John Parker Road East Falmouth, Massachusetts 02536Official Website
The Coonamessett River Valley in Falmouth, Massachusetts has seen dramatic changes over the last 400 years, primarily due to evolving use by people. For thousands of years, Native Wampanoag gathered the abundant natural resources, with little long-term impact. Arrival of European settlers in the 1600s began a series of alterations to the river that would span centuries. Use of water power to fuel grist- and then woolen mills, then conversion to cranberry farming, had a profound impact on the river and surrounding wetlands. Once host to throngs of herring, American eel, and Brook trout, fish populations had dwindled to almost nothing by the 1900s. Other animal and plant communities also changed considerably.
Restoring health to the Coonamessett River and its bordering wetlands has been a long-term goal of local, state and federal biologists for at least 30 years.In the early 2000s, two local non-profits began working to make this goal a reality. Coonamessett River Trust (CRT) began systematic monitoring of biological, chemical and physical characteristics of the river. The 300 Committee Land Trust of Falmouth (T3C), sometimes working with the Town of Falmouth, began strategically targeting land along the river for acquisition, to create a vegetated buffer along the river from Coonamessett Pond, almost to Great Pond.
A public trail known as the Coonamessett Greenway Heritage Trail – now runs about 3.5 miles along both sides of the river with multiple loops along the way.
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Last updated June 19, 2023