Getting there: The trailhead parking area for Brightwood Park is found at the Land Bank’s Ramble Trail Preserve. From State Road in Vineyard Haven, take the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road 0.4 mile to Winyah Lane. From Edgartown or Oak Bluffs, take the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road toward Vineyard Haven, and take a right onto Winyah Lane just after the telephone company building. On Winyah Lane, turn right after 0.6 mile onto Weaver Lane. The trailhead is on the right at the end of Weaver Lane.

About the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation:

sheriffs-meadow-foundationIn the 1950s, Henry Beetle Hough and his wife Elizabeth Bowie Hough wanted to save the little meadow and ice pond that they could see from their Edgartown window. There was talk of “Sheriff’s Meadow,” as the field was called, being carved up for houses, and the Houghs spent $7,500 to buy it. “I had $7,500 from magazine rights from the Women’s Home Companion for a book,” said Mr. Hough, who was the long-time editor of the Vineyard Gazette. “It was the only time I ever had $7,500 at one time, so we decided to preserve the ice pond and its surroundings.”

Once they had the pond and field, however, the Houghs could not find a organization to take it and manage it for public use. Hence the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, which has grown over the decades into perhaps the premier local non-profit, non-government land trust. With seventeen properties of various sizes all over the Island, the SMF owns more than 2,000 acres and has conserved another 600 through easements and restrictions.

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