Winter at the Sandy Neck Gatehouse

 

SNK Shelving

Winter on Sandy Neck is not always quiet! This year, with the lack of big storms tearing apart the beach and dunes and the mild weather; many patrons have taken advantage of the lack of a winter and have been enjoying the beach.

All may be quiet in the weather department, (we will see what the latter part of February and beginning of March brings us), but things at the Gatehouse have been busy, busy!

 

Along with the process of getting ready for the upcoming season, we have been making upgrades to the Gatehouse itself. Patrons will notice a new look when they come to purchase an ORV permit or official SNK merchandise.  A fresh coat of paint, new floor coverings and new shelving are just a few of the things the SNK Staff and Structures and Grounds have been working on. When you drive by the Gatehouse be sure to take a look at our new picture window, with the beautiful Sandy Neck Totem hanging for all to see! Wood carvers of Cape Cod Jack Mooney and George Ford did an amazing 3’ round carving of our totem. Our Snowy Owl oversees everything on Sandy Neck, the turtles, fish, Plovers, vehicles, beach and dunes and we couldn’t be more proud to display it for everyone to enjoy!

 

Let me tell you about our new shelving. Nothing ordinary here; the shelves are the reclaimed 100+ year old wood from the stair treads at the BarnstableTown Hall! Town employees took out all the nails, left the nail holes and “imperfections”, and sanded them down, sealed them and fabricated shelving from the beautiful wood. We are excited to have a bit of BarnstableTown Hall history in the Gatehouse!

 

We also are lucky to have a bit of history from Craigville Beach. A barn door for Park Manager, Nina Coleman’s office is being made from reclaimed bead board from Craigville. Our Structures and Grounds artisans have been busy at work making our vision of the Gatehouse come to life. As we look forward to the spring, we can’t wait to show off all that we have been working on here at SNK!

Seals on the Beach: What to Do

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Some of the most common questions and interactions we get this time of year have to do with observing seals, a type of marine mammal, out of the water and laying around on shore.

To some it may seem unusual to see a “marine” mammal out of the water. However, unlike dolphins and whales, seals do in fact leave the water for a variety of reasons, and it is actually critical to their survival in many cases.

Here are some important notes to keep in mind should you encounter a seal on the beach.

  • It is quite normal for seals to leave the water and haul out on beaches, especially this time of year. Juvenile seals are finally hunting and surviving on their own, and the first winter can be difficult. These animals must often haul out on the sand in order to warm up, rest and conserve energy. By disturbing a resting seal, you may be putting its life at risk if it is forced back into the water when it is still weak or vulnerable.
  • Seals, like all marine mammals, are Federally protected. You must keep at least 150ft away from these animals at all times, for your safety and the safety of the animal.
  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Marine Mammal Rescue Program can help to assess seals for any potential injuries or issues an animal may be suffering. To report an injured marine mammal or even to report sightings of healthy marine mammals, please call the IFAW Marine Mammal Hotline at 508-743-9548IMG_20170126_105049478
  • Although dogs are allowed off-leash at Sandy Neck until March 15th, it is paramount that your pets also stay at least 150ft away from any marine mammals on the beach. Seals and Dogs are closely related (Order- Caniformia) which means both animals have the potential to transmit pathogens and disease across species. For the safety of our wildlife and the safety of your pets, it is important to stay away from any interactions which could potentially put one or both parties in danger.
  • While many seals, especially juveniles appear cute and friendly, approaching these animals is dangerous. Seals have a set of sharp teeth and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. A bite from a seal can easily become infected leading to long-lasting medical issues. This additional stress can also be detrimental to the animal’s overall welfare.

The winter is a wonderful time of year to walk the beaches and observe the landscapes and wildlife of Cape Cod. However, it is important that we all be considerate of the animals who are struggling to make it through a vulnerable time of the year. Please maintain a safe distance and allow these creatures to rest and recover from the harsh elements of the winter season.

