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Conservation Success in Orleans: Sipson Island Preserved

Written by Laura M. Reckford

ORLEANS – At Sipson Island, the newest conservation parcel in Orleans, a sign that stated “No Trespassing” has been replaced by one that states, “Welcome to Sipson Island.”

A new non-profit called Sipson Island Trust spearheaded the effort to raise more than $5 million to conserve acreage on the island, which will mean “undeveloping’ several homes.

There is very little conservation land left to preserve on Cape Cod. That makes the recent purchase of this island in Pleasant Bay that much more special.


The Trust describes Sipson Island as “24 acres of sandy beach, coastal banks, salt marsh, eelgrass beds, upland meadows and woodland.”

The island’s cultural history includes a Native American presence. According to the Trust, “For centuries, a refuge and shellfishing place for the Monomoyick people, the island was bought by English colonists in 1711.” It was kept in private hands until the recent purchase.

Working with another non-profit, Friends of Pleasant Bay, as well as the organization, The Compact for Conservation Trusts, Sipson Island Trust gathered supporters among other conservation-minded organizations and individuals in the Cape area to make the purchase in June 2020.

With a Land Management and Stewardship Plan already completed, Sipson Island Trust leaders have hopes of inviting schoolchildren and others to the island for nature programs, research and passive recreation such as kayaking and hiking. And fundraising continues to raise an additional $400,000 to purchase the final eight acres of the island by 2021.

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For more photos from across Cape Cod, please see Scenic Cape

About the author

Laura M. Reckford

Laura M. Reckford is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. She has been a reporter and editor on Cape Cod for more than 20 years in magazines, newspapers and radio. She has also authored numerous Frommer's Travel Guide editions on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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