What Will You Discover at Tidmarsh?
By Mary Griffin
Regional Director for Southeast, Cape Cod & the Islands
Close your eyes and imagine leaving the noisy world behind. Before you stands a vast expanse of cold-water streams, ponds, and forest for as far as the eye can see. As you walk down a path from the grasslands above toward the red maple swamp and meandering stream below, you catch a glimpse of imperiled American kestrels, a spring swarm of cliff swallows and chimney swifts catching insects in the air, and great blue herons taking flight across the wetlands.
You are standing in the middle of Tidmarsh Farms in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a site where Mass Audubon has the opportunity to establish a new wildlife sanctuary on 479 acres, and to partner with the Town of Plymouth to protect an additional 139—for a total of 618 conserved acres.
Once a working cranberry farm, this landscape recently underwent the largest freshwater ecological restoration project in the Northeast. Its owners, Glorianna Davenport and Evan Schulman, along with the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration, removed more than a dozen dams, excavated over three miles of new stream channel, and moved thousands of tons of sediment to reconnect the headwaters of Beaver Dam Brook to the ocean. By doing so, they have returned the land to what it was more than a century ago.
Wildlife seems to approve. River herring and American eel have already returned after a long absence. Birds have flocked to the scenic setting, including common species (red-tailed hawks and northern harriers) and rarer visitors (king rail, blue grosbeak, little blue heron, and Caspian terns). Tracks from fisher, river otter, deer, and coyote have been discovered. And at least 24 species of dragonflies and damselflies, like the ebony jewelwing, have been recorded.
What else might you experience at a new Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary? Perhaps you will discover a renewed connection to the natural world as you marvel at the miracle of nature’s triumphant return.
Thanks to significant funding from state and federal conservation programs, private foundations, and generous individuals, we’re well on our way to achieving our $3.6 million goal to make Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary a reality. But we need your help to get us across the finish line.
Visit massaudubon.org/tidmarsh to:
- Find times you can visit this remarkable site
- Learn how your gift can be doubled
- Make your gift today!