Tiverton's Cook Farm property preserved forever

Nature Conservancy, Tiverton Land Trust join to preserve 48-acre forest

Posted 3/16/23

A 48-acre tract of Tiverton forest has been saved in perpetuity via a joint effort of the Tiverton Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy.

Situated between Pachet Brook in Little Compton and …

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Tiverton's Cook Farm property preserved forever

Nature Conservancy, Tiverton Land Trust join to preserve 48-acre forest

Posted

A 48-acre tract of Tiverton forest has been saved in perpetuity via a joint effort of the Tiverton Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy.

Situated between Pachet Brook in Little Compton and Tiverton's Nonquit Pond, Cook Farm helps connect hundreds of acres of protected forest, wetlands and farmland, including the state DEM's 400-acre Eight Rod Farm Management Area.

“An awful lot of this is really about watershed protection,” said John Berg, TNC’s Sakonnet landscape manager. “If we can save the forest that surrounds the waterways, we keep the groundwater and reservoirs clean and keep the habitat intact.”

Those behind the deal say conservation of the tract will help keep drinking water clean for Newport residents by preventing sources of bacterial contamination from reaching Nonquit Pond.

It also protects aquatic life by limiting the amount of nutrient pollution that flows into Fogland Marsh. Excessive nutrients such as nitrates from septic systems and lawn fertilizers promote algal growth, which in turn, deplete the amount of dissolved oxygen available in the water for fish, shellfish and other organisms.

“This is about finishing what we started here, going back to Fogland Marsh in 1968," Berg added. “We’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to protect so many of the natural treasures of this coast, but there are some key gaps, and this is one of them.”

The trust and conservancy will co-hold a conservation easement on the property, which will remain privately owned forest but now can never be developed or subdivided. The easement allows both organizations to invite visitors for guided walks.   

"Protecting critical and beautiful tracts of land in our community has become complex — and it is often best done as a team sport,” David Elliott, the Tiverton Land Trust president, said.

Working in close collaboration, TNC and TLT raised the funds to purchase the conservation easement through donations from both organizations’ members and grants from the Bafflin Foundation and the Mary Dexter Chafee Fund.    

The conserved property is forested with oak and American holly trees, a coastal habitat type that reaches its northern extent along the south coast of New England. Its streams, pools, and other wetlands feed freshwater into Nonquit Pond. It provides excellent habitat for species listed as being of “greatest conservation need” in Rhode Island’s statewide Wildlife Action Plan, including bobcats and many deep forest-nesting songbirds like wood thrush and scarlet tanager.

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