The Provincetown Greenway

A greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection.

The Provincetown Greenway is the important woodlands and wetlands that form a wooded dispersal corridor for migratory wildlife that stretches across town from Foss Woods in the far east end to the protected Shankpainter Pond Uplands and Clapps Pond at the west end.

This protected area is essential to the many wildlife species that use it as a refuge from the heat and openness of the dunes and the built up environment along Commercial Street. Remarkably, on a thin layer of top soil atop sand a “whole countries full of woods and thicket” greeted the Pilgrims, on their arrival in 1620. But by the mid 1800’s , the settlers had felled most of the forest for building and heat and left the sand to ravage the remaining lands. It was reported that the dune ridge was advancing on the town and harbor at 90 feet per year.

One hundred and fifty years later the woodlands have slowly begun to restore themselves. But once again they are under grave pressure from the threat of development sprawl. The town and Conservation Trust has been working hard to preserve this Greenway and its dependent wildlife for the future.