Nature Conservancy Expands Bumblebee Preserve

The Nature Conservancy’s Bumblebee Preserve in Little Compton, R.I., recently added the 18-acre parcel known as the ‘Last Stand.’ (TNC)

The Nature Conservancy’s Bumblebee Preserve in Little Compton, R.I., recently added the 18-acre parcel known as the ‘Last Stand.’ (TNC)

By ecoRI News staff

LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. — The Nature Conservancy has permanently protected an 18-acre parcel reaching from West Main Road to Dundery Brook. The property was formerly the site of the Last Stand, a seasonal market that closed in recent years.

The conservancy recently bought the property for $300,000 from George and Wayland Purmont. More than 60 local families made private contributions toward the cost of buying the land and readying it for public use. The Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust provided a grant of $145,250.

“The Purmont family members have been incredible stewards of their land over the years, and I am grateful that they have entrusted The Nature Conservancy with its long-term protection,” said Terry Sullivan, state director of the conservancy’s Rhode Island chapter. “The conservation of this property protects habitat for migratory birds, as well as the excellent water quality in Dundery Brook, flowing toward Briggs Marsh. It is a fantastic addition to our Bumblebee Preserve.”

The Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust will hold a conservation easement on the property, providing additional legal protection.

With the addition of the Purmont property, the Bumblebee Preserve now protects 136 acres of thicket and woodland. The Nature Conservancy is developing plans for a new trailhead on West Main Road and a connecting trail to the Dundery Brook Trail, which features a fully accessible, three-quarter-mile-long boardwalk through a wetland forest.

The new trail will wind through a chain of four small ponds, surrounded by plantings of native shrubs and wildflowers. The conservancy hopes to recruit volunteers this winter and spring to help with trail clearing and other stewardship activities.