as soon as we have a projected date for re-opening, we will share that with you. In the meantime, we are working hard to find alternate ways to keep our 35,000 annual visitors connected to Tidmarsh, and appreciate all your support during this exciting time! We look forward to welcoming you back to an improved trail system and improved habitat soon. 

Is there a visitor's center or bathroom facility open?

There is currently no visitor's center or bathroom facility located at the sanctuary. 

Where does West Beaver Dam Brook go?

West Beaver Dam Brook Starts in Foothills Preserve and flows southeast towards Beaver Dam Road and then northeast through Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary where it joins with Beaver Dam Brook in the sanctuary before crossing 3A, connecting to Bartlett Pond, and then meeting the ocean off of White Horse Beach.