100 Acres Preserved Near Durfee Management Area

 The property abuts the Durfee Hill Management Area and is close to the George Washington Management Area. (DEM)

The property abuts the Durfee Hill Management Area and is close to the George Washington Management Area. (DEM)

Acquisition will enhance recreational opportunities in northern Rhode Island

By ecoRI News staff

GLOCESTER, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has permanently protected 101 acres 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.

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, and there are several acres of old fields with regenerating habitat in shrub stage, providing early successional habitat.

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 recently obtained property and the Northwest Hunting Cooperative’s holdings link the western and eastern parcels of the 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 bought the property for $373,500 from Donald Britton, Jo-Ann DeRosa and Barbara Allaire, with funding provided through a $355,000 Statewide Land Acquisition grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and $18,500 in state open space bonds.

“We have enjoyed the Glocester property for many decades,” according to a Britton family statement. “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 collection 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, more than 10,000 acres have been protected.