The Nature Conservancy announced today that they have acquired a 116-acre property along the Queens River inthis rural community. The Conservancy had been working to acquire the property since 1998, and agreed to purchase the property from the King family for $410,000. The property will be made available for some public recreational uses.
The acquistion was funded jointly by the Champlin Foundation and the State of Rhode Island, Department of Environmental Management's Local Open Space matching grant program. Each group contributed $205,000 towards the purchase.
"Protecting this forested property from future development is an important step toward keeping the Queen's River in good conditon," said Scott Comings, the Conservancy's South County Real Estate Specialist. "Research shows that forested rivers and watersheds are healthy rivers and watersheds, so we are very pleased that we are able to add onto existing conservation acreage in this important area." The watershed supplies drinking water for thousands of Rhode Islanders.
"The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management congratulates the Conservancy on this important purchase," said W. Michael Sullivan PH.D., Director of the DEM. "Protecting cool-water streams like the Queens River is important to DEM's mission to protect fish and wildlife habitat for all to enjoy."
The Conservancy and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island own and manage 2,500 acres of conservation land on the Queen's River in Exeter, West Greenwich, and South Kingstown. They are looking to increase their ownership in the next few years. Comings said his group is especially concerned about the growth that could come to this watershed when commuter rail service starts at Wickford Junction in North Kingstown. "We would like to preserve undeveloped tracts along the river now before the demand for subdivisions rises again in this sensitive area."
For more information, visit The Nature Conservancy's website at www.nature.org/rhodeisland.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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