Development rights to 125-acre Warwick farm acquired by state, The Nature Conservancy

DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS to The Meadows, a 125-acre farm in the Potowomut area of Warwick, have been purchased by the state and The Nature Conservancy. / TIM MOONEY/COURTESY THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS to The Meadows, a 125-acre farm in the Potowomut area of Warwick, have been purchased by the state and The Nature Conservancy. / TIM MOONEY/COURTESY THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

WARWICK – Development rights to a 125-acre farm in the Potowomut section of the city have been sold and placed under permanent protection, according to The Nature Conservancy and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

The farm known as The Meadows is made up of four parcels on Ives Road and is across the road from Goddard State Park. The property is located along the Potowomut River, according to the Nature Conservancy, which announced the acquisition of the development rights Friday.

The Gammell and Klebenov families sold the development rights for $1.55 million and will continue to own and farm the land. Funding for the purchase of the development rights was secured from a variety of federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Rhode Island Agriculture Land Preservation Commission, using the state’s open space bond, and by The Nature Conservancy.

The families that have owned the land for generations donated nearly one-quarter of the value, as well. The transaction began in 2014, when the families sought conservation options for the property, which has been held by the same family since the end of the Revolutionary War.

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The Nature Conservancy and the DEM will hold conservation easements on the four properties that make up the farm. It is primarily used for hay production, but also for alpaca wool and blueberries.

It was a priority for conservation in part because of the habitat it provides for a variety of wildlife, including river otters, ospreys, bald eagles and wintering American black ducks and bufflehead ducks, according to the R.I. DEM.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.

The Meadows property is across from Goddard Park in Warwick. MAP COURTESY THE NATURE CONSERVANCY.

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