Why You Should Visit
This is the Rhode Island Chapter's second largest nature preserve. Straddling the rocky uplands of the Charlestown moraine and the sandy floodplain of the Pawcatuck River, the property supports a variety of natural communities, most notably rare pitch pine/scrub oak barrens, vernal pools, and a 35 acre grassland.
****Bowhunting for deer is permitted at the Preserve. During the bowhunting season (September 15 - January 31), all visitors are required to wear a fluorescent orange hat or vest.
Dogs are permitted but must be leashed at all times.
Charlestown, in southwestern Rhode Island
Map of Francis C. Carter Preserve
The Carter Preserve has its own volunteer group called the “Friends of the Carter Preserve”. These volunteers are valuable in helping to keep the preserve enjoyable for future generations. Volunteers assist with ongoing stewardship projects including trail maintenance, preserve monitoring, litter cleanups, and treatment of invasive plants. They play a vital role in the stewardship of the Carter Preserve, for the benefit of wildlife and visitors, alike. If you would like to become a Friend of the Carter Preserve, please contact Jeanne Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 331-7110.
Why the Conservancy Selected this Site
This preserve is one of the largest protected properties in the state. It joins several thousand acres of contiguous forest and contributes to an 11-mile corridor of open space running from the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge to the state's Carolina Management Area.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy purchased the property with major contributions from The Champlin Foundations, a longtime supporter of the Conservancy's conservation work in Rhode Island, the Cove Point Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The preserve is dedicated to Francis ("Frank") C. Carter, who led the Champlin Foundations for many years.
- Conservancy staff regularly lead two-hour nature walks on the preserve, showcasing key features of the southern New England forest. Scout and school programs are encouraged to use the property as an outdoor classroom.
- The Conservancy is restoring and maintaining wildlife habitat at the Carter Preserve, to help reverse the decline in the number of grassland and shrub-nesting birds.