 

Sean Kortis
Natural Resource Officer

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Copy of Happy Holidays 2016 snk

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! We still have plenty of Sandy Neck merchandise for your holiday shopping needs. We take cash, checks and credit cards. Please call for an appointment and we will be delighted to assist! 508-362-8300

Nina, Donna, Sean and Chad

Official Sandy Neck Merchandise available for the Holiday Season!

sunsetThe Holidays are upon us! Come by the Gatehouse to get your official Sandy Neck Merchandise for that special someone!

Current hours of operation are Friday 9 am – 3:30 pm. Saturday 9 am- 3:30 pm and Sunday 9 am – 3:30 pm. On all other days you can call for an appointment!

We have received a new shipment of brick red 1300 BC Hoodie Sweatshirts in adult sizes. We have blue and pink Hoodie Sweatshirts for children. We also have the very popular quarter-zip, collared sweatshirts available. Tees, hats, bumper stickers and more!

It is always a Holiday at your favorite Cape Cod Beach!

~Sandy Neck~

Cash Credit Cards & Checks accepted

Hiking and Hunting Sandy Neck!

Fall at Sandy Neck...

Fall at Sandy Neck…

Hunting and Hiking Sandy Neck Beach Park 2016

Hunting has been a long held tradition here on Sandy Neck and the fall season is upon us.  The following is a list of the dates and species per the Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Division. Please visit this website for all laws and regulations pertaining to hunting in Massachusetts:  http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/hunting-fishing-wildlife-watching/hunting/

 

Sandy Neck hunting:

 

Pheasant: October 15th through November 26th, 2016

Rabbit: October 15th, through February 28th, 2017

Coyote: October 15th through March 8th, 2017

Fox: November 1st through February 28, 2017

Turkey: October 24th, through November 5th, 2016

Ducks: October 14th through October 22nd, 2016

Sea Ducks: November 17th though January 28th, 2017

 

NO DEER HUNTING is allowed anywhere on Sandy Neck Beach Park.

 

Tips for hikers:

 

~We recommend that you wear a blaze orange hat while hiking Sandy Neck.

 

~Check in with the Gatehouse prior to going out on the trails. Hunters have to sign in at the Gatehouse prior to hunting so we may be able to tell you if anyone is currently hunting.

 

~Always stay on the designated trails, DO NOT venture into the dunes.

 

~No hunting is allowed on the front beach. Hiking the front beach is safe.

 

~Hunting is allowed Monday-Saturday, 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.

 

~There is NO hunting allowed on Sundays!  

 

~Please remember that your dogs could be mistaken for wild game and for their safety it is recommended that you and your pet either walk the front beach or have an orange vest for your dog and/or a bell for their collar.

 

~The Staff at Sandy Neck is committed to ensuring that all who come to Sandy Neck Beach Park have an enjoyable and safe visit. While visiting, should you have any concerns, please call the Gatehouse at 508-362-8300

 

 

For the love of Sandy Neck! Coast Sweep 2016

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Each year we invite the public to join us for the annual Coast Sweep clean up of beautiful Sandy Neck Beach Park. This year we will be holding the event on Sunday, September 25th from 9 am to Noon. We ask everyone who loves this beach to come and join us. The staff will provide gloves, trash bags and trash collection sheets for everyone and will be working side by side with the public to remove trash and debris from the beach as well as the dunes.

As the years go by, more and more people come to Sandy Neck to enjoy the many wonderful things this park has to offer. Everything from the off road vehicle beach, to the spectacular hiking trails along the Great Marsh to campfires in the warm summer evenings or surf fishing along the great expanse of beach; this park has something for everyone!

Now we are asked to give back! Marine debris are of serious concern for both beach fronts and marine environments and we can all do something about this! We can and will be a part of the solution to this problem and we can only do this together!

I invite you to explore the link below to find out more about Marine debris and what our trash in the waters can do to damage wildlife and impact the very fish that we eat.

Please follow the link below to view

JOIN us in making a difference  on Sunday September 25th at 9 am!

