Land Use

Protected Open Space Around Yawgoo Pond Grows

The nearly 18-acre property features forested wetlands and pine-oak forest. (SKLT)

WEST KINGSTON, R.I. — The South Kingstown Land Trust and landowner John Richmond recently protected 17.85 acres of forested wetlands and pine-oak forest on Yawgoo Pond.

“Protection of this beautiful, forested property will help protect the water quality of Yawgoo Pond forever,” said Linda Green, former program director of the University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch volunteer program. “Forests slow down rainfall and allow it to soak into the ground and keep much of it from running into the pond. There is no better protection for fresh water.”

Richmond will retain ownership of 4 acres, protected by a conservation easement held by the South Kingstown Land Trust (SKLT) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM). SKLT now owns 13.85 abutting acres, also protected by a conservation easement held by DEM. These agreements protect the scenic pond shoreline and the species that depend upon it in perpetuity and prohibit any new development.

This agreement puts SKLT’s combined total of protected land over 3,000 acres, 123.4 acres of which surrounds Yawgoo Pond. The new parcel includes more than 400 feet of shoreline encompassing rare plants and wildlife habitat. With the acquisition, about 1.2 miles of Yawgoo Pond’s shoreline is protected.

“This project would not have been possible without the perseverance of John Richmond and the land trust staff,” SKLT executive director Julia Landstreet said. “It was inspiring to see the amazing generosity of the many neighbors who made contributions to protect this land for the benefit of the environment, Yawgoo Pond, and future generations.”

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