Welcome to the Orenda Wildlife Land Trust!

Preserving Land. For Our Woods, Wildlife, Waters and Winds. For Everyone. Forever.

Our mission is to preserve and protect open space for wildlife habitat, fresh air, and water quality in sanctuaries on Cape Cod and throughout Massachusetts.

We own or manage more than 60 sanctuaries covering over 730 acres. Orenda also partners with other land trusts in the protection of many parcels under conservation restriction.

The word "Orenda", in the language of the Iroquois indigenous people, means "extraordinary, powerful, life energy within all beings and their environment" and is illustrated in the Orenda Song of Praise. Orenda was founded in 1986 by Barbara Birdsey, a nationally-acclaimed philanthropist, and wildlife protection advocate.

We share our mission through innovative public education, special events, and policy forums on issues related to wildlife.

We are gratefully supported by private donors, foundations/grantors, innovative private-public partnerships, special events, and our endowment

green forest in the morning
We Own & Manage
Acres of Land
Years in Operation
Founded by Barbara Birdsey

Orenda may be a smaller land trust, but we’re proud of our large-scale plans. Here’s where we’ve been, and here’s where we’d like to go through 2024:

Goal 1: Create a Wider Community of Land Givers

We will continue to work closely with individuals, families, corporations and organizations across private and public sectors. Our success will be measured in several ways: the amount of land Orenda can acquire, the amount of donations and grants we receive to purchase additional open space, and an increased awareness about our mission among informed stakeholders and newer friends.

Goal 2: Internal Growth

We’d like to ‘grow’ our Board of Directors to expand our capacity to uphold our mission. Orenda has an existing committed and strong Board. But like any organization, we’re looking to the future. Orenda has a decisive Executive Committee, and Committees on Development, Land Acquisition, Land Stewardship, and Finance. We’re a strong organization, but if we’re to meet the needs of an evolving world, we need to stretch our wings.

Goal 3: External Engagement

A progressive and engaged land trust cannot function in a vacuum. In addition to our membership in The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., and the national Land Trust Alliance, Orenda is a partner in the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge in which one of our sanctuaries is located. We work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. One of the spotlight issues is the so-called Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge.