Generous gift to protect land along Barnstable's Great Marsh

Mass Audubon now owns and protects over 100 contiguous acres in the area

   View of Barnstable Harbor from newly protected land. Photo courtesy Mass Audubon.

Ten acres of ecologically significant land along Barnstable’s Great Marsh received permanent protection as the result of a generous year-end gift to Mass Audubon.    The land is located just off Route 6A near the Barnstable-West Barnstable School, and includes portions of the marsh and adjacent sensitive upland area. The donation was made by members of the Ferguson family who have had a long-standing commitment to conservation. In 1998, the Fergusons donated 78 acres of land to Mass Audubon that abuts the newly protected property as well as another 18 acres owned by Mass Audubon to the west of Scudder Lane that were donated in 1971 by the Chase family.

“We are so happy that another piece of that beautiful, diverse, andunique land will be protected for plants, animals, and futuregenerations.” - Wenley Ferguson.

Thanks to the generosity of the Ferguson and the Chase families, Mass Audubon now owns and protects over 100 contiguous acres of ecologically significant land in this area. “We are so happy that another piece of that beautiful, diverse, and unique land will be protected for plants, animals, and future generations,” says Wenley Ferguson.

The protected land consists of important salt marsh and upland habitats. The land has been identified as a very high priority for protection by the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and other conservation organizations, including Mass Audubon, due to its location adjacent to Sandy Neck and the Great Marsh. “The Ferguson family’s land gifts over the years are invaluable to the Cape Cod community as they protect important salt marsh and upland wildlife habitat bordering the Great Marsh,” says Ian Ives, director of Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable. “Mass Audubon is incredibly appreciative of the Fergusons’ generosity and commitment to conservation.”

Mass Audubon’s land protection efforts protect critical habitat for native species and provide many quality of life benefits, including the protection of clean drinking water and locally grown food, and places for people to experience and reflect upon the wonders of nature. Mass Audubon works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife. Together with more than 100,000 members, we care for 34,000 acres of conservation land, provide educational programs for 225,000 children and adults annually, and advocate for sound environmental policies at local, state, and federal levels. Mass Audubon's mission and actions have expanded since our beginning in 1896 when our founders set out to stop the slaughter of birds for use on women's fashions. Today we are the largest conservation organization in New England. Our statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries, in 90 Massachusetts communities, welcomes visitors of all ages and serves as the base for our work. To support these important efforts, call 800-AUDUBON (283-8266) or visit

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