SECTION 5 INVENTORY OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION LANDS

A. Introduction

In 1991, the Cape Cod Commission proposed a regional open space greenbelt system throughout Barnstable County, for the purpose to “link existing protected open space and sensitive resources including wildlife habitat, wetlands, and zones of contribution to public wells to establish a regional network of connected open space.”94 Towns were asked to refine this greenbelt as it falls within their borders, as they develop local comprehensive plans. In Dennis, the Commission proposed including the Bay marshes and conservation lands in the greenbelt, as well as wetland corridors along Bass and Swan Rivers and much of the woodlands along the Setucket Road area.

For the purposes of the Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan Update, “Permanently” protected open space includes only land owned for conservation and wildlife habitat by federal and state agencies or non-profit organizations, and privately-owned land bound by conservation easements. “Temporary” and “limited” open space includes land covered by revocable restrictions against development or change in use. A farm that is differentially assessed for tax purposes as long as the land is used for agriculture is an example of temporarily protected open space. Limited-protection open space includes land uses such as cemeteries or ball fields that could, but are unlikely, to be redeveloped. “Unprotected” open space is land with no legal restrictions against future development.

B. Public Lands and Facilities

There is no park or common in Dennis belonging to the town. An acre or morearound Liberty Hall, owned by an association, is called the Park. It is not at present much used or cared for.”

–J.B. Harrison, 189295

With 2,242 acres under its control, the Town of Dennis is the largest landowner in Dennis. A large percentage of these lands is devoted to conservation (1,101 acres), though a major portion of this acreage is unbuildable wetland. Another major portion of protected open space (975.9 acres) consists of large blocks of woodland held by the quasi-public Dennis Water District for public water supply wells and wellfield protection. Since 2003, the largest Dennis Water District land acquisitions have been in the town of Brewster, as the Water District and Brewster Selectmen worked jointly to protect important open space resources in Brewster which also served to protect the Dennis water supply. About thirty percent (4,065 acres) of the town’s land mass has been set aside as protected open space for wellfields, conservation land and beaches. As a community, then, Dennis has made a strong commitment to the setting aside of lands for public use and natural resource protection. By comparison, Yarmouth, has protected a smaller proportion of its township. Of Yarmouth’s 18,047 acres, 15 percent is devoted to town conservation and wellfield lands (Town of Yarmouth MA 2007 Open Space and Recreation Plan). In Dennis, 30 percent of its 13,645 acres is set aside for town conservation and water district lands.

A combination of factors –historical, geographical and political– has resulted, however, in a less than perfect distribution of these lands. Wellfields, for example, were purchased where wells would yield (but also where land was less expensive) in the South and East Dennis hinterlands. Conservation areas were assembled where land was unbuildable, primarily, due to wetland soils (Dennis Village) or lack of access for development (Crowes Pasture, for instance). The studies that led to the 1984 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan, for instance, laid the framework for the municipal land purchases of the 1980s, that were scattered throughout town to benefit each village. Between the years 1985-86, the Town purchased 183 acres for assorted open space uses–the largest being the 71-acre King property near Flax Pond and the 42-acre Simpkins Neck conservation area.96 Between 1998 and 2003, the town acquired 339.3 acres with 93.3 acres by the Dennis Water District and 157 acres by outright purchase by the Dennis Land Acquisition Committee, 75 acres in gifts and 14 acres in tax title takings. The town continues to vigorously pursue opportunities to purchase open land. Since the adoption of the 2003 Open Space and Recreation Plan, the town has acquired an additional 121.89 acres of open space through private donations, Community Preservation Funds, and State Self Help and Urban Self Help funds. The most significant acquisitions have included large acquisitions in Crowe’s Pasture in East Dennis, the acquisition of the former Howlin’ Howies property now known as the Bass River Park in West Dennis, and acquisition of the Seaview Play Land property in Dennisport.

The most popular town conservation areas, in terms of frequent use, are Crowes Pasture, Chapin Beach and dunes, and the Blueberry Patch, all along the Northside, and the Indian Lands Conservation Area on Bass River in South Dennis.97 The Natural Resources Department, not the Conservation Commission, is responsible for (and budgeted for) day-to-day management of all town conservation areas. Uses of conservation lands include passive recreation, such as walking, nature study, picnicking and photography.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is represented in Dennis primarily by its Route 6 right of way, running through town as a double-barreled, limited access highway from Bass River to the Harwich line. A popular highway rest area, including pine-shaded picnic tables overlooking Follins Pond and Dinah’s Pond, is located at Taylor’s Point on Route 6 westbound just across Bass River on the Yarmouth side. The 7-acre rest stop on the eastbound side in Dennis was closed in the 1980s. It is strategically located adjacent to the railroad right of way and across the tracks from the town’s Indian Lands Conservation Area. The redevelopment of the railroad bed into an extension of the bike trial (see below) could use the MHD’s rest stop as a picnic area accessed by bicyclists, if not vehicles. The right of way varies in width, but averages 300 feet, though the actual road bed rarely exceeds 100 feet wide. The wide shoulders, therefore, provide a natural greenbelt to the highway.

2008-open-space-map-revised

In 1996, to aid protection of coastal plain pondshore rare plant habitat, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) engaged in a partnership with the Dennis Water District (DWD) to protect land around Clay Pond and Grassy Pond from development of a proposed subdivision. Under the arrangement, DWD purchased 7.42 acres along Old Bass River Road, while MDFW purchased 6.34 acres along the shorelines of the two ponds. There will be no state management presence at this facility; no parking area is provided.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management operates two facilities in Dennis. For over 50 years, the state Division of Forests and Parks has operated a fire tower located on 8.14 acres of woodland along Hokum Rock Road. Opened in 1981, the western trailhead for the popular bicycle path (Cape Cod Rail Trail) begins at Route 134 in Dennis and now extends 25 miles to South Wellfleet, using the abandoned railroad right of way, 16.5 acres owned by the Commonwealth. In September 1997, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agreed to deed the railroad bed east of the Yarmouth transfer station to the Town of Yarmouth for recreational purposes, facilitating Dennis’s potential bike trail connection west to Hyannis. The towns of Dennis and Yarmouth are actively pursuing the construction of this bicycle trail and hope to see it funded in the life of this Open Space and Recreation Plan. There continues to be some discussion about providing a walking or biking trail access from Route 6A in Brewster, over the Sea Street Culvert to Crowe’s Pasture.

The town owns other properties for general municipal purposes which are used de facto for conservation and recreation. Some of these “undesignated use” parcels, under the control of the Selectmen, could be formally transferred to the Conservation Commission for increased statutory protection and augmentation of existing conservation areas.

C. Private Open Space Lands and Facilities

Augmenting the publicly-owned open space lands are approximately 530 acres (including 205 acres of Chase garden salt marsh) of land with varying degrees of legal protection against development. The Massachusetts Audubon Society owns 8.6 acres of conservation land along the west side of Fresh Pond and 1.75 acres of salt marsh in Sesuit Creek. No other state or national non-profit organization owns land in Dennis, though The Nature Conservancy transferred pondshore land at Baker’s Pond to the town Conservation Commission. In 1993 the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History transferred title to 0.74 acres near Cedar Pond to the Dennis Conservation Trust for continued preservation by the local organization.

The Dennis Conservation Trust (DCT) was founded in 1986 to provide a private, non-profit vehicle to dedicate natural lands to conservation in town. The Dennis Conservation Trust has protected 76 parcels of land totaling 491.48 acres. These parcels contain 151.75 acres of upland and 337.49 acres of wetlands. These lands include outright acquisition and conservation restrictions. The most significant acquisition was donated by James McConnell Clark, founder

OWNER/DESCRIPTION

LOCATION

ACRES

PUBLIC ACCESS?

GENERAL CONDITION

TOWN OF DENNIS HISTORICAL PROPERTIES

ANCIENT CEMETERY

485 MAIN STREET

1.42

YES

Site is maintained by the DPW.

CHURCH CEMETERY

226 MAIN STREET

12.00

YES

JERICHO MUSEUM & BARN

90 OLD MAIN STREET

1.00

YES

The museum is open on Wednesdays during July and August for tours. These tours are led by costumed docents..

JOSIAH DENNIS MANSE

61 WHIG STREET

2.60

YES

The Josiah Dennis Manse provides tours for about 1,400 people each year. Tours are led by costumed docents. This museum is in need of significant repair and has been awarded funding by the Community Preservation Committee for CPA funds.

LAND JOSIAH DENNIS MANSE

0 NOBSCUSSETT ROAD

0.17

YES

HISTORICAL CEMETERY

52 SUMMER STREET

0.05

YES

OAK RIDGE CEMETERY

815 ROUTE 134

40.00

YES

SCARGO HILL TOWER

38 SCARGO HILL ROAD

3.00

YES

Tower is not accessible.

SHIVERICK SHIPYARD MEMORIAL

0 SESUIT NECK ROAD

0.02

YES

VETERANS MEMORIAL

500 MAIN STREET

0.10

YES

VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT CLUB

187 DEPOT STREET

0.63

YES

Building has ramps providing for access. This building hosts the Cape Cod Child Development Head Start Program.

WEST DENNIS CEMETERY

60 FISK STREET

4.02

YES

Community Preservation Act funds were utilized during calendar year 2007 to fund improvements to the West Dennis Cemetery.

WEST DENNIS COMMUNITY BUILDING

67 SCHOOL STREET

0.50

YES

Building has been renovated and an elevator has been provided for accessibility. Many community groups make use of this building.

TOWN OF DENNIS PARK AND RECREATION PROPERTIES (INCLUDING BEACHES)

COLD STORAGE BEACH AND SALT WORKS BEACH

0 SALT WORKS ROAD

8.66

YES

This beach provides 90 parking spaces. The beach has a boardwalk to the beach but no ramp

HARBORVIEW BEACH

0 HARBOR ROAD

0.41

YES

Site serves mainly as a neighborhood beach with limited parking.

