Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation promotes May as Preservation Month to raise awareness about the impact historic preservation has in protecting and enhancing our neighborhoods and communities. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is marking the month by celebrating our cultural heritage and DCR’s work to preserve the past. Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is participating with a special Waquoit Bay Reserve Estate Tour at 10 am on May 16.
Located at the old Sargent Estate in East Falmouth, the Waquoit Bay Reserve visitor center is housed in the c.1880 mansion, which sits atop a 30 foot bluff at the head of Waquoit Bay. The property provides a contrast between a Victorian home and the natural bay landscape. Participants will discover the history of this former summer estate while touring the buildings and grounds of the Waquoit Bay Reserve. The tour includes views from the bluff of Waquoit Bay, South Cape Beach and Martha’s Vineyard and will reveal why this valuable waterfront mansion sat vacant for almost 50 years. Stories about the estate’s former owners, and of the determined group of local citizens that worked to save the property from development more than 20 years ago, will be woven into the walk.
Today, the estate is part of the Massachusetts State Park system or DCR, and is also one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves around the country supported by NOAA. Participants will find out how the buildings are used today and about plans being developed to up-date the structures and grounds to better serve the mission of the Reserve as well as about on-going research involving local, national, and international scientists who conduct their research within the bay. Tour starts at the Reserve Visitor Center- 149 Waquoit Highway (Rt.28), Waquoit, MA.
For information or to register call 508-457-0495 or visit www.waquoitbayreserve.org .
A full schedule of Historic Farms and Gardens tours at DCR facilities across the Commonwealth can be found at www.mass.gov/dcr or pick up a Farms and Gardens Preservation Month booklet at the Waquoit Bay Reserve visitor center which is open Monday through Friday 10am-4pm.