Terrapin Hatchlings Emerge!

unnamed (4)Sandy Neck Turtle Monitor Eva Golden and Sandy Neck Park Manager Nina Coleman pose with a couple of day-old Terrapin Hatchlings before releasing them safely into the salt marsh

Keep a careful eye out while hiking on the marsh trail of Sandy Neck. For the next 3 months, these tiny, quarter-sized turtle hatchlings will be emerging from the sand dunes and making the treacherous journey back into the marsh where they will spend the rest of their lives. Although thousands of hatchlings may emerge, only about 1 in 100 will make it to adulthood.

Luckily, the phenomenal weather this summer has allowed many nests to begin hatching earlier than normal, providing these cute little hatchlings with plenty of time, energy and resources to give them a better shot at survival.

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 Sean Kortis                                                                                                                                                              Barnstable Natural Resource Officer

 

The Mayors of Sandy Neck

jack and quinny Jack & Quinlin conferring at the Sandy Neck Gatehouse

We welcome our four-legged friends at Sandy Neck Beach Park year round! Often in the early morning you can see dogs along with their human parents strolling down Sandy Neck Road or walking the very popular Great Marsh Trail. Folks who live on the road often meet up to walk their canine companions together, both dogs and people seem to love the meet and greet time of day at Sandy Neck!

 

We wish to highlight two of our favorite doggy friends whom I call the Mayors of Sandy Neck!  Paul and Donna White of West Barnstable are owned by Quinlin, the “Bestie Westie”.  Quinny will come to the gate most mornings and politely shake hands and lie down for a treat. He never meets a stranger and while his “Dad” Paul and I talk, Quinny greets each and every person and dog that comes through the Gatehouse. If someone starts to pass by without giving Quinny a hello, he will give them his most lovable look until they have to stop and give him the attention he deserves!

 

The other Mayor of Sandy Neck is Jack; a strikingly handsome Border Collie mix who will melt your heart. Jack parents are Earl and Judy McKeen of East Sandwich.  Jack is a rescue dog and like most rescue animals, Jack is kind of a shy guy. He doesn’t eat treats, but each time he comes to the Gatehouse he wags his tail and waits patiently for his pat on the head. You have to fall in love with Jack’s kind and gentle eyes and his quiet demeanor.  Although Jack is more reserved than Quinlin, you wouldn’t know it when the two greet each other. It is total love fest!

 

The Mayors meet often at the Gatehouse or on Sandy Neck Road and everyone who lives here knows who they are. Quinlin and Jack have asked me to tell all you parents of four-legged children to stop by the Gatehouse get your doggies a treat and enjoy a lovely walk. Gatehouse staff will point out the way to the Great Marsh Trail and will give you a map of the park.

 

If you are out and about on Sandy Neck Road and you see they Mayors, make sure you stop and say hello!

Diamondback Terrapins Emerge to Nest at Sandy Neck Beach

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It’s July on Cape Cod. The hot sun hangs high upon the air, clouded by a layer of haze from the harsh humidity. The greenhead flies have finally erupted, and they swarm the banks of the Barnstable Great Marsh in search of unsuspecting victims.
But amidst all of this chaos, Diamondback Terrapins are taking advantage of the sweltering sunshine, as they emerge from the banks of the marsh in order to lay their nests among the towering dunes of Sandy Neck. Rarely seen, these turtles quickly disappear back into the grassy marsh, leaving nothing behind but a unique set of tracks that wind and weave across the dunes beyond the trail.
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The Diamondback Terrapin is a threatened species in the state of Massachusetts. Sandy Neck is their northern-most range, and one of the last remaining strongholds for this species on Cape Cod. Terrapins are the only turtles in the world that live in brackish water; in estuaries where freshwater runoff from rivers and streams mix with the tidal flow of the oceans to form a diverse habitat rich in productivity.
estuary
These fascinating creatures will continue to nest until mid-July, laying between 10-20eggs at a time before departing back to their native marshlands until next summer. The warmth of the hot summer sun will help to incubate the eggs under the sand until they hatch in the fall, when they will have to make the treacherous journey back into the marsh as quarter-sized hatchlings.
nest
So when the heat of the summer and the frustration of the greenheads seem to be getting the best of you – just remember that this weather is an important part of the beautiful changing seasons of Cape Cod. For without it, our threatened Terrapins, who have persevered for so long, despite habitat loss, hunting, shifting ecosystems, and depredation, might fade among the grains of sand that blow upon the dunes, and disappear to nothing but a long-forgotten story that flutters through the breeze.
So thank the hot and humid days, for they ensure the future generations of Terrapins an opportunity to hatch into this wonderful land that we call Sandy Neck for many years to come.
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Sean Kortis
Barnstable Natural Resource Officer

