Newsletter of Barnstable County

Edition 8 | April 4, 2024

Join Barnstable County as we look at highlights from the month of March.

Last month, in preparation for National County Government Month (NCGM) in April, Barnstable County introduced the 'Forward Together' Photo Contest. The contest aims to capture the essence of county activities and the scenic beauty of Cape Cod. Submissions are being accepted until April 5. Details are available HERE.

Other activities for NCGM include educational videos, quizzes, leadership spotlights, children's coloring pages, all aimed at raising awareness and deepening community engagement with the County's vital functions. Please visit

Hosted by the County's Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod, a forum on March 5th delved into sustainable practices under Massachusetts' Commercial Food Materials Disposal Ban. The event educated farmers and food producers on topics such as composting, sustainable livestock feed, and the significance of food donation. Aimed at reducing food waste and enhancing the local food system, the forum shared new technologies and waste/recycling programs.

In March, the County launched a plastic wrap recycling initiative for boaters and marinas, in collaboration with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and WHOI Sea Grant. Running from April 1 to June 30, five town transfer stations in Bourne, Chatham, Eastham, Falmouth, and Wellfleet will provide drop-off points without any fees or stickers required. This joint effort seeks to preserve the coastal environment, reduce waste, and promote sustainability. Learn more HERE.

To celebrate its 25th year, Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, a division the Department of Health and Environment, launched a significant library initiative to enhance public engagement and education on wastewater management solutions. This initiative includes a series of talks and resources available in local libraries, aimed at informing the community about nitrogen pollution challenges and advancements. Learn more HERE. Additionally, MASSTC has been part of a national discussion, with recent interviews in prominent media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American. Through these talks, MASSTC aims to deepen public understanding and promote collaborative action on wastewater issues.

Above and pictured from left to right: Chairman Ron Bergstrom, Arts Foundation Director Julie Wake, and Commissioner Mark Forest.

In March, for the second consecutive year, the Commissioners designated the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod as the County's official arts agency, enabling the region to access critical federal arts funding.

The Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award, is currently open for nominations and highlights the significant contributions of women across diverse sectors. While overseen by an independent committee, Barnstable County has been instrumental in promoting this award that fosters appreciation and respect within the community for the impactful endeavors of Cape Cod women. The nomination period closes on April 16, 2024. Submit a nomination HERE.

Barnstable County allocated $40,000 to enhance the Cape Cod Welcome Center.

For the sixth consecutive year, Barnstable County is continuing its support for the Cape Cod Visitor Center, situated on Route 6, by allocating $40,000 towards its enhancement and maintenance. Operated by the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, the center serves hundreds of visitors daily during the summer season.

In March, the County Commissioners reaffirmed their opposition to the proposed multi-machine gun range located in the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve, directly above the Sagamore Lens—the primary drinking water source for several towns including Falmouth, Bourne, Sandwich, Mashpee, Barnstable, and Yarmouth. This stance reaffirms their position taken on March 15, 2023, and highlights their ongoing support for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Sole Source Aquifer Review.

The photo above shows current members of AmeriCorps Cape Cod Year 25.

AmeriCorps Cape Cod Partnership Opportunities: The opening for organizations to host AmeriCorps Cape Cod members reflects the county's ambition to bolster environmental conservation and community service. This opportunity allows eligible organizations within Barnstable County to host members for project-based work aligned with program focus areas, with final proposals due by May 17th and registration closing on April 5th for the 2024-2025 program year.

Addressing Youth Homelessness: In March, the Department of Human Services disseminated the announcement of Massachusetts Youth Count 2024, aimed at enhancing the state's comprehension of youth homelessness. This survey, available in five languages and active from April 1st to April 30th, seeks to gather insights into the needs and demographics of youth under 25 experiencing unstable housing or homelessness. Additionally, attention was drawn to Cape Cod's Hopeful Homes plan, backed by grants totaling $3.8 million, representing a collaborative endeavor to address youth homelessness by providing essential services and resources to vulnerable populations.

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