Last fall, it appeared that a long-dormant plan to create a campground in Massachusetts’ Southern Woodlands Reservation in Oak Bluffs had come back to life when the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the design and operation of a “primitive campground” on two acres on the eastern edge of the 234-acre property, as described in the 2011 Southern Woodlands Management Plan, the Martha’s Vineyard Times reported.
The RFP issued Oct. 28 called for at least 40 campsites on the “low-impact” campground, to be accessible only by foot or by bicycle, and located near the County Road boundary of the property in order to provide easy access to one of the Island’s most heavily trafficked bicycle trails.
The RFP also stipulated that the seasonal campground would have showering facilities, a common water source, onsite manager, toilet facilities with minimal nitrogen flow, and that the Land Bank would incur little, if any, financial burden.
The RFP contained a Feb. 5 deadline; only one person, Nicholas Catt of Oak Bluffs, owner of Airport Laundromat, responded. His plan did not make the cut.
“We rejected it and sent it back,” Priscilla Sylvia, Land Bank commissioner from Oak Bluffs, told The Times. “The length of the requested lease [20 years] was a problem, and it needed much, much more detail.”
James Lengyel, Land Bank executive director, said the commission asked Mr. Catt to halve his proposed 20-year term. He and conservation lands foreman Matthew Dix met with Mr. Catt, who said he would decide whether or not he would submit a revised business plan by Jan. 1, 2017.
Mr. Lengyel said he wasn’t surprised by the underwhelming response to the campground RFP. “This is an unusual business,” he said. “There’s not many people that do it.”
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