Another annual newsletter, another moment of reckoning how much the pandemic has changed our lives. The only constant seems to be that rapid change and unpredictability will continue to waylay our plans….but it’s not all bad!
Based on polling data from the Cape & Islands Association of Realtors, a majority of people who purchased a home on Cape during the pandemic intend to stay full-time. While an increased year-round population poses some of its own challenges, having a new generation of ‘locals’ bringing fresh ideas, different perspectives, and tons of enthusiasm for their new home can only be a positive development! The strength of this community was one of the reasons I fell in love with this place. Now, I’m excited to pay it forward and welcome our newcomers into the fold – there’s plenty of work to be done!
Speaking of work to be done, the residents of Brewster have ours cut out for us: in a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Town elected to purchase the former Cape Cod Sea Camps properties. With frontage on both the Bay (see picture below) and Long Pond, this is the largest purchase Brewster has ever made! After a record turnout at town meeting to vote in favor of the acquisition, we are now embarking on a public engagement process to figure out what to do with the 110-ish acres. In recent years, Brewster has determined several town-wide planning priorities for the future, so I’m excited to see those manifest as we decide how to use our latest and greatest public asset.
Collaboration is the name of the game over in Yarmouth, too! At the site of the former Riverway restaurant, something new is cooking. It’s now home to the Family Table Collaborative, a self-sustaining nonprofit aimed at eliminating food insecurity on Cape. They provided over 100,000 free meals during 2021, and recently expanded their services to include rentable commercial kitchen hours, a local maker’s market/cafe, and a group meeting space! Yours truly lent her (very mediocre) skills with a paintbrush ahead of the grand opening, and it’s been a joy to watch their innovative approach be so completely embraced by the community.
The start of a new year always renews optimism for better things to come. Being an individual in the midst of a global pandemic feels overwhelming and totally out of our control, but I am heartened by seeing our local community rally around the issues that matter most to us (and there are plenty of them). Our little sandbar faces some complex challenges, but Cape Codders have always been resilient. If anything, these last two years have made us more stubborn, more dedicated to finding solutions, and more willing to create a fuss to make things happen – I can only imagine what we’ll accomplish next!