PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces the permanent protection of 12.6 acres of forestland in Hopkinton for public recreational use including hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting. The property lies within DEM's Rockville Management Area and adjoins 2,000 acres of contiguous protected land owned by DEM, the Audubon Society of RI, and The Nature Conservancy that is open to the public for recreational activities.
"I'm thrilled that we've been able to preserve this gorgeous parcel of waterfront property in the southwest region of the state for public recreation," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Rockville Management Area is a delightful place to hike, do some bird-watching, or simply enjoy spending time outdoors. We invite visitors to explore this beautiful site in Hopkinton and soak in the wonders of nature."
The property features 1,850 feet of frontage on the 30-acre Ashville Pond. The pond edge is forested with some rock outcroppings that provide a magnificent vista of the pond and surrounding forest. Rockville Management Area contains four freshwater ponds: Ashville Pond, Ell Pond, Long Pond, and Blue Pond. In addition, the management area contains several unique natural habitats including a southern New England level bog community and thick rhododendron forests. It 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.
DEM purchased the property for $404,000 from Raymond Marr and E. Lorraine Perry, with funding provided by State Open Space Bond funds.
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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