Acquisition will enhance recreational opportunities in Northern Rhode Island. The sellers – the Britton Family – 'are pleased to return the land to its natural state for all to appreciate'
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces the permanent protection of 101 acres in Glocester for public recreational use including hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting. The property abuts DEM's Durfee Hill Management Area which, together with the George Washington Management Area, consists of 5,200 acres of state-owned protected lands. A small parking area exists immediately to the west of the property, providing easy access for public recreation.
"Investments in open space protect historic and locally significant lands, enhance our communities, and as is the case here, fill gaps within state conservation areas," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "Passage of our 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond will put aside $2 million more to protect green spaces and help ensure that Rhode Island remains a wonderful place to live, work, visit, and raise a family."
"I'm delighted that we've been able to secure this valuable parcel of land in the northwest region of the state for public recreation and encourage folks to get outdoors and do some hiking or wildlife-watching on this gorgeous property," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "This acquisition adds additional lands to the Durfee Hill Management Area and will enhance recreational opportunities for the public. Rhode Islanders truly enjoy these special places and the positive benefit such natural assets provide to our quality of life."
The property contains upland oak hickory forest with an understory of low bush blueberry and huckleberry – along with sections of coniferous upland forest of white pine. In addition, a cold-water stream, Cady Brook, runs through the property with an associated high terrace forested wetland complex. Furthermore, there are several acres of old fields with regenerating habitat in shrub stage, providing early successional habitat. The property constitutes an excellent hunting resource – its habitat can provide for a wide variety of game wildlife including white-tailed deer, fox, coyote, ruffed grouse, mink, wild turkey, and woodcock.
Abutting the property to the east are 255 acres of land holdings in DEM's Northwest Hunting Cooperative, land that is privately owned but open to the public for hunting. This property and the Northwest Hunting Cooperative's holdings link the western and eastern parcels of Durfee Hill Management Area and create significant contiguous hunting grounds. The eastern parcel of Durfee Hill Management Area abuts both George Washington Management Area and 1,200 acres of Glocester Land Trust property, which is managed for public access and hunting.
DEM's two Management Areas contain an impounded reservoir and a 10-acre wildlife marsh that provide excellent opportunities for duck hunting. Other game animals found in the area include snowshoe hare, white-tailed deer, fox, mink, raccoon, muskrat, coyote, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, and woodcock.
DEM purchased the property for $373,500 from Donald Britton, Jo-Ann DeRosa, and Barbara A. Allaire, with funding provided through a $355,000 Statewide Land Acquisition grant from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and $18,500 in state open space bonds.
"We have enjoyed the Glocester property for many decades," said the Britton Family. "We are pleased to return the land to its natural state for all to appreciate and believe that the memory of preceding generations in our family is preserved with this direction."
Rhode Island's wealth of historic parks, bikeways, and green spaces provide for public enjoyment – along with 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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