HAIGIS BEACH

91 OLD WHARF ROAD

1.40

YES

This beach has significant topographical challenges to overcome. While the beach is quite large, with ample parking, the topography makes ADA access difficult.

HAIGIS BEACH

97 OLD WHARF ROAD

1.20

YES

CHAPIN BEACH

0 CHAPIN BEACH ROAD

68.00

YES

Large beach area. Parking is somewhat remote to the beach. However the beach and adjacent conservation lands provide for Off-Road Vehicle access. This improves accessibility for handicap, if they have 4-wheel drive vehicles.

CHASE AVENUE BEACH

5 CHASE AVENUE

0.37

YES

Small neighborhood beach. Limited parking, terrain would be difficult to provide ADA access to. Beach is essentially 40 foot roadway layout that ends at the water.

CHILDRENS PLAYGROUND

21 HALL STREET

1.62

YES

Mike Stacey Playground in Dennisport. Serves somewhat as a Village Green. Band concerts play at the park in the summertime. The playground is in need of upgrading as it contains older, wood structures.

CORPORATION BEACH

0 CORPORATI0N ROAD

10.60

YES

The Corporation Beach concession stands and restrooms are in need or replacement. The new facilities will meet all ADA requirements.

GLENDON BEACH

155 OLD WHARF ROAD

1.89

YES

Glendon Beach provides direct access from the parking lot to the beach. The sand is at the same grade as the parking lot. However, at low tide there is a significant change in grade.

GRANDVIEW DRIVE BEACH

0 HORSEFOOT PATH

0.15

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach with limited parking availability.

HORSEFOOT PATH BEACH

100 HORSEFOOT PATH

1.10

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach with limited parking availability.

HOWES STREET BEACH

0 HOWES STREET

2.00

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach adjacent to Mayflower Beach.

INMAN ROAD BEACH

51 CHASE AVENUE

0.62

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach with limited parking. Beach is essentially the road layout for Inman Road.

MAYFLOWER BEACH

62 HORSEFOOT PATH

10.54

YES

Large town beach on the north side, parking for 250 vehicles which fill up quickly. A drop off lane is being designed.

FRANCIS BAKER PARK

110 MAIN STREET

0.18

YES

PARK

135 POND STREET

0.80

YES

Playground has been completely replaced with Community Preservation Funding, providing for a fully accessible playground.

PARK

152 SCARGO HILL ROAD

1.41

YES

PARK

245 NEW BOSTON ROAD

0.23

YES

PARK

29 HALL STREET

0.19

YES

PARK

4 CENTER STREET

0.34

YES

PARK

85 BOB CROWELL ROAD

2.61

YES

Johnny Kelley Park received significant cosmetic work by the Dennis DPW during 2007. Brush was cleared, the Braille Trail was renovated. The Recreation Dept. will be working with the Golf Department on a turf management plan for the ballfields.

PARK DEPARTMENT

0 BRIDGE STREET

0.25

YES

PARKS & RECREATION

35 PHEASANT LANE

22.41

YES

RAYCROFT PARKWAY BEACH

395 OLD WHARF ROAD

0.50

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach with limited parking. Beach is essentially the road layout for Inman Road.

SCARGO LAKE BEACH

0 DR LORDS ROAD

0.69

YES

Small beach with limited parking alongside Scargo Lake.

SEA STREET BEACH

0 SEA STREET

0.35

YES

Board walk in good condition but requires some walking through the sand.

SOUTH VILLAGE BEACH WD

21 SOUTH VILLAGE ROAD

1.62

YES

Relatively large beach at the end of South Village Road. Site could use access improvements including better ramp connection to the sand.

TAUNTON AVENUE BEACH

0 TAUNTON AVENUE

0.14

YES

Small neighborhood oriented beach essentially in the Taunton Ave road layout. Beach is behind dunes and has limited ADA accessibility options.

WEST DENNIS BEACH

45 LIGHTHOUSE ROAD

130.52

YES

The retaining wall at the West Dennis Beach is in need of repair. Cost estimates are being developed

TOWN OF DENNIS HARBOR PROPERTIES – TOWN LANDINGS

COMMON LANDING

0 DR BOTTERO ROAD

0.66

YES

COMMON LANDING

0 ROUTE 6A

0.22

YES

Boat access to Scargo Lake. This landing is easily accessible to Route 6A. While swimming is not allowed at this location, many people swim at the landing.

COMMON LANDING

102 HORSEFOOT PATH

0.75

YES

COMMON LANDING

14 BAKER WAY

1.16

YES

COMMON LANDING

17 HIGHBANK ROAD

0.34

YES

Boat ramp off of Highbank Road. Underwent renovations in 2007.

COMMON LANDING

170 COVE ROAD

0.09

YES

Small boat launch at the end of Cove Road in West Dennis where road layout ends at the water.

