By ecoRI News staff
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has permanently protected 43 acres of forested land in Charlestown for public recreational access.
The property consists of a mix of pine and deciduous upland forest with some small wetland areas, including two small streams. The parcel abuts DEM’s Burlingame Management Area, which, together with the adjoining Burlingame State Park, encompasses more than 4,000 contiguous acres of protected land that is managed for public recreational use, including fishing, hunting, and camping.
Located within the Tomaquag Brook-Pawcatuck River watershed, the property contains forested wetlands and some vernal pools. Along with tall white pines, the forest overstory is dominated by three species of oak — northern red, white, and scarlet — and American beech, with some ash, red maple, black birch, tupelo, and big-toothed aspen.
Also present are shrubs, including witch hazel, sassafras, and a smattering of American hollies. The understory includes mountain laurel, highbush blueberry, lowbush blueberry, winterberry, and sweet pepperbush. The property also includes an old, small stone foundation and stone walls from the late 1800s when it was farmed.
DEM bought the property for $256,500 from Gabriel Warren and Ana Flores, with funding provided through state open space bonds. At the request of the landowners, DEM granted a conservation easement to the Charlestown Land Trust to increase the level of protection on the property.