Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced that Spruce Acres Farm will be open to the public starting on Tuesday, December 18. The 22.67-acreproperty, situated on the Middletown/Portsmouth border, was conserved by ALT in 2017. The former tree farm will offer 1.5 miles of publicly-accessible nature trails and an environmentally- friendly parking lot, which features a rain-penetrable surface. Future amenities include a picnic area, benches, and community gardens.
Two open houses are planned, the first from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18, and the second from 1:00–3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, where staff will be on hand to answer any questions from visitors. The property, located at 1286 East Main Road in Middletown, will be open between dawn and dusk daily beginning on December 18. Visitors are asked to respect trail rules by visiting only during the allowed hours, staying on the hiking trails, leaving no trace and being respectful to neighbors. Dogs are welcome but should be leashed and picked up after at all times.
“Over 500 Islanders, foundations, corporations, municipalities and others contributed to the purchase and conservation of Spruce Acres,” said Chuck Allott, ALT’s Executive Director.
“This has really been a community effort from the start, and we are very excited to welcome people onto the property. It is an Aquidneck Island success story!”
The property would have been developed into 20 house lots had it not been conserved. It is rich in wildlife habitat and is located within the watershed for Sisson Pond, an important source of water for the Island. Since purchasing it, the land trust and over 100 volunteers have made trail improvements, repaired the outbuildings, installed map kiosks and signage, and created a second curb cut to facilitate safer entry and exit. Three local Eagle Scout projects have been completed or are underway; improvements will continue throughout 2019.
Those who would like to volunteer to help take care of the property and trails are asked to contact the Aquidneck Land Trust 401-849-2799.
For more information on the Aquidneck Land Trust, visit www.ailt.org.