COMMON LANDING

20 FOLLINS POND ROAD

1.90

YES

COMMON LANDING

27 UNCLE FREEMANS ROAD

0.48

YES

COMMON LANDING

29 OLD MAIN STREET

0.11

YES

COMMON LANDING

3 UPPER COUNTY ROAD

0.59

YES

COMMON LANDING

33 UNCLE BARNEYS ROAD

0.03

YES

COMMON LANDING

351 SESUIT NECK ROAD

4.00

YES

COMMON LANDING

54 AUNT JULIA ANNS ROAD

0.45

YES

COMMON LANDING

73 CLIPPER LANE

0.21

YES

COMMON LANDING

79 OLD FISH HOUSE ROAD

0.33

YES

COMMON LANDINGS

159 COVE ROAD

0.46

YES

TOWN OF DENNIS CONSERVATION COMMISSION PROPERTIES

FRESH POND

ROUTE 134, BARTER STREET

95.35

YES

Site provides good vehicle access to small parking lot off of Route 134. Site contains dog park adjacent to parking lot.

SWAN POND OVERLOOK

CENTER STREET

6.43

YES

This site has some access issues as it has slopes that exceed 5%.

QUIVET CREEK/BOUND BROOK HEADWATERS

AIRLINE ROAD

5.25

LIMITED

Picnic area is adjacent to parking lot and is accessible. The remainder of the parcel has significant access problems.

CROSS PATCH TOWN BLUEBERRY PATCH

FIELDSTONE DR

22.01

YES

Site has limited parking. Access improvements needed. A boardwalk would open up much of this site.

SHOOP COMMUNITY GARDENS

ROUTE 6A

26.25

YES

Public gardens maintained by the town. Access between the parking lot and gardens could be improved. Raised beds for wheelchair bound should be explored.

PRINCESS BEACH

SCARGO HILL ROAD

38.66

YES

The bathrooms need updating and made ADA compliant.

VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK

ROUTE 28

2.33

YES

Ramp needs to be rebuilt to provide better access to the seating platform.

FLAX POND

SETUCKET ROAD

177

YES

Natural Resources maintains trails on this tract of land which is co-owned by the Dennis Water District and Dennis Conservation Trust. Ameri-Corps workers have maintained these trails.

CHAPIN BEACH

CHAPIN BEACH ROAD

54

YES

Off-road vehicle area adjacent to Chapin Beach swimming area. Poor non-four wheel drive access.

CROWE’S PASTURE

OFF SOUTH STREET

189

YES

Off-road vehicle area. Area includes secluded beach, area supports Dennis aquaculture grants. Limited accessibility for mobility impaired.

SIMPKINS NECK

OFF NEW BOSTON ROAD

27.5

YES

THE PLASHES

OFF TOM’S PATH

48.6

NO

INDIAN LAND’S

OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

23.4

LIMITED

Parking is at Town Hall Parking Lot. Access if through abandoned railroad right-of-way. Town is working with Yarmouth to convert the rail right-of-way into a bike path.

CHASE GARDEN CREEK

OFF CHAPIN BEACH ROAD

250

LIMITED

Property includes areas owned by Mass Audubon and Dennis Conservation Trust. Access is limited.

CAPTAIN’S HARDING

OFF UNCLE BARNEY’S ROAD

.16

YES

Includes boat access.

of the Aquacultural Research Corp. at Bass Hole. In 1994 Mr. Clark donated 205 acres of salt marsh and surrounding dunes by Chase Garden Creek to the Trust, the largest gift of land ever to a local land trust on Cape Cod.98 Public access is allowed on lands held in fee by DCT, though it is not actively promoted. The Dennis Conservation Trust continues to accept land gifts, and conservation easements, conservation restrictions and direct monetary donations to further land conservation with the Town of Dennis. Most recently the Dennis Conservation Trust has worked with the town on the purchase of over 50 acres within the Quivet Neck/Crowe’s Pasture area, the acquisition of Bass River Park and Sea View Park.

The Swan Lake Cemetery Corp. operates a private 6-acre cemetery in Dennisport. The public is allowed to walk there.

There are no institutional (summer camps, boy scout camps, university lands, private golf courses) of conservation interest in town except for a 4.6-acre wooded slope at the east end of Run Pond formerly owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Fall River now town owned. This parcel could make a good connection for the Pathways project.

There are a variety of unprotected commercial open space facilities in town. Most private cranberry bogs and several small farms are presently enrolled under the MGL Chapter 61A current use assessment programs, which defer property taxes while the land is not developed.99

There are more than a dozen open space or “cluster” subdivisions in Dennis, in which a common area of at least 30 percent of the parcel’s area is provided for neighborhood use.100 These open areas may be comprised of either undeveloped land or active recreational sites, with some as large as 19 acres (Tucker Oaks). Most of these cluster subdivisions are located in the middle of town (East Dennis and South Dennis) where larger, more recent subdivisions were built after this zoning provision became instituted in 1973. There are also smaller park lots reserved for subdivision use. None is open to the general public unless specifically allowed by the owners.

Listed on Table 5.1 are the largest parcels of developable, unprotected land remaining in Dennis, totalling about 183 acres. The fate of these parcels represents the last opportunity for Dennis to preserve significant blocks of open space. Many of them are strategically located to expand existing conservation areas or serve as the only remaining undeveloped land, or breathing space in densely-built neighborhoods. Only one of these tracts is large enough to trigger the permitting authority of the Cape Cod Commission, since most do not exceed the Commission’s 30-acre minimum threshold for reviews as Developments of Regional Impact. However, the larger tract is mostly wetland but is located within one of the identified scenic vistas worthy of protection.

Table 5.1 Large, Unprotected, Undeveloped Land Parcels, Dennis MA, 2008

Map/Lot Acres Location Comments
185/60 9 88 Mayfair Rd., SD mostly wetland
192/6 8.73 329 Old Chatham Rd., SD near wellfield
409/47 7.4 254 Sesuit Neck Rd., ED mostly wetland
370/39 7.17 820 off Main St., D headwaters of Chase Garden Creek
305/31 6.92 458 Route 6A, D abuts Tobey Farm and Chase Garden Creek
236/7 5.28 off Airline Road, SD abuts Bakers Pond
267/3 3 off Airline Road, SD abuts Baker’s Pond
178/?? 11 off Old Chatham Rd landlocked
179/8 10.51 513 Old Chatham Rd upland
423/5 12.11 23 Farrington Rd, ED archeological importance
423/7 15.5 80 Coles Pond Rd, ED archeological importance
423/6 13.4 Coles Pond Rd, ED mostly wetlands, archeological imp.
413/27 5.38 13 Coles Pond Rd, ED mostly wetlands, archeological imp.
404/17 3.81 19 Bay View Ave mostly wetlands
368/4 6.28 Silverleaf Lane cranberry bog
30/10 31 31 Pine Road mostly wetland
66/15 26.8 Off Trotting Park Rd, WD mostly wetland
TOTAL 183.29 acres


