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Conservation Easement granted by the Town of Barrington on December 22, 2005. Plat 37 Lot 1, 4, 50, 56
Approximately 75 acres located on a peninsula extending into the Barrington River and Hundred Acre Cove estuary. Long recognized as a property of great natural resource value because of its coastal wetland and habitat, it includes extensive salt marsh, shrub-dominated fields, deciduous forest and farm land. It features the only nesting site in the state of the Diamondback Terrapin, and provides habitat for a wide variety of bird species, including several special interest species such as clapper rail, seaside sparrow and marsh wren. Many trails open on this town-owned refuge. See the Trail Guide.
The Town acquired the property in the 1960s. Much of the top soil was subsequently stripped, a pistol range was established for use by local police, and another area used for sewer sludge composting. In 1994, the Town designated the property as a wildlife refuge and entered into a management agreement with the Land Trust. A management plan was put in place which focuses on protecting the terrapin population (see elsewhere on this web site for more information on this very successful program), maintaining habitat diversity, and accommodating educational, scientific and passive recreational activity. Farming continues on approximately 35 acres. Other management objectives include improving water quality in the surrounding cove and protecting adjacent lands from encroaching development.
Given that conservation zoning provides only limited protection into the future, the Land Trust proposed in 2005 that the Town consider granting a conservation easement. With important support from The Nature Conservancy and the state, the Town and the Land Trust finalized the agreement that same year. We are hopeful that this has created a significant precedent for providing additional protection for sensitive lands in Barrington as well as other towns in Rhode Island.