Numerous organization on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard work to conserve land and habitats. These include: the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, and the Trustees of Reservations. Collectively they preserve close to 100 properties on the Island. These, along with the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest and the Polly Hill Arboretum, provide Island visitors with ample opportunity to enjoy nature and the many diverse habitats of Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission
Founded in 1986, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission conserves nearly 3,000 acres of land in over 60 properties. All properties are open to the public from sunrise to sunset except during hunting season. Activities available on various properties include biking and mountain biking, bird watching, boating, canoeing, dog walking, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, swimming and more.
Massachusetts Audubon Society
The Massachusetts Audubon Society preserves 250 acres at the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown. The Sanctuary consists of barrier beach, meadows, ponds, salt marsh and woodlands. They have a Nature Center and Discovery Room and 4 miles of trails.
Nature Conservancy Properties on Martha’s Vineyard
The Nature Conservancy has several properties on Martha’s Vineyard, including:
- David H. Smith Preserve and Fire Trail – The David H. Smith Preserve and Fire Trail in Edgartown consists of 15 acres of coastal sand plain habitat. There is a three quarter mile educational trail on the property.
- Hoft Farm Preserve – The Hoft Farm Preserve in West Tisbury is 90 acres of pitchpine and oak woods, and freshwater ponds.
- Katama Plains Preserve – The Katama Plains Preserve in Edgartown is 192 acres of sand plain grasslands
- Francis Newhall Woods Nature and Wildlife Preserve – The Francis Newhall Woods Nature and Wildlife Preserve in West Tisbury is closed to visitors. It consists of 512 acres.
- Homer-Watcha Preserve – The 142 acre Homer-Watcha Preserve in West Tisbury is also closed to visitors.
Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation
Trustees of Reservations Properties on Martha’s Vineyard
The Trustees of Reservations conserve some of the most popular parcels of land on the Island including several on Chappaquiddick.
- Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge – The Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick consists of nearly 1,000 acres of barrier beach, salt marsh, and salt pond. It is also home to the Cape Poge Lighthouse. There are 14 miles of oversand vehicle and walking trails in the refuge. Facilities include a bike rack, picnic tables, and restrooms in season.
- Long Point Wildlife Refuge – Long Point Wildlife Refuge off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road consists of more than 600 acres of beach, dune, woodland, and sandplain heath. There are 2.1 miles of trails. Facilities include a bike rack, picnic tables, restrooms, and a small visitors center.
- Menemsha Hills – Menemsha Hills in Chilmark consists of 211 acres of wetlands, woodland groves, coastal plain, and rocky shoreline. Prospect Hill on the property is the second highest point on Martha’s Vineyard at 308 feet. There are 3 miles of moderate hiking trails. Facilities include portable restrooms in season.
- Mytoi – Mytoi, on Chappaquiddick Island, is a Japanese-style garden with winding footpaths. Facilities include a bike rack, picnic tabes, restrooms and fresh water by hand pump.
- Norton Point Beach – Norton Point Beach abuts South Beach and consists of 2.5 miles of beach and dunes. There are 1.8 miles of oversand vehicle trails and 4.5 miles of hiking trails. Facilities at the westernmost end at South Beach include restrooms in season.
- Wasque – Wasque is also located on Chappaquiddick and consists of coastal heath, bays, and barrier beaches. There are 1.5 miles of hiking trails. Facilities include a bike rack, picnic tables, and restrooms in season, and soda machines.