The Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation has long demonstrated its commitment to the restoration and preservation of Race Point Light Station, as well as to the site’s popular overnight stay program, but their efforts do not stop there.
Like so many others who visit Cape Cod National Seashore, the volunteers have a deep appreciation for the natural environment that surrounds Race Point Light Station as well.
The interwoven beauty of both the dunes and the lighthouse not only captivates one’s soul – it also inspires admirers to care and go the extra mile to help keep such beauty pristine for others to enjoy.
On April 30, 2011, the Cape Cod Chapter, along with a big helping hand by volunteers from the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association (MBBA), gathered together along Pole Line Road, which leads to Race Point Light Station, to remove unwanted debris and damaged snow fencing.
Bill Jenkins, chairman of ALF’s Cape Cod Chapter, touched on importance of this beach clean-up effort, saying, “Debris that gets washed up on the beach is not only unsightly but potentially dangerous too. Some of the hazards include obstacles in the vehicle tracks that could puncture a tire or debris that beach goers could easily step on, which might necessitate a 911 emergency call.”
Jenkins went on to note, “The sheer volume and variety of debris is sad testament to the growing human presence on earth. Without these deeply caring volunteers, I am certain there would be many more problems – and not just to people, but to the sea and wildlife that roam the dunes and outer Cape as well. There is no doubt in my mind the cost to the taxpayer would also climb much higher too if the beach managers at the Park Service did not have access to volunteer assistance.”
In addition to the volunteers, Cape Cod Chapter member James Walker also lent the service of his pick-up truck to haul the debris away on a trailer for proper disposal.
Gary Childs, vice-chair for the Cape Cod Chapter, expressed his appreciation for MBBA’s help, saying, “Together, we trucked five loads of fencing and other debris off the beaches. MBBA jumped right in and helped big-time. They were very coordinated in their efforts. When we were done, things really looked better.”
Bill Jenkins echoed Gary Childs’ sentiments, saying, MBBA’s help allowed us to clean-up far more than the Cape Cod Chapter could have done alone.”
The Cape Cod Chapter’s overnight stay program at Race Point Light Station begins during the month of May. One of the memories that nearly all guests (and visitors) to the site walk away with is the scenery along the two-mile ride out over the dunes to the historic site.
As a volunteer from the Cape Cod Chapter drives one of the organization’s vehicles to Race Point, guests admire long stretches of rolling dunes and pristine sand. They may not realize how hard volunteers work to help the Cape Cod National Seashore keep this natural paradise looking as it should, but like the lighthouse, it takes caring people to ensure the sands remain sparkling.
“Instead of seeing collapsed and broken snow-fencing, ugly remnants of the old fresh-water line that was poking up through the sand, and trash that accumulates along the pole-line, visitors are treated to clean, sweeping dune vistas,” says Bill Jenkins. “On the ride to the keeper’s house, a typical comment is often heard, ‘I wish the ride would never end!’ Visitors first impressions are seeing a natural landscape untouched by people or time.”
This natural, unspoiled landscape is what helps make Race Point Light Station the one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience that it is. All who visit the lighthouse owe a debt of thanks to those volunteers who help each year to keep Cape Cod National Seashore alluring and pristine for others to enjoy.
In addition to expressing our gratitude to the volunteers of the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association, ALF wishes to thank the following Cape Cod Chapter volunteers: James Walker, Sylvia Walker, Gary Childs, Tom Corto and Bonnie Therrien.