Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore

About Us

Background    In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation that established the Cape Cod National Seashore. 44,000 acres that includes the untamed shoreline of the Atlantic Coast, dunes that yield to heathland, marshes, woods and ponds were designated as a national park for public use. The beautiful towns of Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown with their histories tied to the sea lie within the Seashore. The inclusion of these towns was a departure from the typical National Park model that previously created Parks from publicly owned or donated land.

Every year, the Cape Cod National Seashore welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world. In 2015, 4.4 million visitors explored the Seashore, making it one of the most popular of our country's national parks.

Mission Statement    Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore (FCCNS) is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the Cape Cod National Seashore, a partnership established to preserve, protect, and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the National Seashore. FCCNS leverages existing federal support with additional private philanthropy, engaging members, donors, and visitors in the shared values of cultural appreciation, environmental stewardship and historical preservation.

The Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore was incorporated in Massachusetts on March 1, 1987. It is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax exempt as provided by law.

Board of Directors

FRIENDS OF THE CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE is governed by a Board of Directors composed of volunteers from the six Cape Cod towns contiguous to the Park. The Directors and Officers are elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting in July.

FCCNS Board of Directors
2016-2017 Friends Board of Directors
Front row (left to right):
Pat Canavan, Susan Kurtzman, Heather Hill, Pat Ryder, Jane Fischer
Middle row (left to right):
Donna Cary, Jeff Tash, Bruce Hurter
Back row (left to right):
Jim McDowell, Dave Spang
Not pictured:
Darin Krum, Fran Lautenberger, Jesse Mechling, Stacy Rogers

FRIENDS Officers are elected to a one-year term. The President is limited to three terms. The Directors are elected to a three-year term, with a maximum of two terms.

Current Officers and Directors, 2016-2017
Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore

  • President, Pat Canavan, Orleans
  • First Vice President, Heather Hill, Orleans
  • Second Vice President, Jeff Tash, Wellfleet
  • Treasurer, Donna Cary, Eastham
  • Clerk, David Spang, Truro
  • Past President, Richard Ryder, Eastham

  • Jane Fisher, Eastham
  • Bruce Hurter, Wellfleet
  • Darin Krum, Eastham
  • Susan Kurtzman, Truro
  • Fran Lautenberger, Orleans
  • Jim McDowell, Dennis
  • Jesse Mechling, Eastham
  • Stacy Rogers, Truro
  • Patricia Ryder, Eastham

What we do

Since 1978, FCCNS, a not-for-profit charitable organization (501 c 3), has supported the National Seashore, which operates under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. FCCNS has raised funds for specific projects within the Cape Cod National Seashore including:

  • Stabilization of the Cranberry Bog House in Truro
  • Site improvements for the Marconi Site in Wellfleet
  • Acquisition of furnishings and Interior improvements to the Old Harbor Life Saving Station at Race Point in Provincetown
  • Replacement of visitors' bleachers at Old Harbor Life Saving Station
  • Funding to enable the Province Lands Visitor Center to serve summer visitors despite a lack of federal resources
  • Installation of wayside exhibits along the Province Lands Bicycle Trail
  • Exterior improvements and painting of the historic Captain Penniman House in Eastham
  • Sponsorship of summer and winter entertainment programs, appropriate for visitors of all ages

Partnerships    FCCNS has supported the work of other organizations located in or near the Seashore, including:

  • funding for Wellfleet Audubon Sanctuary to monitor horseshoe crabs within the Seashore
  • financial and organizational support, serving as fiscal agent for the fledging Friends of the Herring River, based in Wellfleet
  • managing of contributions and providing volunteers for the Ballston Beach Barrier Dune Project in Truro

Volunteerism    Friends recruits members and other volunteers to literally "preserve and protect" the Seashore. These on-going activities include:

  • Adopt-a-Trail, a commitment to assist the Park maintain the busiest trails to enhance the experience of walkers throughout the Park
  • Cut/pile/burn, through which volunteers preserve historic vistas like Fort Hill and clear walkways of overgrown foliage and debris
  • Installation and maintenance of native plant gardens which provides guidance for visitors interested in appropriate plantings for this fragile environment
Help the Friends Support the Seashore
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