Barnstable Land Trust (BLT) is located in southeastern Massachusetts in the county of Barnstable that is Cape Cod. Our heritage is the sea that surrounds our peninsula.
BLT works solely in the Town of Barnstable, one of 15 towns on Cape Cod. Our community is bordered by Cape Cod Bay on the north, Nantucket Sound on the south, the Towns of Sandwich and Mashpee on the west and the Town of Yarmouth on the east.
With 60 square miles of land area, Barnstable is the third largest town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Within our boundaries are numerous ponds and freshwater streams that feed fragile coastal estuaries.
The Seven Villages of Barnstable
Barnstable is composed of seven villages, each with its own unique community character and significant cultural and historical qualities. Four southside villages front on Nantucket sound: Hyannis, Cotuit, Osterville and Centerville.
Hyannis is the commercial hub of Cape Cod and the town’s central business district. Town offices are located in the Hyannis Main Street Historic District, surrounding a working harbor that is home to a small commercial fishing fleet.
Main Street Centerville recalls a historic New England village. A newer business district and beautiful beaches are just minutes away.
Osterville is the hub of many small businesses and offers a quaint New England village shopping experience. Both Osterville and Cotuit are both primarily residential and centered around the three-bay area of Cotuit Bay, North Bay and West Bay. The shallow inlets and harbors are renowned for fishing and boating.
On the northside, the villages of Barnstable and West Barnstable share a unique ecosystem known as the Sandy Neck and the Great Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Barnstable Village, the seat of the County government, has a small business district, a working harbor and access to Cape Cod Bay. West Barnstable, the most rural of our villages, is primarily residential and sparsely populated owing in part to the Town-owned Sandy Neck Barrier Beach.
The most rapidly developing village in the Town of Barnstable is Marstons Mills. While primarily residential, Marstons Mills is centered around an old mill pond. The many cranberry bogs, ponds and lakes of Marstons Mills have served to maintain its rural nature.
Sole Source Aquifer
Cape Cod is a sole source aquifer. Our drinking water comes solely from rainwater that filters through our sandy soils into the aquifer below. Our kettle-hole ponds are expressions of the groundwater, which provides the fresh water necessary to help keep our coastal waters free of pollution. But our ponds and estuaries are in peril from an overload of nitrogen and phosphorous, which cause algae blooms that threaten the viability of the water resources. Preserving land is one of the most important things we can do on Cape Cod to preserve our precious natural resources.