'A bright and exciting future'
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History to Acquire Thornton W. Burgess/Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich
The boards of trustees of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster and The Thornton W. Burgess/Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich have voted unanimously to approve the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s acquisition of the renowned Sandwich nature center, creating a coalition of distinguished nature centers from Sandwich to the Outer Cape.
The acquisition formally will take effect once legal documents of the Asset Purchase Agreement are complete. Talks have been underway between the two boards of trustees since the winter of 2014.
“Generous donations from the Bilezikian Foundation and Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation made the due diligence process possible,” said Robert Dwyer, President and Executive Director of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
Under the terms of the agreement, the names, identities, and signage of both organizations will be preserved in an effort to enrich existing programs and integrate new programs on the Sandwich and Brewster campuses.
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, founded in 1954, owns 80 acres of prime open space off Route 6A near Cape Cod Bay in the placid Stony Brook Valley and surrounded by another 300 acres of conservation land, including historic Wing Island, site of one of the earliest Paleoindian settlements. The Museum offers a variety of year-round programs, walking trails, and exhibits, including a seasonal butterfly house where Monarchs, one of the most beautiful and majestic of butterflies on earth, can be observed up-close in spring and summer.
The Thornton W. Burgess Society, the Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, founded in 1976, sits on two and a half acres off bucolic Route 6A, surrounded by 57 acres of Town of Sandwich owned land with springs, hills and walking trails. Burgess—a Cape native, an internationally renowned 20th century children’s author and conservationist—wrote more than 15,000 newspaper columns, numerous books and stories in periodicals chronicling the tales of Peter Rabbit and his animal friends, Jimmy Skunk, Old Mother West Wind, Grandfather Frog, Johnny Chuck, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, Hooty Owl, and many others.
Under the terms of the acquisition, members of the Burgess Board of Trustees will join the existing Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (CCMNH) board. The acquisition brings together the contributions of two of America’s finest nature writers, Burgess and Cape Cod Museum of Natural History co-founder John Hay, whose writings have been compared to the venerable Henry David Thoreau. The contributions of both Burgess and Hay—coupled with educational displays, programs and trails at both museums—offer an extraordinary range of discovery for children and adults on Cape Cod and beyond.
“This is an historic moment in the history of the Museum and the Burgess Society,” said CCMNH President and Executive Director Dwyer. “The acquisition allows us to integrate and expand programs to create one of the finest regional nature centers in New England.”
Added Michael Pierce, President of the Burgess Society/Green Briar Nature Center, “It was a careful, thoughtful journey for us. A bright and exciting future exists. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish as a single group.”
About Thornton W. Burgess, Jr.