The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a group of dedicated individuals working to preserve the wild parts of the island. The main focus of the foundation is land acquisition, which is achieved primarily through donation. The foundation also purchases some parcels of land using income from NCF owned and operated farms in the Windswept and Milestone Cranberry Bogs.
The NCF is currently responsible for 213 properties comprising almost 9,000 acres, roughly 1/3 of Nantucket. Naturally, such a large quantity of land demands a substantial workforce. While the foundation employs rangers, stewards, and scientists, the volunteer program geared toward college undergrads is vital to the foundation’s success. Volunteers participate in various conservation programs, conducting research and monitoring both local and invasive species.
One current project is a study on sheep grazing in Squam Farm. When European settlers first arrived on Nantucket, they introduced sheep that would inhabit the island for the next several hundred years. The subsequent grazing was what shaped the current Nantucket vegetation. Now, the NCF hopes to learn how sheep grazing can help revive ailing plant species.
To learn more about the foundation and its very worthwhile projects please visit the website: https://www.nantucketconservation.org