Acquisition will protect water quality in nearby Blue Pond
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces the permanent protection of 30 acres of forestland in Hopkinton. The property abuts DEM's Rockville Management Area and sits within 1,558 contiguous acres of conservation land owned by DEM, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and The Nature Conservancy that is open to the public for recreational activities. Public access will be maintained on the property to provide for hunting and passive recreational uses such as hiking.
"I'm delighted that we've been able to preserve this gorgeous tract of land near Rockville Management Area for public recreation and encourage folks to visit this beautiful property," said DEM Director Janet Coit "Preserving land for people to get outdoors and enjoy nature is core to ensuring Rhode Island remains a wonderful place to live and to fostering our next generation of environmental stewards."
DEM purchased the property for $132,000 from Virginia Jalbert, with funding provided through state open space bonds. "I'm so pleased with the result of this project, which will preserve and honor the memories of my parents, Joan and James Jalbert, both of whom were life-long residents of Rockville. DEM's conservation of this property will make it possible for future generations to enjoy," said Virginia Jalbert.
Acquisition of Jalbert parcel will provide water quality protection for nearby Blue Pond, which is located in the abutting 1,069-acre Rockville Management Area; the management area consists mostly of deciduous forest cover and contains four freshwater ponds including Blue Pond, Ashville Pond, Long Pond, and Ell Pond. It features several unique natural habitats including a southern New England level bog community and thick rhododendron forests. The management area supports habitat capable of providing for a wide variety of game wildlife including cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hare, white-tailed deer, fox, coyote, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, and woodcock.
This southwest section of Rhode Island supports several species of animals and birds that are less common or not found elsewhere in the state. Examples include the Black Rat Snake and several nesting birds. The shrubby habitats dominated by mountain laurel support an interesting nesting bird assemblage that includes the Hooded Warbler.
Rhode Island's wealth of historic parks, bikeways and green spaces provide for public enjoyment - in addition to improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state's climate resilience, and supporting the economy. Since 1985, over 10,000 acres of land have been protected.
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