Trade Wind Fields Preserve is home to one of two grass-strip airfields still in operation on Martha’s Vineyard. The Preserve co1nprises four natural communities: a pitch pine woodland, mixed-oak woodland, mixed-oak/pine woodland and sandplain grassland. It is a popular spot for dog walkers and their canine friends; in addition, approximately 90 pilots use the active grass-strip airfield. As many as 200 take-offs and landings occur in a typical year. Five Massachusetts state-listed plants – sandplain blue-eyed grass, bushy rockrose, grass-leaved ladies’ tresses, butterfly weed and purple needle grass – and one state listed wildlife species – purple tiger beetle — were observed on the Preserve.
The 71.9 acres of Trade Wind Fields Preserve ate located along County Road in Oak Bluffs. Conse1vation land in close proximity to Trade Wind Fields Preserve include Farm Pond Preserve (MVLB), Pecoy Point Ptese1ve (MVLBC), Waban Park (Town of Oak Bluffs, TOOB), Viera Park (TOOB), Ocean Pad, (TOOB) and Farm Neck Golf Club (open to public for a fee). The land bank purchased the property on 16 June 1989 from Joseph A. Eosco, Trustee of Trade Wind T1ust, for $2,750,000.
Plans for Trade Wind Fields Prese1ve include relocation of an existing 20-vehicle trailhead; maintenance of a private restricted landing area, including runway and taxiway, and 1.9 miles of existing trails; and restoration of existing 20 vehicle trailhead to sandplain grassland. The portion of the trail from the trailhead to the runway taxiway intersection will be universally accessible.
Trade Wind Fields Preserve will provide public access for birding, hiking, bicycling, airplane landing and take-off and other uses. No hunting will be permitted on the Preserve due to the close proximity to houses. Use of the Preserve is expected to be great. No property attendant will be posted on this property. However, random visits by summer property attendants and staff will be conducted when needed to inform visitors of property regulations. An airport services coordinator will manage the grass-strip airport on this property.
All planning goals, objectives and strategies are outlined in detail in the final section of this management plan. To be implemented, this plan must be presented at a public hearing and approved by the land bank’s Oak Bluffs town advisory board, the Martha’s Vineyard land bank commission and the commonwealth executive office of environmental affairs.