Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank buys 41 acres on Chappaquiddick

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced Monday that it has agreed to buy 41 acres on Chappaquiddick.

The Land Bank’s newest Edgartown acquisition includes beachfront, salt marsh ponds, and upland with a view of Cape Poge Bay. The new property will allow the public land organization to expand its cross-Chappy trail.

The sellers are Judith Self Murphy, E. Baldwin Self Jr., and Karen Self Osler. The sale price was $4,950,000.

James Lengyel, land bank executive director, said the property met all the criteria for a Land Bank purchase and was a logical choice. Mr. Lengyel said the property fits into a pattern of Land Bank purchases across the small, easternmost island.

The Land Bank’s newest property is at the end of Jeffer’s Lane and to the north of the existing Three Ponds Reservation to which it will be added, bringing the total acreage to 358 acres.

“The property hosts a wide range of uplands and water,” the Land Bank said in a press release. “It includes 900 feet of beach on Cape Poge plus four ponds, the largest of which is a 3-acre pond in the heart of the land.”

Mr. Lengyel said 35.3 acres of the property is subject to a conservation restriction held by the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.

“The focal point of the property is the six-acre promontory containing a house and two outbuildings,” the Land Bank said. “All will be removed and the promontory will be restored to wildland.”

The Chappaquiddick Open Space Committee has volunteered to conduct a fund-raising campaign to help offset some of the acquisition expenses, according to a press release, freeing money for other acquisition projects.

The Land Bank commission, made up of one elected member from each of the Island towns and the town’s appointed advisory board looked very carefully at the numbers, Mr. Lengyel said, and came to the conclusion that the property is distinct.

The Land Bank’s Chappaquiddick holdings now include the 147-acre Poucha Pond Reservation that abuts Poucha Pond and The Trustees of Reservations Wasque Point Reservation on the southeast corner of Chappy and is incorporated into the trail system; the five-acre North Neck Highlands with its dramatic view of Cape Poge Gut and Nantucket Sound; and the five separate parcels that make up the Three Ponds Reservation.

The Land Bank inaugurated its new Cross-Chappaquiddick Trail system with a Saturday morning hike in October 2005. The trail system was completed thanks to several property owners who granted easements for hikers, allowing a series of existing conserved parcels to be connected.

In comments at the time, Mr. Lengyel said the Land Bank has stressed the goal of establishing extensive, interlinked trails since it was founded in 1986.

Mr. Lengyel, a dedicated hiker, said at the time, “It is exciting not to be dependent on automobiles.”
 With the price of gas above $4 per gallon, Land Bank hikers can now increase their mileage.

For more information on Land Bank properties call 508-627-7141 or go to mvlandbank.com.