OPET owns nearly 30 acres of conservation lands comprised of Zinn Park and the Headwaters of Oyster Pond.
They encompass wetlands, woodlands, vernal pools and pond shoreline. OPET purchased these lands to protect this beautiful area and to protect the health and water quality of Oyster Pond.
Zinn Memorial Park was dedicated in 2001 to the memories of Donald and Eleanor Blevins Zinn who were avid nature-lovers and strong supporters of OPET. In 2015 the Headwaters was purchased from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Dr. Holger Jannasch, an eminent scientist at WHOI, and his wife Friederun, donated the Headwaters land to WHOI in the 1990s. Their intent was for the woodlands to be used for young scientists’ housing while the wetland areas were preserved for conservation. OPET’s purchase met both of these goals. Now all of the property is protected under a conservation restriction agreement with the Town of Falmouth and the proceeds were used to build housing on the WHOI campus.
Over 120 varieties of plants grow here providing food, nesting material and shelter for migratory and resident birds, amphibians, and mammals. Over 200 species of birds utilize the marshes, forests, thickets, and open water surrounding Oyster Pond for breeding, migratory stops and overwintering. These include priority species of concern such as the ovenbird and eastern wood-pewee as well as birds on the state’s endangered list such as the peregrine falcon.
There is much to see and do. Keep an eye and ear out for a scarlet tanager. Look for deer tracks. Listen for peepers near the vernal pools in the spring. See lady slippers and starflowers burst into bloom before the trees leaf out. Smell the fragrant scent of summersweet or Clethra alnifolia in the late summer. Enjoy the bright colors of the red maples in the wetlands in the fall.