Pawcatuck Borderlands

The Borderlands is the largest forested system between Boston and Washington, D.C.

The Borderlands landscape the largest forested system between Boston and Washington, D.C., and its abundant wildlife ranges from bears to songbirds. The remarkable diversity of the Borderlands includes hardwood forests, pitch-pine woodlands, wetlands, and several rivers. Together, the Nature Conservancy staff in both Connecticut and Rhode Island are dedicated to protecting thousands of acres of high-quality forest in the Pawcatuck Borderlands.

  • Nearby Providence and Hartford present an ever-increasing demand for housing, roads and shopping centers. The area is also home to several world-class tourist attractions which generates additional development pressure.
  • Traffic is escalating on local roads and highways, preventing wildlife from migrating between habitats.
  • Finite water resources are being overused, impacting both the quality and quantity of water in local watersheds.
Conservation Action

The Nature Conservancy is protecting these forests and watersheds through direct land acquisition, cooperative acquisition with our state and local partners, and innovative land management projects. The Conservancy is also enhancing the economics of working lands through partnerships that protect the landscape while allowing it to support the families who live and work on the land.

Several conservation projects are under way in the Borderlands.

  • Working with the Hopkinton Land Trust, the West Greenwich Land Trust and the Coventry Land Trust to protect three woodlands totaling 400 acres.
  • Helping restore herring runs in the Shunock and Pawcatuck rivers.
  • Partnering with Pachaug State Forest to save part of Lambert Mountain as an addition to the State Forest.

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy's conservation work in the Pawcatuck Borderlands.

The Borderlands Project

Exciting features on this website include:

  • The Borderlands Map Library: features a variety of maps such as land use, housing and job density, and conservation and recreation lands. The Library was created to respond to calls for more information at our last meeting in November of 2005.
  • Resource Links: provides links to interesting publications, other organizations and past information on this project.
  • The Borderlands Blog: where you can post your own comments in response to blog entries.


Reinventing the Village:  Perspectives on Economic Development & Affordable Housing in the Borderlands
May 4, 2006


The Nature Conservancy Protects More than 300 Acres in North Stonington and Preston
The Conservancy recently purchased 302 acres located next to Pachaug State Forest.  The property was owned by the Noyes family for several generations, and family members wanted to see it preserved.

Partnership Saves 123 More Acres in North Stonington
Working in partnership, The Nature Conservancy and the North Stonington Citizens Land Alliance today created a new 123-acre nature preserve on Cossaduck Hill Road.

Places to Visit in Pawcatuck Borderlands


Kevin Essington, Program Director
Phone: (401) 331-7110


  • Threats: Nearly 40% of the Borderlands is already protected by the Pachaug State Forest and the Arcadia Management Area, but the remaining land's rural character is under pressure from development. Threats include the following:
  • Location: This large forested landscape straddles the Rhode Island-Connecticut border. View a satellite image
  • Size: 200 square miles
  • Plant Species: Oak, hickory, hemlock, pine, Atlantic white cedar and giant rhododendron.
  • Animal Species: Pileated woodpecker, Louisiana waterthrush, alewive, herring, native brook trout and rare dragonflies.

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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