PRIVATE OPEN SPACE FACILITIES

MASS AUDOBON SOCIETY

0 OFF MAIN STREET

7.64

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 BRUSHLAND

7.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

o CHAPIN BEACH ROAD

205.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 FOX HILL

0.25

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 MAIN STREET

3.50

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 MEADOW OFF MAIN STREET

5.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 OFF BLACK FLATS ROAD

0.91

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

0 OFF ROUTE 28

12.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

1148 ROUTE 6A

1.49

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

120 SETUCKET ROAD

1.17

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

121 SETUCKET ROAD

1.70

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

13 ASHLEY AVENUE

1.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

130 COVE ROAD

1.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

130 SETUCKET ROAD

0.82

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

1301 ROUTE 134

0.31

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

134 SHORE DRIVE

0.29

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

143 CEDAR HILL ROAD

0.58

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

18 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.47

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

19 MULLA LANE

1.50

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

19 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.46

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

198 MAIN STREET

2.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

20 ASHLEY AVENUE

0.92

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

22 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.48

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

22 SEARS ROAD

0.35

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

23 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.48

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

24 HALL STREET

0.72

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

24 ROCKY RIDGE

0.55

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

25 DUCK POND ROAD

20.00

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

26 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.63

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

27 OFF OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.55

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

28 LOCKWOOD DRIVE

2.01

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

28 SWAN RIVER ROAD

1.51

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

29 MULLA LANE

0.75

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

30 BEACH STREET

7.87

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

44 BEACH STREET

1.50

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

47 MONUMENT VIEW ROAD

0.39

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

5 DR BOTTERO ROAD

0.15

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

50 COLD STORAGE ROAD

2.02

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

8 FOREHAND DRIVE

1.83

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

8 OCEAN AVENUE

0.10

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

97 TOMS PATH DP

2.60

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

83 BLEAK HOUSE CIRCLE

0.69

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

89 BLEAK HOUSE CIRCLE

0.67

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

89 SESUIT NECK ROAD

5.41

DENNIS CONSERVATION TRUST

9 FOREHAND DRIVE

3.07

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT FACILITIES

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

80 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

30.00

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 AIRLINE ROAD

119.42

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 AUNT PATTYS POND

32.19

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 BAKERS POND ROAD

7.75

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 CRANBERRY & UPLAND

4.50

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 DRIVER WAY

4.24

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 GRASSY POND DRIVE

26.10

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 GRASSY POND DRIVE

20.20

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

1.36

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

0.39

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

1.04

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

2.62

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

6.90

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

12.35

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 PILOT DRIVE

43.94

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 QUAIL HOLLOW ROAD

5.93

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 QUAKER PATH

22.90

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 QUAKER PATH

4.00

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 QUAKER PATH

1.00

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 ROUTE 134

26.10

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 ROUTE 134

1.62

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 ROUTE 134

3.30

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 SETUCKET ROAD

62.01

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 SETUCKET ROAD

14.06

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

0 SIMMONS POND

68.15

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

103 HEMLOCK LANE

1.93

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

105 HOKUM ROCK ROAD

6.34

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

18 BAXTER STREET

0.10

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

290 OLD CHATHAM ROAD

3.17

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

296 OLD CHATHAM ROAD

100.00

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

350 OLD CHATHAM ROAD

24.70

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

38 CHESTNUT LANE

6.00

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

440 OLD CHATHAM ROAD

54.93

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

450 OLD CHATHAM ROAD

6.70

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

460 CENTER STREET

11.83

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

463 CENTER STREET

0.76

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

476 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

3.66

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

478 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

1.73

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

48 AIRLINE ROAD

2.67

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

508 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

3.21

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

525 OLD BASS RIVER ROAD

27.80

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

58 GOLD FINCH LANE

0.32

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

61 SETUCKET ROAD

10.83

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

680 ROUTE 134

1.77

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

712 ROUTE 134

31.25

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

712 ROUTE 134

20.57

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

776 ROUTE 134

5.50

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

87 BOB CROWELL ROAD

0.71

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

875 TOWER MAIN STREET

1.96

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

940 ROUTE 134

12.44

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

2.64

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

3.11

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

3.19

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

2.97

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

5.25

DENNIS WATER DISTRICT

44.07

LAND UNDER CONSERVATION RESTRICTION

MAP & PARCEL

SITE COMMON NAME

CONSERVATION RESTRICTED LAND

NON RESTRICTED LAND

TOTAL ACREAGE

405-11

Babcock Property, Oliver Drive

4.393

1.727

6.12

352-13

Bearse Property, Route 6A

5.65

0.92

6.57

403-9

Bleak House Downs, Home Owners Association, Bleak House Road

1.15

1.15

339-40

Bryant Property, McClellan Way

1.01

1.01

339-41

Bryant Property, McClellan Way

0.98

0.98

72-76

Clapp Property, Main Street (Dennisport)

12.45

12.45

392-7

Crowell Property, Sesuit Neck Road

22

2.9

24.9

406-1

Deerwild Realty Trust Property, Sesuit Neck Road

31.28

10.18

41.46

112-24

Dennis Conservation Trust, Center Street (South Dennis)

3.47

3.47

349-56

0.43

0.43

100-22

Eight Upper County Road Realty Trust, Treasure Bay Drive

2.63

2.63

82-3

Fitch Property, Old Main Street (West Dennis)

2.23

0.92

3.15

328-16

Hanger Property, Garden Road

1.31

1.31

366-64

Happiness Association, Luscombe Lane

0.44

0.44

389-22

Kruger Property, Dr. Lord’s Road

0.4

0.4

406-5

Nordbloom Property, Old Town Lane

1

1

407-7

Nordbloom Property, Crocker’s Path

0.92

0.92

407-8

Nordbloom Property, Crocker’s Path

1.81

1.81

407-9

Nordbloom Property, Crocker’s Path

1.5

1.5

380-6

Keegan Property, Route 6A

0.5

0.5

350-14

Page Nominee Trust, Nobscusset Road

0.92

0.789

1.709

406-2

Pinta Realty Trust, Crocker’s Path

2.23

1.62

3.85

431-1

Pollock Property, Off South Street (East Dennis)

6.72

1.74

8.46

371-24

Roger’s Property, Route 6A

0.92

0.48

1.4

64-61

Ryder Property, Church Street

1.16

0.92

2.08

352-14

Scargo Hill Realty Trust, Route 6A

11.48

11.48

409-40

Sears Property, Sesuit Neck Road

1.16

1.38

2.54

410-55

Sesuit Harbor Trust, Sesuit Neck Road

1.41

1.41

369-16

Simblaris Property, Partridge Lane

0.49

0.46

0.95

78-23

Stein Property, Aunt Julia Ann’s Road

2.59

2.59

79-33

Stein Property, Cove Road (West Dennis)

4.71

4.71

124-1

Valkenier Property, Depot Street

2.73

0.5

3.23

TOTAL

132.073 AC.

24.536 AC.

156.609 AC.

LAND UNDER 61A

MAP/PARCEL;

AGRICULTURAL RESTRICTION

NON-RESTRICTED PORTION OF SITE

TOTAL

369-47

Emery Property, Whig Street

5.69

5.69

280-2

Tobey Farm, Route 6A

11.52

1.38

12.9

280-1

Tobey Farm, Route 6A

14.6

14.6

280-3

Tobey Farm, Route 6A

13.3

13.3

219-35

Ulrich Property, Airline Road

7.06

0.92

7.98

370-56

Walker Property, Scarsdale Road

2.31

0.92

3.23

385-18

Walker Property (Cranberry Land)

1.76

1.76

386-8

Walker Property, Corporation Road

1.5

1.5

100-39

Kossak Property, Upper County Road

7.58

2.76

10.34

305-4

O’Connor Property, Main Street (Dennis Village)

6.49

1.38

7.87

388-49

Ivil Property, Bleak House Circle

0.25

0

0.25

TOTAL

72.06 AC.

7.36 AC.

79.42 AC.

Appendix D provides a comprehensive listing of town and privately owned properties which are permanently preserved for Open Space or Recreational Purposes.  The listing includes town buildings with a “recreational” function as well as passive areas such as cemeteries, to ensure a comprehensive consideration of these properties.

