MIDDLETOWN — Aquidneck Land Trust has acquired a perpetual conservation easement from the Randall family on 10.65 acres of land on Newport’s Berkeley Avenue, the land trust announced Wednesday.
The Randall property, which is contiguous to the Maidford River, is next to lands that the trust has previously conserved.
A 2011 mapping and prioritization study by Aquidneck Land Trust identified the Randall property as critical for watershed protection purposes, due to the land’s location in the Maidford River watershed. The property acts as a natural buffer that helps protect the Maidford River from harmful runoff, Aquidneck Land Trust said in a statement.
In its 2011 study the land trust found that 300 open space parcels — totaling more than 3,000 acres — were at risk of development within the island’s primary drinking water reservoir watersheds.
In addition to being a regular haunt for wildlife such as the endangered northern harrier and barn owl, the Randall property is located in Middletown’s main farm belt area and contains prime farmland soils recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the land trust.
“Protecting the reservoir watersheds that span Aquidneck Island is job number one for ALT… The Randall parcel, with the Maidford River running right through the middle of it, is the poster child for this environmental conservation effort to clean up our island waters,” land trust Executive Director Chuck Allott said in a statement.
Aquidneck Land Trust reported that the landowner “has also granted a trail easement to ALT should it ever extend the Sakonnet Greenway Trail further south.”