The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank got an early Christmas present this week: a gift of 1,000 feet of beachfront and dunes on the Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.
The property, a visible and familiar crescent of sand that lies south of the Lagoon Pond Bridge and curves toward the former state lobster hatchery, was an outright gift from the Moses and Alvin Strock families.
“It is a uniquely attractive property,” said land bank executive director James Lengyel Monday morning after a press release went out about the acquisition. “On late summer afternoons both the light and the wind funnel right up the Lagoon and land right on this beach.”
Mr. Lengyel said outright gifts are rare for the land bank, which buys public conservation land using funds collected from a transfer fee on most real estate transactions.
The closing was Friday. The property will be named Doug’s Cove in honor of a member of the Strock family.
“Comprising 4.4 acres, the property has long been of interest to the land bank,” the press release said.
Mr. Lengyel said the property has been on the land bank list for possible purchase since 1988, when the first discussions began with members of the Strock family. “This is another example of how the land bank commissioners and town advisory board members all have a very good sense of patience,” he said.
Preliminary management goals for the property call for recreational visitors to park at the county’s adjacent Eastville Point Park, on the opposite side of the Beach Road. Vehicles will not be permitted on the beach, and boats cannot be stored there, but shellfishermen will be allowed to use the beach for harvesting and offloading shellfish. The beach runs toward the former state lobster hatchery, property which is still owned by the commonwealth. “So now the whole area is public,” Mr. Lengyel said.
He said the dune separating the beach from a small coastal pond will be restored in the coming year to a natural vegetative state. Currently it is covered with bittersweet and other invasive plants. A viewshed will be created to allow Tisbury-bound motorists and bicyclists a view out to the Lagoon.
The property will be open for full public use beginning next summer, Mr. Lengyel said.