D. Recreational Facilities

1) Public Recreation Facilities

The most frequented town recreation areas, beyond the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the saltwater beaches and Scargo Lake’s Princess Beach, is the Johnny Kelley Recreation Area on Bob Crowell Road/Old Bass River Road in South Dennis. Opened in 1986 as the Access Road Recreation Area, it was rededicated in 1990 to honor long-time Dennis resident and nonagenarian athlete Johnny Kelley, famed Boston Marathoner. In addition to three new soccer fields, the Paul Hannabury Memory Garden and the braille trail installed in 1997, the following facilities are available at this major outdoor recreation site: two other soccer fields, two softball fields, three outdoor basketball courts, Marguerite Ickis Memorial Playground (tot lot), a roofed pavilion with restrooms, six picnic tables and three grills, and a 1.0 mile life course with fitness stations. The Kelley Park is a tremendous public asset, is centrally located for the entire town and has additional room for expansion. The town and Dennis Village Improvement Society recently completed a small playground on Route 6A in Dennis Village by converting a former gasoline station into a park with a childen’s playground. The town has also completed the update to a playground in West Dennis, converting a formerly under-utilized and aged playground and updating the facility into a barrier free accessible playground. Currently the town is working on facility plans for two recent land acquisitions, Sea View Park in Dennisport and the Bass River Park in West Dennis. These two facilities will have a variety of passive and active recreational uses.

The town has also expended significant amounts improving bicycle access. New bike paths have been constructed along Old Bass River Road, Bob Crowell Road, Setucket Road and more recently, Route 134. These paths provide connections between Johnny Kelly Park, the ballfields at the Wixon School, and the Wixon School itself.

Water-related recreation sites include major town beaches at West Dennis Beach, Chapin, Corporation, Cold Storage, and Mayflower Beaches and 13 other smaller beaches. Freshwater swimming is provided at Princess Beach on Scargo Lake. Beaches are used year-round for walking and other recreation. All beaches are open to non-residents (except Cold Storage) upon payment of a daily or seasonal parking fee. For the purposes of this Plan, a rough estimate has been made of beach sand acreage. The Town owns approximately 24,600 linear feet of saltwater shorefront and small swim beaches at Scargo Lake. Although the breadth of these beaches is highly variable from 10 feet inland from mean high water (MHW) to over 200 feet from MHW, an estimate of 75 feet in breadth was used to compute the area of all beaches. The result is about 42 acres of sand beachfront. Using national planning standards of 50 square feet of sandy beach per person, Dennis’s summer population should need about 72 acres. In other words, Dennis only operates about 58 percent of the beach that it should have to accommodate a town its size. Similarly, the neighboring town of Yarmouth hosts only 55 percent of the beach it should have open for public use. For a complete inventory of Dennis saltwater recreational facilities, see the Coastal Resources Element of the Local Comprehensive Plan.

According to the town School Department, there are two baseball fields, one large playground and one small playground at the Ezra Baker Elementary School in West Dennis and two baseball fields, one football field with a perimeter running track, one small playground and four tennis courts at the Nathaniel Wixon Middle School in South Dennis.

2) Private Recreation Facilities

Augmenting town recreation lands and facilities are a few private, commercial enterprises. East Dennis hosts the year-round, three-court Sesuit Tennis Centre. West Dennis contains Bass River Marina and the West Dennis Yacht Club. Dennisport has Holiday Hill mini-golf. South Dennis is the site of Mayfair Marina on Bass River, The Longest Yard (golf range), the Tony Kent Arena (year-round indoor ice rink) located across from a go-cart track. Dennis Village has no commercial recreation sites (Dennis Racquet Club, a private tennis club operates for the homeowners’ association on Oxbow Way.) There are no indoor or outdoor swimming pools available to the public for a fee anywhere in Dennis. The nearest pools for public commercial swimming are in Eastham and Hyannis.

3) Special Recreational Features

a) Cape Cod Pathways

Dennis’s Board of Selectmen has endorsed the concept of Cape Cod Pathways, a countywide effort to create a Cape network of linked walking trails, primarily using existing trails and public open space. In 1998 the Selectmen supported the cross-town Pathways linkage route connecting to Yarmouth and Brewster, where Selectmen have already approved trail designs. This planning study in Dennis was conducted by The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., in cooperation with the Dennis Natural Resources Department and an ad hoc citizens committee.101A

