Land Bank expands Wapatequa Reservation

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank has added 36 acres to its Wapatequa Woods Reservation in Oak Bluffs and Tisbury. The addition is shown as an outlined rectangle. — Map courtesy of Martha's Vineyar

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commission announced Tuesday that it had signed a contract covering some 36 acres on the Road to Wapatequa in Oak Bluffs and Tisbury. The price is $925,000 and the seller is George Fisher Jr., a retired Oak Bluffs police chief.

The land will be added to the Wapatequa Woods Reservation, which currently comprises 135.5 acres located between Edgartown and State Roads, according to a press release.

Mr. Fisher’s property is mostly wooded but includes, at its southern end, a five-acre pasture and field, Land Bank executive director James Lengyel said in a press release. The Land Bank will investigate the possibility of leasing it out for livestock grazing or other agricultural uses.

The property also includes a dwelling; the land bank will use it as housing for its summer employees but will also study whether it would instead be feasible to house a caretaker there who would implement a woodland improvement program for the reservation, while simultaneously managing its trail system.

Expansion of this reservation has long been a Land Bank priority, as it is easily accessible to the population centers in Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. Some 30 acres were added in February, via a purchase from Lynne Silva et al., supplementing a purchase of three acres in the summer of 2013 from the Cynthia Kolnos family and nine acres in the summer of 2012 (the latter a joint acquisition with the town of Tisbury to protect the Manter well).

Members of the public with any questions about this acquisition are encouraged to attend one of the Land Bank commission’s regular Monday evening meetings or one of the meetings of the Oak Bluffs or Tisbury town advisory boards.