The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has announced the conservation of a 9.54-acre farmland property in Middletown. The property is located within the Maidford/Paradise drinking water supply watershed and is near other conserved lands, including the Arnow property and the Norman Bird Sanctuary. It has prime farmland soils and has a history of agricultural use, including as a hayfield and for vegetable farming.

The property owner, Forester Peabody, worked with ALT and his father, John Peabody, to conserve the land prior to John Peabody’s death earlier this year. Forester Peabody said, “I’m thankful that ALT was able to grant my father’s final wish of ensuring that my grandfather’s farm will never be developed. Without ALT and the generosity of all of its donors, this never would have been accomplished.”

Chuck Allott, ALT Executive Director, said, “This is a very important property from a conservation standpoint and we are grateful to the Peabody family for partnering with us to permanently protect it. By conserving this land, we’ve expanded the habitat corridor of conserved land in Paradise Valley and protected our vulnerable drinking water supply by restricting future development. Because the property is visible from scenic Third Beach Road and Howland Avenue, its conservation has also helped to safeguard the scenic viewscape in this historic area.”

Allott noted that the conservation easement was funded in part by a bequest from Beth Everett of Middletown. Everett left ALT $250,000 upon her death for the purpose of land conservation. Allott said, “We are very pleased to permanently honor their generosity through the conservation of this beautiful Middletown property.”

Since 1990, ALT has conserved 94 properties covering 2,775.61 acres of land on Aquidneck Island, or over 11% of the island’s total acreage. It is the oldest accredited land trust in Rhode Island.