Waskosim's Rock Reservation
The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank has acquired 120 goats, following a two-year pilot program at the Farm Institute, and plans to deploy them as living lawnmowers as early as next week. The goats will take up residency at Waskosim's Rock in Chilmark.
At first glance, it seems unlikely that there is a connection between the abundance of white-tailed deer and the long-term documented decline of many songbirds. But let’s take a closer look.
Amazingly enough, deer used to be scarce, with low populations nationwide prior to 1900. Their populations rebounded once restrictions on hunting were put in place and now they are incredibly abundant, making this perhaps one of the most successful wildlife conservation efforts ever.
The Waskosim’s Rock Reservation is a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank holding which can be reached off North Road at the West Tisbury-Chilmark line. Because of its habitat diversity, its elevation changes, its lack of so-called improvements, its overall acreage (just under 185 acres), its beech-lined stream and excellent trails, it is a great find for birders as well as other people seeking recreation.
There’s a sense of wonder when you walk the trails at Waskosim’s Rock Reservation in Chilmark on a winter day. Dry leaves crunch under your feet on the meandering flat trails that lead you to the stream. It’s easy to be distracted by the moving water, one of few sounds in earshot, but be careful not to trip on the tree roots curving out of the hillside. Up the small stile over the stonewall, across the sheet of ice where life has stopped underneath the frozen water, be sure to take a moment to stomp your feet on the ice and create dizzying patterns.