More land added to Arcadia Management Area

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has acquired 84.5 acres of land along Arcadia Road in Richmond to add to the state’s 16,000-acre Arcadia Management Area. The press release has more details and is also copied below.

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
For Release: February 29, 2012
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402

Land Includes Frontage on the Wood River and Frying Pan Pond and is an Excellent Fishing Spot and Canoeing Area
PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management has acquired 84.5 acres of land along Arcadia Road in Richmond to add to the state’s 16,000-acre Arcadia Management Area.

The property includes over three-quarters of a mile of frontage on the Wood River and Frying Pan Pond. The land is a major inholding in the Arcadia Management Area and its preservation will allow for increased public access to the Wood River and shoreline fishing access to Frying Pan Pond. It is an excellent fishing spot and canoeing area. The property is vegetated with mature white pine forest stands, as well as wetland shrubs and grasses. There are several existing trails that traverse the land which will now be accessible by the public. An existing house on the property will be retained by the landowner, and the remainder of the land will be incorporated into the state management area. “DEM is delighted that we have been able to secure this valuable property that will help safeguard the ecologically diverse Wood River and wetland system adjacent to Frying Pan Pond,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “This acquisition also adds additional lands to the Arcadia Management Area and will enhance recreational opportunities for the public in southwestern Rhode Island.”

Arcadia Management Area is the most heavily-used public access area under state ownership. In addition to providing for habitat management and wildlife preservation, Arcadia provides opportunities for the public to engage in a variety of recreational activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, mountain biking and equestrian use. These natural assets play a big role in the state’s tourist economy by providing opportunities for the public to enjoy the great outdoors, and at the same time bring revenue to the local economy. According to the most recent statistics from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2006), residents and tourists spend over $378 million annually in Rhode Island on trip and equipment-related expenditures for fishing, hunting, and wildlife-watching activities.

DEM acquired the property from Audrey Greene, Priscilla Winsor, June Winsor, Franklin Winsor and Carolyn Smith. The land has been in the Winsor family for generations. “In 1957 our parents purchased the riverfront farm which now borders Arcadia Management Area,” said Audrey Greene. “It has always been the wish of the Winsor family to preserve its natural beauty and resources including wetlands, natural pine forest and habitat for many birds and wildlife. We are very pleased that in the hands of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Winsor Farm will be protected and preserved.”

The total cost of the acquisition is $600,000. Funding was provided by a combination of state open space bond funds and Federal funds allocated to the R.I. Department of Transportation from the Federal Highway Administration under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The property will be incorporated into Arcadia Management Area and will be managed by DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

During the recent February school vacation period nearly 400 Rhode Island children and their families enjoyed a variety of hikes and guided tours offered by DEM at three natural resource areas. “I am so pleased that hundreds of children were out last week in our outstanding state conservation areas,” noted Director Coit. “This fantastic turnout illustrates how much Rhode Islanders truly enjoy these special places and the positive benefit such natural assets provide to our quality of life.”