Rhode Island Success Stories – 2013

Whale Rock Preserve protects coastal habitat and provides a new trail leading to an exceptional encounter with Narragansett Bay.

The Nature Conservancy is celebrating a terrific year, after protecting more than 300 acres of forest, field, and shore all across Rhode Island in 2013.  Top projects included Cliff Farm in Tiverton, Payne Farm on Block Island, and an expansion of our new Whale Rock Preserve in Narragansett – all long-time priorities for the Conservancy.

We are deeply grateful to our fantastic partners at the RI Department of Environmental Management and The Champlin Foundations for their leadership and commitment to land conservation.

And with your help, we’re looking forward to sharing more good news in the coming year. The Conservancy is already working with another 13 landowners who want to protect 700 acres in 2014, providing further benefits to people and nature. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thank you for your support and interest in The Nature Conservancy’s work: protecting special places.

Payne Farm: Partnered with RIDEM, the Rhode Island Agricultural Land Preservation Commission, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Block Island Land Trust to protect the iconic, 42-acre Payne Farm, a vegetable and egg farm that filters streams and groundwater draining into the Great Salt Pond. It is one of the last and largest working farms on the island, and the Conservancy and the Land Trust had been working to find a way to conserve it for more than 20 years!

West Side Road: Assisted the Block Island Land Trust and the Block Island Conservancy with the purchase of 9 acres in the southwest corner of the island, protecting habitat for federally endangered American burying beetles. Dense shrubs in this area help make it one of the most important stop-over sites for first-year songbirds in the northeast.

Harbor Pond: Assisted the Block Island Conservancy and the Block Island Land Trust with the purchase of 1.5 acres on Harbor Pond, which is an important fish and shellfish spawning and nursery area. The shoreline and associated upland shrub buffer are extremely important to migratory songbirds and shorebirds.

Pasquiset Pond Preserve: Accepted the donation of a conservation easement on 15 acres of forest in the northeast corner of Charlestown. The property abuts another 70 acres that the same very generous landowner set aside with the Conservancy’s help in 2007. It likewise will preserve groundwater drainage and recharge in the area around Pasquiset Pond.

Ninigret/Quonochontaug Ponds: Accepted three gifts of real estate along the South County coast, with a combined value of over $2.1 million. These small but important acquisitions will enhance the Conservancy’s shellfish restoration program in Ninigret Pond, conserve potential nesting habitat for federally threatened piping plovers, and help protect a natural barrier against future storm surges.

Sprague Farm: Helped the Glocester Land Trust to fill five small gaps in its Sprague Farm preserve with the purchase of a total of 90 acres. At more than 1,000 acres, Sprague Farm is the land trust’s largest preserve, providing excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife study.

Whale Rock Preserve: Added 15 acres to our newest wildlife preserve, located at the mouth of the Narrow River. Every spring, Whale Rock welcomes exhausted songbirds, anxious to rest and refuel after their long journey from the Caribbean. We invite you to explore the preserve’s new boardwalk trail, which leads to a stunning view of Beavertail, across Narragansett Bay.

Pocasset Ridge: Acquired 132 acres of forest in Tiverton that connects other conservation land, creating a brand-new 500-acre Pocasset Ridge conservation area. This exceptional forest keeps the groundwater clean and provides habitat for more than 1,000 species of plants, birds, insects, and other creatures. The Conservancy will work with local partners to build trails, allowing hikers to explore the land for the first time in generations.

Fogland Marsh Preserve: Accepted the donation of 2 acres at Fogland Marsh, near the first land that the Conservancy protected in Rhode Island in 1968. Additional parcels have been added over time and now most of this beautiful marsh is protected.

Tillinghast Pond Management Area: Added 1.4 acres of forest to our largest wildlife preserve, located on the Connecticut border. While this parcel is small, it protects 300 feet of the Falls River, which is an important tributary to the Wood River.

If you would like more information about any of these land projects please call our Providence office at 401-331-7110 or email us at ri@tnc.org.


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