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The Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team is a non-profit dedicated to vernal pond conservation and education. It was established and began locating and certifying vernal ponds in 1990 as a joint venture with the New England Herpetological Society. To date more than 100 ponds have been certified by the Team in addition to those certified by other individuals.

In addition so certifying vernal pools to ensure their protection, they run school ecology programs and provide information on the importance of vernal pools at their website. 


The Essex County Trail Association exists to protect access to the trails and open lands throughout Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Topsfield, Essex and West Newbury. We partner with both public and private landowners to ensure that the experience of open trails is positive for them as well as the trail users. We work with private landowners to grant permanent trail easements to ECTA. ECTA quickly responds to requests to clear and maintain over 450 miles of trails throughout our communities. ECTA completes major repair and construction projects each year, including clearing and constructing new trails, installing and repairing culverts, improving trail surfaces, and installing water flow devices to mitigate beaver impacts. We hold two Volunteer Trail Work Days each year, in spring and fall, to clear and maintain the trails. ECTA holds many athletic, educational, and social events throughout the year designed to promote the outdoors and to bring in funds for the organization. 


The Friends of Dogtown is a community initiative, and the mission is to conserve, interpret, and celebrate Dogtown's unique historical and ecological heritage for the benefit of citizens of Cape Ann and the general public.


Greenbelt, Essex County's Land Trust, is the most effective champion of land conservation, working to conserve farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic landscapes throughout the region.  Greenbelt offers land conservation solutions that help landowners, farmers, municipalities, and organizations contribute to our region's unique quality of life.  Our efforts have protected over 17,000 acres in the 34 cities and towns of Essex County.  Greenbelt's Land Stewardship staff maintains public access to our properties; creates and maintains trails, mows agricultural fields and grasslands, and installs signage and fencing.


Good Morning Gloucester is the Gloucester based blog which brings local events, restaurant happenings, community and natural beauty photography, recognizes good deeds from around Cape Ann with a sense of humor. Focusing on Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester the blog receives 40-80,000 visitors daily. Posting announcements through photo, video and text before, during and after- initiatives to maintain our communities for the future. Initiatives include the Cape Ann Earth Day Map and announcements for The One Hour at a Time Gang. 


The Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving ecologically important land and wildlife habitat in Manchester and Essex, and promoting its use for quiet recreation, education and research. MECT enhances the quality of life on Cape Ann by ensuring that lands that are vital to public health remain in their natural condition. These lands protect drinking water supplies, hold back storm waters that would otherwise threaten homes and businesses, provide educational and research opportunities, and offer quiet recreation on miles of foot trails. An informed public is essential to long-term success, and we gladly share knowledge of the special conservation values of the lands that we protect. MECT owns and protects almost 1,000 acres of woodlands and wetlands in Essex and Manchester. All our properties are open to public enjoyment. More than 25 miles of foot trails and old cartways provide easy access and wonderful outdoor exercise. Our latest trail map will guide you in hiking, running, cross-country skiing, and biking. 


Mass Audubon works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife. We care for 35,000 acres of conservation land, provide school, camp, and other educational programs children and adults annually, and advocate for sound environmental policies at local, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1896 by two inspirational women who were committed to the protection of birds, Mass Audubon has grown to become a powerful force for conservation in New England. Today we are respected for our sound science, successful advocacy, and innovative approaches to connecting people and nature. Each year, our statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries welcomes nearly half a million visitors of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds and serves as the base for our work. A map of our sanctuaries can be found here.


New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) was founded in 1944 to encourage more prudent use of New England's forests, which suffered from poor harvesting practices and a lack of good management planning. Today, NEFF is a recognized leader in sustainable forest management, conservation, forestry education, and assisting landowners in the long-term protection and management of their properties. NEFF owns and manages 137 Community Forests, totaling more than 24,000 acres across New England. We also hold 138 conservation easements, protecting over 1,143,000 acres of forestland. NEFF is reviewed by the American Tree Farm System and the Forest Stewardship Council so that its activities meet the economic, social, cultural, and environmental needs of present and future generations.


New England Mountain Biking Association North Shore Chapter The area north of Boston has a number of state parks and conservation properties that are terrific for mountain biking. We enjoy these trails by scheduling rides for different ability levels, organizing trail maintenance events, running mountain bike skills clinics, and enabling fellow bikers to find a wider biking community. We are determined to make sure the trails are kept open for, and used responsibly by, all trail users. We regularly convene chapter meetings to share information and keep our priorities in focus. 


Magnolia Bike Club is a group trying to provide riders of all ages with safe fun places to ride in our community. We have been meeting at the historic Magnolia school house in Gloucester, MA on designated days. 


The Trustees of Reservations is the nation's oldest, statewide land trust and one of Massachusetts' largest conservation organizations. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage over 100 spectacular reservations located on more than 26,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. On the North Shore, The Trustees own and manage some 21 reservations in Essex County. Encompassing nearly 6,000 acres, these properties contain some of the most spectacular natural, historic and cultural resources in Massachusetts and offer woodlands and hilltops, coastlines, great estates, historic houses and gardens as well as programs such as outdoor concerts, family farm days, summer camps and plant sales throughout the region.


Team Gloucester is a loosely organized running club with an emphasis on mountain and trail running, though we regularly compete in both road and trail races throughout New England. Based in Gloucester, we do most of our training in Dogtown, Ravenswood, and other Cape Ann trails. Annual club highlights inlcude the Merrimack River Trail Race in March, Doctor's Run in May, the Mt. Washington Road Race in June, Escarpment in July, Savoy in August, Around the Cape in September, and the Ravenswood Trail Race in October. We do a weekly Sunday trail run all year and have weekly track workouts in the spring, summer, and fall. In the months leading up to Mt. Washington, you can be certain that someone, somewhere, is out running hills. Fast or slow, all are welcome; all that's required is a sense of humor and a taste for adventure.


Cape Ann Trail Stewards | PO Box 690 | Essex | MA | 01929

Photos courtesy of Dianne Salmonsen

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