Despite its densely developed character, Dennis has the potential to create a trail network relatively easily, owing to its large blocks of protected lands in the center of town. Cooperation among various town departments, including Conservation, Recreation, Water, Highway, and Selectmen, and some private landowners, all of which have jurisdiction over key components of a Pathway system, will be needed. One example, is the “Report on Dennis Pathways” utilizing almost exclusively public roads and public lands. The 1998 report contains recommendations pertaining to other lands or easements which could be acquired to enhance the Pathways system in Dennis. In December 1997 the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates appropriated $500,000 to assist towns in 1998 wishing to purchase land interests for Pathways use.101B The Dennis Natural Resources Department has also produced a pathways and trails map with the assistance of the Cape Cod Commission. This map illustrates many connections across public lands for trail purposes.

b) Bike Trails

About 1.25 miles of the 25-mile long state-operated Cape Cod Rail Trail lies in Dennis. Its western trailhead is on Route 134 in South Dennis and the trail runs east to Harwich, crossing Great Western Road (a dangerous crossing with several bicycle/motor vehicle accidents) just south of Gage’s Way.

In addition, the Town has constructed about 8 miles of paved bike trail in the middle part of town, north of Route 6. About two miles of Setucket Road (running east-west from Brewster to Yarmouth) has a town bike trail along the road.

The 3,200-foot segment of Old Chatham Road between Route 134 and Old Bass River Road near the Wixon School has a town bike trail. It connects to the 3.2 mile bike trail along the east side of Bass River Road running north to almost to Route 6A and south to the Kelley Park and beyond, almost to Route 6. The town has also recently added a bike trail to Bob Crowell Road, connecting from the Old Bass River Bike Trail and Kelley Park to Route 134 (0.4 miles). The town has also constructed a bike trail along Route 134 extending from the Wixon School southerly for about 1 mile. The town is working with the town of Yarmouth and the Massachusetts Highway Department on an extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail west from Route 134 across Bass River.

2008-bike-facilities
The town continues to incorporate bicycle planning into its roadway and sidewalk projects. Work also continues on the idea of connecting Route 6A in Brewster to Quivet neck over
Sea Street and a “Path to the Sea” is being studied by the Dennisport Revitalization Committee which would connect the Cape Cod Rail Trail through on and off road trails to the Sea View Park property and the southerly beaches. A 1995 report on Route 6A by the Cape Cod Commission found that, “A bicycle path running parallel to the roadway [Route 6A] is not recommended due to the high number of residential curb cuts and, in certain areas, constraints and impacts on existing [natural and cultural] resources.” 103

E. Recreational Programs

The Selectmen’s goal is “to provide recreational opportunities for all age groups.”104 The staffed town Recreation Department, overseen by an appointed committee of volunteers, provides offerings for residents and visitors throughout the year. The most popular youth programs, in terms of number of participants, are soccer (shared with Yarmouth), instructional swimming (over 300 children taught at Princess Beach at Scargo Lake) and boys’ and girls’ basketball. Other youth offerings include baseball, playground programs, sailing, tennis and soccer camps. A goal of the Department is to keep activities affordable to maximize opportunities for all. Private youth leagues, some of which receive grants in aid from the town Recreation Department, include the Junior and Senior Babe Ruth Baseball Leagues and Pop Warner Football.105

Adult activities include basketball, dancercise, yoga, golf, and volleyball. For the past 20 years, the Recreation Department has sponsored a popular five-mile Dennis Road Race, one of the oldest on the Cape. Spectator sports are popular in Dennis, which, in addition to high school teams, means supporting the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the well-respected Cape Cod Baseball League (summer collegiate, plays at Red Wilson Field at Dennis-Yarmouth High School in Yarmouth) and Cape Cod Crusaders of the Cape Cod Amateur Soccer League.

The Recreation Department feels that the lack of centralized indoor facilities, i.e. gymnasium, such as those found in Harwich and Chatham, severely hampers the continued growth of offerings and size of programs.


94 Cape Cod Commission, Regional Policy Plan Atlas, 1991.

95 J.B. Harrison, “A Report upon the Public Holdings of the Shore Towns of Massachusetts,” in First Annual Report of The Trustees of Public Reservations, 1891, (Boston MA, 1892), p. 43.

96 The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., unpublished data, 1990; and, Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod: From Firstcomers to Newcomers 1639-1993, Dennis Historical Society, 1996, p.798 & 803.

97 Personal communication, George Macdonald, Dennis Natural Resources Director, 1997.

98 The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc.

99 Mass. c. 61 allows town to lower the assessment on 10-acre+ parcels of managed timberland; no parcels in Dennis are enrolled in this tax deferment program.

100 Dennis Zoning By-Laws, 2007. “Cluster zoning” is covered by the Open Space Village Development provision of the code.

101A The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., “Report on Dennis Pathways: A Project of Cape Cod Pathways,” 1998.

101B Barnstable County Commissioners, “Request for Proposals – Cape Cod Pathways,” February 6, 1998.

103 Cape Cod Commission, “Old Kings Highway/Route 6A: Corridor Management Plan,” April 1995, p. 115.

104 Board of Selectmen, Town of Dennis, “Statement of Goals,” January 25, 1990.

105 Dustin Pineau, Dennis Recreation Department,.

Edited July 8, 2009

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