4th of July at Sandy Neck Beach Park

4th of July at Sandy Neck Beach Park

The Sandy Neck Beach Park Staff wishes to extend a warm welcome to everyone for the 2016 Summer season at the beach!

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 With the 4th of July fast approaching we want to update you on Beach conditions. The Off Road Vehicle Beach is open a little past Trail 2, (1.9 miles).  The speed limit is 5 MPH.  Park on the berm with your headlights facing the dunes. Campers may park with either their headlights or taillights to the dunes. We ask those campers who park with the taillights to the dunes to put their hang tags in the rear window of the camper for easy viewing!

Please visit our website at www.sandyneckbeachpark.com for ORV parking diagram.

We expect a busy 4th of July weekend and want everyone to have fun and remain safe!  A couple of reminders to help you enjoy your time here at Sandy Neck:

1. On the Off Road Vehicle Corridor, dogs must be leashed at all times (15′ leash or less). No dogs allowed in parking lot or on public beach.

2. Fires are allowed in designated areas at 7 pm.

3. Per the fire department, NO sky lanterns are allowed to be set off from the beach.

4. Anyone visiting the beach, either going to the parking lot or Off Road must be through the gatehouse by 9 pm.

5. Curfew is 11 pm. You must be out of the park by that time.

 

HIGH TIDES for the weekend:

July 1st 9:18pm 11.5’

July 2nd 9:57am 10.1/ 10:14pm 11.7’

July 3rd 10:54am 10.2’/11:09pm 11.8’

July 4th 11:49am 10.3’/ 12:00pm 10.3’

Please call the gatehouse at 508-362-8300 with any questions

Thank you for making SandyNeckBeachPark your vacation destination!

 With the 4th of July fast approaching we want to update you on Beach conditions. The Off Road Vehicle Beach is open a little past Trail 2, (1.9 miles).  The speed limit is 5 MPH.  Park on the berm with your headlights facing the dunes. Campers may park with either their headlights or taillights to the dunes. We ask those campers who park with the taillights to the dunes to put their hang tags in the rear window of the camper for easy viewing!

Please visit our website at www.sandyneckbeachpark.com for ORV parking diagram.

We expect a busy 4th of July weekend and want everyone to have fun and remain safe!  A couple of reminders to help you enjoy your time here at Sandy Neck:

1. On the Off Road Vehicle Corridor, dogs must be leashed at all times (15′ leash or less). No dogs allowed in parking lot or on public beach.

2. Fires are allowed in designated areas at 7 pm.

3. Per the fire department, NO sky lanterns are allowed to be set off from the beach.

4. Anyone visiting the beach, either going to the parking lot or Off Road must be through the gatehouse by 9 pm.

5. Curfew is 11 pm. You must be out of the park by that time.

 

HIGH TIDES for the weekend:

July 1st 9:18pm 11.5’

July 2nd 9:57am 10.1/ 10:14pm 11.7’

July 3rd 10:54am 10.2’/11:09pm 11.8’

July 4th 11:49am 10.3’/ 12:00pm 10.3’

Please call the gatehouse at 508-362-8300 with any questions

Thank you for making SandyNeckBeachPark your vacation destination!images