Local groups announce plans to protect 65 acres of land | News

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – A natural oasis of wooded trails, a skating pond and other features that form the 65-acre Potter Memorial Wood in South Kingstown will survive for future generations to enjoy.

A new conservation easement on the property off South Road, largely funded by donations, made the move possible, the South Kingstown Land Trust and the Kingston Improvement Association announced on Monday.

The news that the land could be protected forever has spurred waves of support and donations from those with fond memories of spending time there hiking, playing baseball or basketball. ball or skating on the pond.

“The outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming,” said Kingston Improvement Association President Susan Axelrod. “We have heard from many people who grew up playing and ice skating in Potter Wood and in turn have introduced their children and grandchildren to this beautiful wood. We are proud to take this opportunity to ensure the protection of Potter Wood for generations to come.

The association has watched over the property and maintained it for 88 years, since Mary LeMoine Potter donated “the wood” to the organization in 1933.

Prior to his death in 1938, Potter’s desire was for the property to be used by members of the Kingston community as a place of recreation, solitude and outdoor enjoyment.

But until the latest agreement, there was no legal mechanism in place to prevent the purchase, subdivision and development of the acreage.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Kingston Improvement Association will continue to own and care for the property, with the nationally accredited South Kingstown Land Trust now responsible for conserving the land in the preserved conservation easement. for life.

It is an appropriate choice for the non-profit land trust, which aims to protect and care for natural resources, open spaces and cultural landscapes.

“SKLT’s Biscuit Town Preserve is just across the street,” said Julia, executive director of the Land Trust.

said Landstreet. “The protection of Potter Wood builds on the vision of Mary LeMoine Potter and provides an important permanent natural corridor for the Village of Kingston and its many visitors.

It is a combination of sources that made servitude possible. The Rhode Island Foundation’s Mary LeMoine Potter Fund made a substantial donation. Additionally, members of the Kingston Improvement Association community donated generously in response to what the group called its biggest awareness campaign to date.

The association dates back to 1884, when a group of villagers interested in working together to preserve the village of Kingston, improve the safety and well-being of its residents, and promote Kingston as a historic center for public enjoyment. founded.

The Land Trust was founded as a private trust in 1983, then incorporated as a private, not-for-profit corporation in 1999, with a mission to conserve the natural resources of South Kingstown through the preservation and management of open spaces.

Like the Kingston Improvement Association, a small group of residents and property owners started it. They did so in response to a growing realization that land use regulations at the city, state, and federal levels alone were insufficient to provide lasting protection for the open spaces of the city, wildlife habitats, agricultural and forest lands, aquifers and recharge areas, and coastal ecosystems.

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